• Publisher: Konami
  • Release Date: Jul 9, 2001

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 16
  2. Negative: 7 out of 16
  1. 42
    There are bad games that anger me, and then there are bad games that just confuse me. Ephemeral Fantasia belongs in the latter column...I'll slide this one in the drawer and forget about it, while most of you shouldn't even give it that much attention.
  2. 40
    Un-inspiring characters fighting un-inspired battles to get to un-inspired cutscenes just makes for a boring, tedious disc. If you hate RPGs there will be nothing in this game to change your mind.
  3. A study in bad design and boring gameplay... Heed my stern warning and don't talk to Ephemeral Fantasia. Don't pass her notes. Don't try to get test answers off of her. She's an evil witch.
  4. It's not exactly hard though, and within minutes the fighting action matches the story pace: boring.
  5. The scale of the town maps and the repetitive graphics make navigating around the map a laborious chore. [Oct 2001, p.148]
  6. There are no surprise plot twists, no mysteries to unravel - nothing to keep you hooked at all. [Oct 2001, p.134]
  7. Reaching into new depths of crappiness that few developers have dared explore, Konami has tried to hide a poorly-made PSone RPG in PS2 packaging.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 37 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 3 out of 27
  1. Nov 11, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. This is one of those games that starts slow but gets better as you play it, which itself is an indicator of bad game design, but not necessarily sure sign. The pacing is slow, but the story is gripping and even a little disturbing from the very beginning. Even if you think the game isn't good in the beginning, there's enough to keep you in it. Combat mechanics are a bit cumbersome but not as bad as some I've seen. The battlers are a bit cheesy. There's a lot of frustration in this game centered on the fact that through most of it, you simply don't know what you're supposed to do. It become clear pretty quickly that the "benevolent" ruler of the island isn't a very nice guy and generally enjoys the terrible power he wields over his unsuspecting populace, using that power to force them to live the same week over and over again, like the movie Groundhog's Day, but with an evil overlord making it miserable and extending it to five days. Hey, he can't be all bad. At least he's making them repeat a festival for the rest of eternity instead of something boring or catastrophic. The writing is superb. The evil overlord, Xelpherpolis is portrayed perfectly, seeming truly benevolent with dark and sinister overtones belying his true evil nature.

    The problem with this game: IT DOES NOT TELL TELL YOU WHAT TO DO. Unlike other major productions such as Breath of Fire, Atelier, and Final Fantasy, this game doesn't hold your hand. Except for a few control tutorials, you have to explore and figure things out for yourself. This game is designed to challenge you. Instead of NPCs telling you where to go and what to do and obvious events, you have to find little clues that aren't obvious. This game requires some significant detective work and nothing demonstrates this better than the mission to rescue Rummy from the time loop, in which you have to prevent her from attempting to kill Lorellani, Xelpherpolis' future wife.

    Game mechanics aren't good, but they're not bad either. They can be annoying but aren't seriously detrimental. Once you've rescued one or two playable characters, you start to understand the story and really get into the game.

    All of the minor problems coupled with the slow starting, complex story make this game a bit misunderstood and under-appreciated. It's far from perfect, and a game like this is always going to have problems, but those who have the patience and enjoy exploration will find a real jewel in this game. Those who can't act without being directed need not apply.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 12, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I wanted to like this game, I really did...

    It has restrictions on timeframes whereby you have to be at a specific place at a certain time in order to progress, which can be difficult and unappealing after the initial playing wears off. There are constant monotonous battles, you are frequently left scratching your head about what you need to do next, and the load times in between areas on the PS2 can send you to sleep.

    The graphics are poor, although I can personally see past those if the plot or gameplay pull me in, for EF they just add to the list of weaknesses.

    When the music and mini-games are the only things preventing the game receiving a zero score, you know that its a dud.
    Full Review »
  3. May 2, 2013
    Fun, but confusing, the story is a great one, but to recruit other party members, it takes a lot of time and searching. Wasn't the mostFun, but confusing, the story is a great one, but to recruit other party members, it takes a lot of time and searching. Wasn't the most explained game, but still a great play. Full Review »