Eternal Sonata: hands on impressions,screens.
This past wednesday we were invited for some hands on time with the upcoming english version xbox360 japanese rpg Eternal Sonata. Check out our impressions and some screens of this promising game after the jump.
After some hands on time with Eternal Sonata, it’s safe to say that this will be the xbox 360’s first good traditional japanese rpg hitting us stateside (sorry enchant arms).Eternal Sonta tells the story of FrÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©dÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©ric Chopin the famous composer who on his deathbed drifts between his real life and his dreams. Now im sure alot of you are saying to yourselves “wtf?”, but as odd as the story sounds this is a traditional jrpg. From the basic controls, menu/item system, to the villages, enemies etc.
A big plus with this rpg and from what seems to be becoming a standard in todays rpg’s, is the way you encounter enemies on the battle fields. No longer are you subject to random battles from creatures you don’t see. All enemies are visible at all times and you have the option to run away from them(of course some can’t be avoided), sneak up on them (which gives you a preemptive strike), or just charge straight at ‘em. And once you make contact with said enemies, the screen sorta fades away with a dream like effect and then your transported to a mini battlefield which represents the enviroment you were in when you made contact with the creature.Once there it’s time to fight! and when you do get down and dirty, you have full control over your characters movements and attacks. From the menu system, you can assign any of the 3 face buttons(y,x,,a) a special attack, normal attack, or item use. So when your ready to strike your enemy, you’ll notice that you’ll have a certain amount of time for which to make the actual movement towards the creature and attack, and that’s indicated by the long meter located on the left hand side of your screen. This sorta keeps you in check so your not just attacking the enemes constantly in one turn. The ability to set your moves to certain face buttons allows you to pull of combo attacks. For instance you could start of with a couple of slashes from your normal attack then lead into a special attack and then finish off with an item you have currently set or vice versa in the given amount of time left on your action meter. Also one of the cool concepts in this games battle system is the way your special attacks can change wether your standing in a lighted or dark area of the battlefield. For instance, if your fighting in the forest area and on your battlefield there’s some trees that cast a shadow, you can stand in that shadow and you’ll notice that your special attack would change into a “shadow attack” which will take more damage off an enemy that’s weak to those types of attacks and vice versa.
When it comes to defending from oncoming enemy attacks, you’ll have the chance to block those attacks and take less damage. This is done by an on screen prompt that says “chance” which’ll come up quickly right before the enemies blow actualy lands on your character. Just as it comes up, you have to quickly press the guard button and when done in time you’ll hear a chime and your character would physically put their arms up blocking the attack. This gives the battle system a “keep on your toes” pace and is a nice mechanic to the fights.
Graphically this game is a nice blend of crisp cel shading and brightly colored imagery. It’s something that’ll def’ stand out in the x360’s line up of gritty,dark and dirty, realistic games. The character models are well defined and textures are sharp and detailed for the stylings of this game. The audio was your usual orchestral flair, alltough i’ll have to admit our surroundings were a little bit loud from the people talking,to the dj’s tracks pumping out of the speakers. So i’ll have to reserve final judement on the audio until i getÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â a copy of the game. But from what they told us at the event, some of chopins actual compositions will be in the game. They’ll be performed by world renowned pianist Stanislav Bunin. Now that should be a nice treat for the audiophiles!!
All in all this is turning out to be a promising rpg from namco/bandai and we’ll hope that it’ll provide us starved x360 rpg gamers a satisfying experience when it hits retails and our homes this fall. We’ll hit ya’ll off with a reveiw once the game drops , but for now check out some new screens below.