Generally favorable reviews - based on 56 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 56
  2. Negative: 0 out of 56
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  1. A unique concept, stunning graphics, inspiring audio and enjoyable gameplay comes together to create a fantastic RPG experience that rivals close competition.
  2. The story and some of the mechanics do work better in Blue Dragon but Eternal Sonata's artistic mastery and amazing combat help to balance the scales.
  3. 90
    Nevertheless, it remains a beautiful, engaging and ridiculously addictive game much thanks to its ludicrous amount of details, bubbles and cel-shading.
  4. 90
    While the balance issues are irritating, to say the least, Eternal Sonata's artistic appeal more than makes up for what the gameplay is lacking. With an excellent story, interesting characters, impressive music, and quite frankly the most beautiful graphics ever produced in a video game, Eternal Sonata is without question the first must-play RPG of the new console generation.
  5. Play Magazine
    Eternal Sonata is the JRPG that the 360 needs, and the story saves it from being cliche, but gamers shouldn't be expecting a reinvention of the genre. [Sept 2007, p.72]
  6. What it may lack in length, it more than makes up for in absolutely every other aspect. The battle system is addictively fun, the multifaceted story is riveting, and the graphics are amazing... we couldn't ask for much more.
  7. 90
    While the storyline is certainly one that has been created solely for the purpose of amusing, it does so on many levels and is easily one of the more entertaining titles you'll find in the realm of role-playing games.
  8. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Lovingly crafted, musical, involving, delightful, beautiful, addictive and crammed with anime cheese. [Issue#25, p.92]
  9. A beautifully composed role-playing game that is delightfully unique experience for those who appreciate a game that’s wildly imaginative.
  10. The combat has been really well thought out, the exploring is fun thanks to the gorgeous art style and the whole game just comes over as an entertaining way to spend 30-40 hours of your life.
  11. With all of these musical elements in tow, gorgeous cel-shade graphics with fantastic designs and fluid animations round out the package for a complete storybook aesthetic that’s a refreshingly fluorescent sashay away from the gravelly grays and browns of next-gen post-apocalyptic realism.
  12. 85
    The exciting and varied battle system, the impeccable visuals and the bonkers yet brilliant central story idea make this one of the most charmingly enjoyable games I've played in a while.
  13. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    Even to gamers more used to Bioware and Bethesda, it’s still a great proposition to everyone who likes RPGs, with its delightful backstory and visuals. [Nov 2007]
  14. 85
    Eternal Sonata offers a unique blend of beautiful scenery and surprisingly tactical combat to create one of the better RPG's that we've seen over the past few years. This is definitely worth a crack for hardcore and casual RPG fans alike.
  15. Eternal Sonata's superb art direction will dazzle you, but a dreamy story and exciting battles make it sing.
  16. Though an extremely linear experience, the game will eat up a good twenty hours of your time the first play, and rewards those dedicated enough to go back for a second go-around with additional items and achievements not attainable your first time through.
  17. This is the kind of game you can play once or maybe twice and maybe never come back to it, but the experience from playing the game is one to remember.
  18. The incredible visuals, mature storyline, and fun, pseudo real time combat keep the game feeling fresh from start to finish.
  19. It may not be pushing the genre forward in terms of plot, but Eternal Sonata's other components come together with such harmony that it will have you calling for an encore. [Sept 2007, p.118]
  20. 83
    A great RPG to give to your kid, but it’s also put together well enough for older gamers to enjoy. If you haven’t had much experience with RPGs, Eternal Sonata would be a great way to get your feet wet.
  21. 83
    Thus far, Eternal Sonata is the best Japanese RPG on the Xbox 360. While the game is far from perfect and it could have been so much more, it does have some very entertaining and unique traits that will have any fans of the genre jumping for joy.
  22. Eternal Sonata is a wonderful ensemble of fascinating characters and a remarkable story about the life (and death) of Frederic Chopin.
  23. This unpredictable tale will have players engaged until the excellent finale.
  24. Eternal Sonata is a gorgeous ode to Chopin and his music, a different and charming RPG that perhaps won’t convince the hardened fans, due to its extreme linearity and short duration, but is nonetheless a triumph of narrative and presentation.
  25. Official Xbox Magazine
    If you're predisposed to cuteness, level-grinding, and some outright earnest, sweet-tempered madness, ditch all disbelief and consider Sonata your match made in heaven. [Sept 2007, p.70]
  26. Hardcore Gamer
    Despite the bubble-eyed anime character designs, the game's script is sharp and subtle in a way that anime usually isn't. [Sept 2007, p.60]
  27. 80
    There's plenty of fun to be had but the title falls just a little short of the hurdle that it's trying to leap. [Oct 2007, p.83]
  28. It's by no means perfect, but with an enchanting story, a fairly unique combat system that is both real-time, turn-based, and gorgeously colorful landscapes to traipse through, most players will find more than enough in the roughly 30 hours of play time to justify the $60 purchase.
  29. Eternal Sonata is an RPG filled with charm and style, but lacking in content. Those uninitiated with the RPG genre will get a lot more out of this than regular RPG gamers, but even the most hardcore will love Chopin.
