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Was Eternal Sonata an underrated/underappreciated JRPG?

KàIRóS

Member
It's been awhile since I last made a thread here at GAF, and I've been meaning to do this one since Microsoft announed no more backwards compat titles, basically I'm just pissed off that they didn't include this game and now I kinda want to whine about it :messenger_face_steam:

A brief introduction in case someone has never heard of the game, so historically this game was one of the first "next gen JRPGs" back in the seventh gen consoles, when Microsoft wanted to really push the Xbox 360 sales in Japan and they started hiring Japanese Devs and suddenly got a surge of JRPGs in the console, you know: Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Star Ocean 4, Tales of Vesperia even FromSoftware's attempt at a traditional JRPG with Enchanted Arms and well Eternal Sonata was among those titles yet it never reached popularity like some of those I mentioned, it later got ported to PS3 but it had even fiercer competition there (Final Fantasy XIII) it was developed by Tri-Crescendo who at the time were semi popular for the Baten Kaitos JRPGs in the GameCube and it was published by Namco.



Anyway I recently replayed this game (this is like the 4th time I replay it, I obviously had to do it in the good ol' 360, F*** Microsoft) and everytime I play it I end up thinking "why was this game not popular back in the day?" the one thing that always makes me come back to it is the combat, it has such a unique battle system that combines Turn Based, Action and Strategy in it's mechanics, it genuinely starts as a full turn based rpg that lets you take your time to figure out it's initial mechanics of strategical positiong in the battlefield and time management of the turns, but by the end of the game it becomes a very intense action rpg that requires all the attention of the player to react to what is going on and I love it, the story is really confusing, I'm pretty sure anyone that has played the game can agree on this but at the same time that makes it unique and very interpretational (basically you're supposedly in the dream world of polish pianist Frédéric Chopin while he is in his death bed in the real world circa 1849, and he himself is one of the party members, sounds crazy? well it gets even crazier once you play it), Soundtrack has some really banger battle themes and the nod to Chopin's piano music is great too, the graphics have surprisingly aged well thanks to the cel shading art style, and again the gameplay is great, easily the best thing about the game.


(This is New Game+ combat, with an optional boss)

So what do you guys think about this game? did it deserve more love back then or do you really think it was just an average JRPG? does it deserve more love now? Bamco has been making some remasters lately, this game is probably not in their priority list but who knows right?
 
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BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
Very bizarre game. I would’ve loved to hear the pitch meeting for this. A JRPG about the death of Chopin.

I don’t really remember anything about it other than the combat was good as you said. Wonder how it runs on RPCS3 🏃‍♂️
 

AmuroChan

Member
Personally I thought it was a decent 6/10 kind of game. I found the game overly obtuse, but I appreciate the fact it tried to do something unique.
 

Aion002

Member
Cool game indeed. I still have the ps3 disc, I never finished, but I got close to the end and I just stopped... I guess I got tired of the gameplay and never cared about story/characters.

Still, I have fond memories of it.
 
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Ehh. Interesting concept, fun combat that gets old after a while, nice graphics. But it’s ruined by terrible anime writing and characters.

I too had a faceplate from pre ordering (the Chopin one)
 

Northeastmonk

Gold Member
I remember playing the demo. I didn’t purchase it just cause it did not really appeal to me. I also never bought Enchanted Arms. I’ve played quite a bit of JRPGs and those seemed very mediocre at the time. That whole console Gen felt like it got mediocre JRPGs. Mistwalker was teasing Blue Dragon. Valkyrie Profile 2 came out that year and that’s why it completely flew off my radar. The PS2 had some really good JRPGs around that time. Xenosaga 3 had come out a year prior and Final Fantasy XII.
 

Mr Hyde

Member
It was a 5/10 at best. Interesting premise and mechanics with the light and dark theme, but the overall story and characters were sub par and a very linear world with boring exploration. The music was kinda good, considering it was based off classical compositions by Chopin.
 

clem84

Gold Member
This game required you to have good reflexes to win battles. I remember when I played this on the 360 back then, my TV had a pretty bad delay so beating the game was impossible for me.
 
I really enjoyed Eternal Sonata. It's a solid 4/5 for me. For one, music is everything and I adore Chopin. Two, the battle system was incredibly fun and three, it had a lot of quirky charm. The story was a bit insane, but overall I had a really good time with it. I'd say it's certainly underappreciated.
 

SantaC

Member
No, I would say Lost Odyssey is the one that was underappreciated 360/PS3 era JRPG, it wasn't perfect but still really good.
On the contrary LO is overrated. I couldnt take the crying kids in that game. Wasnt there a terrible funeral scene that never ended also

Battle system was too slow.
 
