Eternal Sonata Image
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80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 95 Ratings

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  • Summary: On his deathbed, the famous composer, Chopin, drifts between this life and the next. In his final hours, he experiences a fantastical dream where he encounters a young girl facing a terrible destiny and the boy who will fight to save her. On the border between dreams and reality, Chopin discovers the light that shines in all of us in this enduring tale of good and evil, love and betrayal. [Namco Bandai Games] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 95
    While some of the battles can get tedious and take a couple of times to complete, Eternal Sonata keeps players hooked from beginning to end...and then beginning to end again.
  2. The PS3 finally has a solid RPG and despite the fact that it is one that has been ported over from the 360 it's worth checking out.
  3. 87
    Eternal Sonata really is amazing to look at and incredible fun to play. The characters endear themselves to you and the story isn’t as clichéd as most JRPGs. The only downside is that it’s a little bit shorter than other roleplaying games.
  4. Just like the symphonies that inspired its musical score, Eternal Sonata starts out slowly, making breach in the hearts and soul of the players. On the other side, fast paced battles keep the gameplay alive. Indeed, an interesting diversion from the well known themes of this next-gen. Love it or hate it, there’s no compromise; give it a good try, it could be the best JRPG experience you’ve ever had.
  5. The difficulty and overall design of the game could have been altered slightly for the better but when compared to most RPGs of this generation, Eternal Sonata is well worth it.
  6. Eternal Sonata is a good RPG, not great, but good and worth the play.
  7. 58
    You don't have to settle for mediocrity as a fan of the genre -- and you sure as hell don't have to support it.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. Dec 12, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have had this game for quite a while now but had never gotten around to beating it. Well no more, just finished it last night and am now ready to review it.

    First off the thing I noticed most of all was the attention to the color palette. ES has one of the most colorful worlds I have seen in a PS3 game yet. Everything is done in such a way as to bring out the fullness of the colors used and it makes the game loot really pretty; see Baroque Castle being a prime example. The maps are, for the most part, well designed and give you a sense of progression throughout the game in terms of the complexity of the maps.

    One point where it lacks is the number of enemy models. Throughout much of the game you will be running into slightly modified version of enemies that you found in earlier parts of the game. Bosses are also recycled in some areas as well.

    The story is nearly solid. It is one of the few truly nearly plot hole free stories released in recent times. It centers around two main characters, Frederik and Polka.

    At the start of the game you take control of Polka, a 14 year old girl who can use magic, on her way back to her village called Tenuto. In this world people who can use magic are shunned because it seems to indicate that they are inflicted with a terminal illness that cannot be cured.

    Polka soon meets Frederik in the flower field next to Tenuto and this is where our story begins. To Frederik this world he is in is nothing but a creation in a dream he is having. He states this over several times throughout the game and is adamant that this is his dream.

    At some point in the game, however, it ceases to be just a dream and the world takes on a life of its own.

    There are two powers in this world, Baroque and Forte. Each have had wars over power in the past and such a struggle takes place throughout the game's time period. through the game we learn that Count Waltz is manipulating Forte's markets to favor the use of a substance called Mineral Powder. It is said to be able to cure almost any illness and also acts as a stimulant. However there is a major side effect to this powder that the monarchy knows full well about; it turns the users into mindless slaves who can use magic.

    This is, of course, Forte's goal; to turn its populace into mindless golems so that Waltz can invade and overthrow Prince Crescendo, the temporary ruler of Baroque. Waltz, however, is also seeking a way to increase the efficiency of the Mineral Powder. He has learned that when you use glowing Agogos, a type of life form, that Mineral Powder will instantly turn the taker into a extremely powerful monster.

    As he mines Mount Rock for Mineral Power he also sends his henchmen to seek out glowing Agogos and eventually Polka as well when it is revealed that she is the source of the glowing Agogos.

    The game leads up to the ending where you fight, major spoiler, Frederik. He has decided that since this world has become more of a reality to him then reality itself that he wants to test to see if this world is truly no longer just a dream, expecting it to vanish upon his own death.

    The ending for the game is very long, 45 minutes at least, and does take a bit of thought to put into perspective due to its ambiguity. Some people have said that at the end Polka dies and is reborn as a girl and then is magically transformed into her original self at the start of the game, however this is not the case.

    The world that Polka inhabits is cyclical, meaning that all of the events in the game have happened before. There are hints to this when Allegretto give Polka that stone that she throws away and also when they find the fortune teller. What we are seeing at the end is the cycle repeating after Polka's "death", or rather her intentions of sacrificing herself have caused the world to return to an earlier stage.

    What we see at the end of the game is Frederik using his life to break that cycle and to end Polka's eternal path of self sacrifice. The Polka we then see rise back over the cliff is not a different Polka but the same one that jumped over. Like I said it is very abstract and ambiguous and takes a fare amount of deductive reasoning to sort out properly.

    Overall this is a great game and definitely one of the better JRPG's on the PS3. I got around 60 hours out of it but I did not try to find everything nor did I go through the Church of Ezi.