  30. The wonderful narrative, great cast, enjoyable battle system and stunningly beautiful music and artwork are all compelling reasons to explore Chopin's deathbed dream. However, we can't escape the feeling that this isn't so much an eternal sonata, as an unfinished symphony.
  31. A stunningly exquisite looking RPG, Eternal Sonata also manages to create a fluid alternative to the standard plod of Japanese RPGs. It does hold onto some cliches of the genre however, with dodgy dialogue (at times) and of course, the overly fantastical setting - but this is one example of the genre that even those repelled by Eternal Sonata's brethren should try. It will surprise you.
  32. You'll be asking for an encore come the end.
  33. AceGamez
    I really enjoyed Eternal Sonata. There are dozens of hours of gameplay available with numerous quests to embark upon, fantastical items, weapons and armour to collect and a genuinely thought provoking and accomplished story that I don't dare to reveal any more about for fear of ruining it for everyone.
  34. This mesmerising harmony of pastel colours and peerless audio is without doubt one of the 360's most significant RPGs, and it is essential for fans of the genre. It suffers from repetition with regard to battles, but it is still worth every beat of your heart that passes as you play.
  35. Lots to see and do, although I doubt there’s any replay value there.
  36. If Oblivion is the equivalent of a month-long trek across the Serengeti, then Sonata's like being chauffer-driven through Tuscany on a Sunday afternoon.
  37. Games Master UK
    It is not the sweeping epic we were hoping for but it's still a real delight to play. [Dec 2007, p.74]
  38. Though the game has some interesting features—including educational facts that relate to Chopin—the alternating running and combat gets tiresome.
  39. Although the game suffers from it’s story, unbalanced characters, and an uninspired creature design, the game can still be considered the best JRPG on the 360 thanks in large part to exciting battles and its strong visual appeal.
  40. Eternal Sonata isn’t a deep RPG by any means. There are few customizable options and very little in the way of exploration or even choice, but it is elegant and pretty.
  41. Poor dialogue may occasionally shatter this otherwise remarkable backdrop, but the rest of the story is more than adequate enough to convey a story of love, struggle, life, and death; at times in captivating ways.
  42. 75
    While the musical presentation was excellent, the gameplay passable, and the controls well executed, the horrible job with the story and the disappointing graphics dragged down the game a lot. Add in the short playtime and you have a game that is a rental at best, but definitely not a purchase.
  43. Not exactly Chopin's story, and not exactly like any other fantasy role-playing game.
  44. Eternal Sonata is a great effort, but Chopin need not worry about his music being forgotten in favor of the memories of this game; by the time you finish, you might not even remember playing it yourself.
  45. Pelit (Finland)
    A visually beautiful adventure that ultimately fails to deliver where it counts. The irritating script, the dumbed-down game mechanics and the utter lack of anything remotely resembling a challenge lead to the regrettable conclusion that Xbox 360 is still lacking its definitive j-rpg title. [Nov 2007]
  46. games(TM)
    For all its loveliness and in spite of its adventurous battle system, Chopin’s Dream is ultimately too restrained to be classed as revolutionary. [Sept 2007, p.122]
  47. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    If you're brave enough to look past aesthetics, Eternal Sonata is worth hearing out. [Oct 2007, p.100]
  48. Much like an orchestra with a flat brass section, Eternal Sonata strings together a great battle system and beautiful presentation to the backdrop of an out-of-tune story and lacking character development.
  49. Edge Magazine
    There’s nothing revolutionary in Eternal Sonata, but it’s a well-executed RPG with style in abundance. [Nov 2007, p.98]
  50. Eternal Sonata is a beautiful game. It has excellent music, a reasonably well done dub and a curious and interesting setting. This doesn't change the fact that it is far too easy.
  51. Overall I came away from Eternal Sonata feeling pretty impressed. In the beginning, the lengthy and frequent cut scenes really started to grate on my nerves, but after the 6 hour I started to really take an interest in certain characters, and the game felt like it just took off from there.
  52. netjak
    Now that it's over, however, it's obvious that the game will disappoint people looking for an RPG on the 360 that's truly on the level of Final Fantasy.
  53. The engaging battle system eventually turned into a tedious exercise, and the lighthearted and sentimental story grew increasingly sluggish and labored.
  54. 60
    In the end, Eternal Sonata is let down by its failure to take advantage of the story it sets up for itself.
  55. 60
    If anything, the engaging battle system shows Eternal Sonata's massive untapped potential -- if the rest of the experience had been as fleshed out, we might be talking about the first great 360 RPG. This isn't a bad game per se; the biggest problem is that there's just not enough of a game here.
  56. 60
    Is it too much to ask that JRPG’s grow up? That we stop letting “aww, pretty!” moments excuse cornball ones? There’s no reason an RPG like Eternal Sonata couldn’t be twice as well written and half as morally blunt.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 100 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 31
  2. Negative: 4 out of 31
  1. Sep 5, 2013
    The first game I owned on the Xbox360 and still the one I consider my favourite.