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Yumi

Member
I love JRPG’s, grew up with old ones. A personal gripe I have with them now is that it takes so long to get into interesting combat. So this is not a selling point to me, and wouldn’t differentiate itself from any of the many commonly known great JRPG’s.
 

Meicyn

Gold Member
On the contrary LO is overrated. I couldnt take the crying kids in that game. Wasnt there a terrible funeral scene that never ended also

Battle system was too slow.
Completely agree, Lost Odyssey’s Thousand Years of Powerpoint short stories were legit good. But the in-game stuff is mediocre at best and outright Saturday morning cartoonish at worst, so you end up with this weird dichotomy of compelling versus padded content with the funeral bit being particularly egregious. The combat is a slog and not for good reasons, and it’s not like I hate turn based gaming considering I still play games like Civilization. Soundtrack is incredible, but it’s Uematsu so that’s not surprising.

Lost Odyssey is a game I tried to like but just couldn’t, much like Blue Dragon and The Last Remnant.
 

Gamer79

Predicts the worst decade for Sony starting 2022
I played it on the gamecube when it came out. I found it kinda weird.
 
It looks pretty (environments anyway), has nice music and fun combat.

Characters however sucked.

Overall a fun game, have the 360 version.
 

bender

What time is it?
I'm pretty sure you had to play through the game twice to get all of the musical notes (sheets?) which I did. I don't remember a lot about the game except it was nice looking and the story was a Chopin fever dream.
 

Belthazar

Member
It was a very cool game and the whole Chopin's fever dream aspect was very well done and interesting.

It had some flaws with the balancing, but the battle system was a lot of fun so it was never that much of a problem.
 
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royox

Member
Beautiful game with interesting gameplay but it took too long for the combat to be good. Played it, ended it and sold it. I keep a good memory of it but nothing else.
 

Fbh

Member
The demo for this was one of the first things I played on my 360. For some reason I never picked up the game though.

Completely agree, Lost Odyssey’s Thousand Years of Powerpoint short stories were legit good. But the in-game stuff is mediocre at best and outright Saturday morning cartoonish at worst, so you end up with this weird dichotomy of compelling versus padded content with the funeral bit being particularly egregious. The combat is a slog and not for good reasons, and it’s not like I hate turn based gaming considering I still play games like Civilization. Soundtrack is incredible, but it’s Uematsu so that’s not surprising.

Lost Odyssey is a game I tried to like but just couldn’t, much like Blue Dragon and The Last Remnant.

Yeah I kind have to agree.
Still really enjoyed my time with the game and to me it felt more like a real FFXIII. But in retrospective it could have been a lot better. I agree many of the shorts stories were a lot better written than the melodramatic actual plot of the game, and the kids kinda further ruined it by being consistently cringy and annoying.

I liked the combat itself, but random encounters in any game after the SNES era is a shit mechanic
 

manzo

Member
Fun combat, great soundtrack and nice environments/art direction. Totally forgettable characters and story, even though the setting was good. The writing was just all over the place.

The combat starts boring and gets fun at the end of the game.

A solid 6/10, nothing to write home about though. Still listen to the OST every now and then.
 
S

SpongebobSquaredance

Unconfirmed Member
always wanted to play this. my personal underappreciated RPG of the time is Resonance of Fate.
 
What really killed Lost Odyssey for me was the battles. IIRC it was like 11 seconds of loading time for a random battle, and the whole timed button press thing made your basic attacks so time-consuming and tedious. It felt like a punishment any time I got into a battle (although at least the encounter rate wasn’t so bad).
 

Guileless

Temp Banned for Remedial Purposes
Lost Odyssey Remaster when?

As for Eternal Sonata, I convinced myself one summer when I was really bored that it was fun. I don't remember much about it though.
 

Larxia

Member
I think it had a nice atmosphere.
It looked really really pretty back then, I'm pretty sure it was the best looking anime game available at some point. I like that the combats were more action based than most jrpgs at that time, it also had nice environment and musics.
I think I would probably play it again if they released it on PC.
 

SkylineRKR

Member
I beat the PS3 version which was much harder and more fleshed out.

Its not a terrible game, but not great either. I took me 25 hours ish, but spread out over months as I usually put it away for some time. The combat is decent and only gets good near the end sadly. The dialogue is cringe. I guess it was passable. While the 360 got a lot of JRPG at the time, the Ps2 still got better ones. Most of those 360 JRPG were lacking for some reason.
 

Xeaker

Member
That game was horrible, when the 30 minutes cutscene happened, where some character died, when he got alive again and another 10 minute cutscene happened where he died, I quit the game.
 
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