    I give it a 9/10.
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  2. May 2, 2012
    9
    We all know that the PS3 is not the JRPG heavy hitter the PS2 used to be, so it took me some time finding a few that looked interesting to me. One of those that caught my eye immediately is Eternal Sonata. Why you ask? There is something about the game and character design that was appealing to me, much more than most other games I had seen before. Without spoiling too much, the games events take place in the dream world of a dying Frederic Chopin. Yes, THAT Chopin. Even if that was not the case, the world itself is easily one of the most beautifully designed settings I have seen in a very long time. The playable characters are simply adorable, from a young girl that is "cursed" with the power of magic, two "hellion" boys that fight for the poor kids of their town, Chopin himself (!)and almost a dozen of other unique and interesting characters. The story itself sounds familiar, the ruler of a kingdom is flooding the market with a new type of medicine that is tax-free (thus cheap) but has side-effects that I won't spoil here. On the quest to solve the mystery behind this, the characters join forces. The PS3 version is an enhanced port of the original X-Box360 game, with additional characters and different endings which, afaik, consist of different cut scenes only. What I like most about this game is that, unlike many other RPGs, it does not force you to grind or farm stuff for hours and hours. Instead, all important items you will need can be found through exploring the areas, which is actually FUN (yes!) because the areas are beautiful. What sounds so simple seems to be very difficult in fact, as more and more RPGs rely on farming the s*** out of everything. (Resonance of Fate, anyone?) Fighting in this game is a lot of fun, easy to learn but with some tricks once you go more into depth of the system. I am having a hard time finding negative aspects, but there are some very minor letdowns. What might be an upset for some is that there are no trophies in the PS3 version. I didn't mind, as many trophies only force you to do something that is not actually fun or necessary. Another thing is that you will find items in the game that you can use to interact with some NPCs. These are not numbered and sorted in order of the time you find them, which can be confusing. The last negative point is that there is no map of any kind. As some of the dungeons are quite complex, a map that you can complete by exploring (as XIII-2) would have been useful, or a percentage telling you how much of the map you have explored already. However, none of the above can change the fact that this is one of the best JRPGs for the PS3, a lovable game that every RPG-fan should enjoy. Expand
  3. Oct 10, 2012
    9
    Eternal Sonata contains some of the most beautiful music no other game has ever had. The environment is breath taking and the so are the characters. Each character in Eternal Sonata is full of emotions and spirit. The game mechanic for Eternal Sonata is addicting and challenging. The game includes an interesting light/dark mechanic where your skills change when you're in a shadow or out near some light. The story to Eternal Sonata can become a bit drawn out or you could lose it in general. Eternal Sonata is a perfect example of what most JRPG's need, stunning music, characters with emotions, and a fun combat system that has you always moving and thinking what to do next in a matter of seconds. Expand
  4. Jul 21, 2012
    8
    Beautiful game with beautiful graphic, the story is quite confusing you might have to look up for more understanding. The only thing I can complain about is sometimes the cut scene is just too long, and the dialogues have delays, which can be very irritating. The story is actually very good if you can pay more attention and dig up some info by yourself. If you like JRPG, please do try Eternal Sonata.=) Expand
  5. Jun 28, 2011
    7
    FUN FUN FUN! The battle system is so goddamn fun! The graphics are gorgeous, the soundtrack is uber lovely and the characters are, for the most part, lame as all hell. It does have an ounce of originality but the bad writing does a good job of flushing that down the drain, leaving behind another typical (but fun) JRPG to love. Expand
  6. Sep 22, 2011
    4
    I can't believe i'm the only one who thinks this game is crap. Visuals are mediocre at best and the artistic design is so boring and generic it hurts. Towns and dungeons especially suffer from poor design, making you lose all the excitement about discovering new places (they all look pretty much the same). Only character design makes the cut. For a game based on a musical theme, music is surprisingly disappointing. The story and writing are so dull and clichéd it is ridiculous, and they will make you want to smash Polka's head against a wall in no time. There is absolutely NO customization for your character development except choosing the skills you want to bring to battle (wow) and your equipment. The battle system is boring, with little strategy involved: it basically consists in button-mashing most of the time and normal battles provide no excitement or challenge at all. Boss battles really do, but the biggest impact on the outcome of those will be pressing a button in time to defend against attacks, suddenly turning this JRPG in some kind of ridiculous rythm/reflexes minigame. The light and dark system makes very little impact on the battles, except when it comes to healing. The controls in battle are clunky, the camera is awful (often hiding where the f**k enemies are), and this combined will make absolutely no guarantee that the game does what you want it to do (especially if you want to play Viola, who loves to miss arrow shots for apparently no reason). The only positive feature I can think about is the inclusion of japanese voices (kudos for that).
    Being a JRPG fan, I was extremely disappointed by this game and i would recommend to avoid it unless you are that type of jrpg fan that plays every genre game even if it is crap. If that's the case, good luck.
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  7. Apr 15, 2014
    0
    I like JRPGS I love video games but this game ooohhhhh my god.
    I start it up it shows some opening cut scenes with terrible dialogue. So far
    so good. I get to fight some beginning enemies. Usual button mash. Then soon I get to the first boss. The fight takes 5 minutes and during any turn I am at risk at unfair death because boss could/would take multiple turns to my 1 and unless I pressed every single split second guard prompt I am dead. This is with my reaction time being above average. Ok. lets continue. Same thing repeats terrible cutscenes more button mashing and now next boss. This one I find out I can not beat at my character level .... So I spend 15 minutes running back and forth leveling by killing that same poor single design enemy. Come back and impossible battle is now total push over. 10 hours into the game same patern repeats. The difficulty is either below easy or impossible. Every boss fight is a chore. Every dungeon has a single enemy design and is a straight path. Also did I mention that there is no retry option so on death you have to load the game and loose whatever progress you have made ... Expand

See all 14 User Reviews