Forgive me for posting this here but the Eternal Sonata forums just have no traffic and for those who like JRPG's and have missed this one I suggest digging around for it.
A few years late I know but I finally got around to playing it and beating it. Apart from a few annoying things about it and boss battles that really did not need to be that hard!!! I loved it. It has done something I've never come across in a game before, tackle historical fiction essentially, but with a fantasy twist. Most of it was fantasy of course, but the history lessons it gave in between chapters with a piano sonata playing was probably one of my favorite parts of the game and was the treat I looked forward to as a reward for playing through. I did find part of the story confusing though and the end almost brought up more questions than answers, but it gave enough information that I could extract a few theories about a few specific things it seemed to not explain very well.
What makes this game special to me is that it embraced other art forms and acknowledged the fact that the real world exists and doesn't try so hard to pretend it is its own world and nothing real exists except was it within the game world.
It took one of human histories greatest composers, brought his music and story and put him into a fantasy world and the results were quite magical for me. And one of the greatest things art can do is lead us into new directions. Precious few games do this, cause us to seek out new information and to learn new things, but Eternal Sonata did. For one (even though I've obviously heard him before) it caused me to listen to more of Chopin, and appreciate his piano sonatas again. Because even though its fiction, in a way I feel like I've gotten to know his music a bit better, and I know some of his history where I didn't know it before, and I travelled with a fictional version of chopin through a fantasy world and it made me feel a bit more connected to his music, it made his music more personal. That is a wondeful thing this game has done.
It also introduced me to Goerge Sand. I now am trying to find out if any of her books are translated into english as I am extremely curious to read her. I can't think of another game that has made me aware of an author and made me curious enough to seek out their books.
Eternal Sonata (if I remember correctly) did not get great reviews, because they were so focused on their not being a great variety in the enemies, and the story being full of tropes. It just seemed to be presented as another JRPG, which contained nothing new or different. But that in my opinion is completely missing the point to the game and focusing on the wrong things. To me, the game tried all kinds of new things. The battle system was unique to me, and fun and challenging. And yes the skin may have been a standard JRPG (though with stunning art) but underneath that skin lay a very special game. The likes I have never seen before. It is a beautiful love letter to Chopin and the creators obviously had great love of his life and music.
I am so so glad that years later I dusted off my copy to finally play through it because it is a game that will stay with me.
Congratulations on finishing your copy of Eternal Sonata. Although you've not finished the game in a more timely manner, I can say that I too completed the game a bit late. Well, that is I beat the game after beating BioShock, which happened in early 2009. But anyway, where I thought BioShock to be a good game, I felt Eternal Sonata to be incredible. In fact, it's my favorite RPG from this generation.
Eternal Sonata is beautiful, awe-inspiring, and I love the way that characters are each named after a musical accord. You have favorites like Beat, Polka, Allegretto, and so on. This role-playing experience is one that was definitely overlooked at the time of its release, and I only wish that weren't the case.
Heh I know, I'm often a few years behind the times. I tend to move at my own snail pace and get on the bandwagon after it's wheels have all been broken and it was left abandoned for the new motor car and I think WOW what a great invention this bandwagon is.
I'm glad you all enjoyed it as well! I hope some poeple see this though and decide to give it a try, it really is such an under rated game. Though I suppose tons of great games are :-(