    The story, whilst difficult at times to understand, is
    The first game I owned on the Xbox360 and still the one I consider my favourite.

    The story, whilst difficult at times to understand, is lovely. The characters are like able and the voice acting on them especially Polka is fitting. Even if a player does not enjoy the voiceovers the game offers the ability to change the voiceovers to Japanese which are just as equally well voiced.

    The combat is difficult and punishing at times but as you play more and more it will become more familiar. A clever thing to note is with the theme of music in the game. Blocking in combat especiallly bosses is about rhythm.

    The game is quite lengthy even if the path is linear.

    It's really difficult to review this game as it's something that really should just be experienced rather than described.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 5, 2013
    Beautiful visuals, fun combat and well done voice acting. I really enjoyed the underlying message from the story, which I hope isn't lost onBeautiful visuals, fun combat and well done voice acting. I really enjoyed the underlying message from the story, which I hope isn't lost on most players. All in all it was a fun game but something about the whole thing felt lacking. I can't put my finger on it, so instead of a 9 or 10, i gave it an 8. Full Review »
  3. Oct 29, 2013
    The classiest and most artistic RPG I've ever witnessed, the battle system was unique and very entertaining with the ability to team up withThe classiest and most artistic RPG I've ever witnessed, the battle system was unique and very entertaining with the ability to team up with your party members to deliver devastating attacks. It was visually stunning and the soundtrack matched it's elegance, the story was interesting and at times educational, nothing out there like this one. The enemies were sometimes recycled and lacked in variety, but that is more of a microscopic problem. Money comes easy in this game and you'll battle bosses and rare monsters with an eagerness, due to the photography opportunities that rake in the cash by simply snapping a great shot. My truly strong complaint is the lack of duration, this was an insanely SHORT game (20+ Hrs.) by today's RPG standards, so it was difficult to realize the game was done. I would have wanted a lengthier game to keep using it's addictive battle system, this game was very enjoyable. Full Review »