Eternal Sonata, a beautifully cell-shaded linear RPG, doesn't miss the mark, not at all by no means, this game is truly a work of art. You play a range of characters with inter-related storylines. Essentially, famous pianist, Frederic Chopin is on his death bed, and he has a dream that is challenges his ideas of reality. The first playable character, Polka, is a girl afflicted with magic, in the dream those who weald magic are terminally ill, who wishes to do more with her short life, she meets Frederic in the dream and they begin their journey. But in between that you will be introduced to Retto and Beat, two homeless kids trying to save other poor people. As the story progresses Chopin's actual life is examined with a professional pianist playing during the segments.
Since I've only started the game, it's been quite an experience, from the beautifully animated attacks, environments and enemies this game delivers on gameplay and originality with its story. Currently I'm making my way to Forte, interestingly enough all the characters and place, asides Chopin himself, since he's the 'composer' of this dream, all have music inspired names. But the game begs that question that in Alice in Wonderland, are you the dreamer or merely part of the dream.
Although there are some drawbacks to the game, nothing major; unlike, RPGS there's a lack of the free-roaming with the game, it's linear, the story pushes you forward to quest completion, but I guess that's the trade off with having a game this graphically impressive, all on one disc too. There is a small glitch with animation, but it's not a major one, and can only be seen if you look directly at each character during cut-scenes, there is constant flux and movement with the hair and clothing, it vibrates for no reason asides that the character is moving around, I guess it's a version of 'rag-doll'. Also there is no world map, so you're exploring almost blind, but it's a new world you're in so it makes sense that the path you're on isn't a path you've ever travelled.
You can backtrack, but only as far as the game will allow you, it's fairly easy to level up that way, also Beat being able to take pictures and selling them for cash. Which can be fun and interesting, although it makes getting money extremely easy, also with the power of some of your attacks and the way it's all timed with the party the enemies that are beaten cash out large and all the items, weapons, and armour is very cheap compared to what you get from just one fight.
But the most beautiful thing in this game asides everything, is the flower pedals, birds and life that was placed into the game. I realize it sounds silly but there is so much going on when you're in a city or outside on a path towards a city, you'll see birds flying around, or flower pedals caught in the winds, or when it's raining you'll see the drops hitting the characters. These are small things in the game, but it shows the work, the finish, and the polish that was put into this game by the developers and designers. This game is a must own for RPG fans, I realize that the whole linear storyline and progression can be considered as negatives, but when you start playing the game and get past the long introduction, the game just unfolds beautifully. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a new kind of RPG with massive detail, and original story, this game would be amazing if it had the vast environment of Final Fantasy, or any traditional RPG, but with the art design, throw it on 3 discs and there ya go, I've fallen in love with my 360 again with this game and Bioshock. Eternal Sonata is a most own for RPG fans.