Eternal Sonata (Xbox 360) by Namco Bandai

Eternal Sonata (Xbox 360) by Namco Bandai Box Art

North Amercian Release Date: September 17, 2007.

Average Overall Score:
9.20 / 10


The story of Eternal Sonata begins as a famous composer, on his deathbed, drifts between this life and the next. In his reverie, a happenstance encounter of a young girl who accepts her terrible destiny and a young boy fighting to save her, changes the destiny of the world. Uncover the light that shines in each of us in this enduring tale of good and evil.


Sunday, July 15, 2007
Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Raindrops (Secret Achievement)
Complete chapter 1.
Revolution (Secret Achievement)
Complete chapter 2.
Fantaisie Impromptu (Secret Achievement)
Complete chapter 3.
Grande Valse Brilliante (Secret Achievement)
Complete chapter 4.
Nocturne (Secret Achievement)
Complete chapter 5.
Tristesse (Secret Achievement)
Complete Chapter 6.
Heroic (Secret Achievement)
Complete chapter 7.
Heaven's Mirror (Secret Achievement)
Complete Final chapter: Heaven's Mirror.
Grand Finale (Secret Achievement)
Defeat Frederic with Claves unlocked.
Party Level 2 (Secret Achievement)
Obtain party level 2.
Party Level 3 (Secret Achievement)
Obtain party level 3.
Party Level 4 (Secret Achievement)
Obtain party level 4.
Party Level 5 (Secret Achievement)
Obtain party level 5.
Party Level 6 (Secret Achievement)
Obtain party level 6.
Hero's Gate (Secret Achievement)
Use the Hero's Crest to open the way to Mysterious Unison.
Rondo's Return (Secret Achievement)
Defeat Rondo in Mysterious Unison.
Claves's Resurrection (Secret Achievement)
Collect all 7 pieces of Claves's Soul.
Soul Released (Secret Achievement)
Free Chord's Soul from Fort Fermata.
Xylophone Treasure (Secret Achievement)
Use your orb to open the secret door in Xylopho.
Pirate's Treasure (Secret Achievement)
Finally obtain Dolce's treasure.
Score Piece Collector (Secret Achievement)
Collect all 32 Score Pieces.
EZI Worshipper (Secret Achievement)
Collect all EZI items in the game.

User Reviews

Score: 92
Overall User Average: 9.20 / 10 (92.0%)
Gameplay User Average: 9.00 / 10
Graphics User Average: 9.50 / 10
Sound User Average: 9.00 / 10
Date reviewed: December 18, 2007.

Overall: Eternal Sonata is a Japanese-styled RPG created by developer Tri-Crescendo and published by Namco/Bandi. It was released in Japan as "Trusty Bell" in early 2007, and later in 2007 here in the US.

True to their name, Tri-Crescendo has delivered an RPG built on a foundation of music, and not just through a fictitious character like Marl in "Rhapsody," but real-life Polish cl@!%#*!ical composer and pianist Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin. 1849, Chopin slipped into a coma caused by tuberculosis and died shortly thereafter. "Eternal Sonata" is a work of fiction, based on the idea of one's life p@!%#*!ing before their eyes when death is imminent. Since Chopin was not awake and aware, but rather in a deep sleep, his life might have p@!%#*!ed before him as a fantastical dream.

Chopin lived a life in frailty, a voluntary exile from Poland after an attempted revolution that failed. Elements of "Eternal Sonata" parallel his personal turmoils, including the heroine Polka, who is an optimistic young girl and who is also terminally ill. In this world, a terminal illness begets the ability to perform magic, and Polka is shunned by many townsfolk who fear that a terminal disease could be communicable. She meets up with two young men who all seem to be on a similar mission: stop the leader of a hostile foreign country from turning their entire population into an army of mindless warriors.

(Oh, and a cheap plug for Faceplate Addict: A faceplate was given away free in Japan with preorders of "Trusty Bell" and a whopping five faceplates featuring the main characters of "Eternal Sonata" were given out randomly in the US to people who preordered the game here.)
Gameplay: The gameplay is cl@!%#*!ic Japanese turnbased (stop groaning), but with a twist. As you proceed through the fantasy locations, and the areas that connect them, you stumble into various enemies; smaller ones in the general areas, and usually a larger boss enemy right before you reach the next location.

Contact with an enemy results in a screen morph into a larger arena area with similarities to the last environment. These areas are partilly lit by some source of light and partially shrouded in darkness. You - and your enemies - have different powers available to you depending on whether you are in shadow or light. Striking an enemy from behind is more powerful a frontal attack, but in some cases the location of the light/dark areas are more important.

During each characters' turn, you have a short amount of time to prepare your plan, and then implement your attack. As the game progresses, the limitations on your time are tightened, taking away your time for planning.

Bosses can be easily underestimated, and there are a number of bosses that you will probably have to abandon, level up, and then confront again later.
Graphics: Visually, there isn't a more beautiful game. Period. By "beautiful," I mean the true meaning of the word. Colors are bright, environments are lush, man-made locations are elaborately detailed. Even the title screen that announces the name of each new location glistenes and unfolds elegantly before you. The game graphics are remeniscent of bright, Japanese animation. They are more interesting (to me, anyway) than pseudo-realistic graphics in games like Gears or Halo.

If I have an issues with the graphics, it is the limited animations and facial expressions of the main characters, and the somewhat ridiculous character design of the enemies. I LOVE the character designs of the main human cast, both heroes and villains, but battling a fat, walking onion leaves something to be desired.
Sound: The in-game audio is standard game fare, but it's the interstitials where the game shines. Between the main chapters, there is a "story break." Game graphics are replaced by a slide-show reflecting Chopin's real-life life, with his most famous musical pieces performed int he background. The stories tie in with what he may have been feeling that resulted in the composition of the song being played. I found the mini song bio's fascinating and rather than being a bore, I found them an interesting addition to the presentation of the game.

I don't remember a large amount of ambient sounds - which is probably a good thing, since those Casio-performed bird sounds in Blue Dragon drove me nuts.

The voice acting was fine. If anything, they all sounded a little too much like "professional voice actors" instead of people, and Salsa's suthin' twang was laid on a little strong. But I enjoyed Polka's cheer, Chopin's introspection, and Jazz' seriousness.
Suggestions: My only hope is that Tri-Crescendo has enough success with Eternal Sonata to put out a similar effort with one or more other famous composers. I visited their marketing website, "Endless Nocturne" during the launch period (and was given a free copy of the game for doing so). I was given a chance to offer feedback directly to Namco/Bandi and Tri-Crescendo for future stories. I begged for them to consider a similar game concept for other composers (who may have just been dreaming and not necessarily in a coma, lol). I suggested Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and even Scott Joplin, possibly in a racial conflict-centered story rather than a political one.

Overall: 92 %
Gameplay: 90 %
Graphics: 95 %
Sound: 90 %

Eternal Sonata News

Demo: Eternal Sonata
Now is your chance to play this year’s highly-anticipated RPG, Eternal Sonata, with a free demo available on Xbox Live® Marketplace.Developed for the Xbox 360TM video game and entertainment system by Tri-Crescendo.

Eternal Sonta Screens
NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. has announced Eternal Sonata, a new RPG is in development and will launch in North America in 2007. An RPG for the next generation, Eternal Sonata takes full advantage of the Xbox 360.

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