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2nd October
written by Splash

Title: Trusty Bell: Chopin’s Dream (トラスティベル ~ショパンの夢~) (US title: Eternal Sonata)
Console: PS3
Genre: Single player RPG, Fantasy
Language: Japanese
Company: Namco, Tri-Crescendo
Summary: I had totally gotten this game because something about the cast list interested me, but then I completely forgot what the cast was by the time I actually started playing it, lawl. PLEASANTLY SURPRISED. Shimono Hiro <3 ~~ I like Hirano's voice and ... lol Kon/Itou's voice~ Story: 10. You don’t get this kind of creative concept in a game often. All of the gameplay takes place in Chopin’s dream as he lies sick, waiting to die… It’s slightly morbid, and that’s what makes it aresome. It took me a while to get used to the slow pacing of the storytelling in general. It’s VERY different from what you’ll get from most games. The biggest thing I noticed is that the voiced scenes have almost NO background music in them. That’s not something you get in almost all games. I think this is something Tri-Crescendo tends to do though. Once I got used to it, it felt very meditative. I like it, especially for a game with this kind of setting. It’s also a strong indicator to me if I like the plot interaction enough that I don’t need background music to help it along during the voiced scenes.
Characters: 9.5. I felt the hots for Allegretto and Polka together, I did. Mostly because there wasn’t anyone else cuter for Allegretto to go with. XDDDD But seriously, they were cute!!! I also think about how Shimono Hiro prefers girls who actually have girly speech patterns (not manleh ones) and it kind of moe’s me up too. XD;
And Chopin was dreamy. Literally. lol. Viola was my favorite other character to play game-wise. The character designs are whimsical as well. The only points I take off here are for the lack of detail they could have potentially gone with these character backgrounds/personalities that they COULD take the time to delve into. The potential was there if they only milked it a bit more! XD
Graphics: 10. It’s not “omg almost so real” like Final Fantasy, but that’s exactly what makes it awesome. I am a sucker for pretty colors. For 3-D anime, it looks beautifullllllll. And the colors and settings are beautiful as well. Heck, they even make SEWERS pretty. Bonus points there. During the many and long cut scenes, the cinematics are just awesome. The character expressions are well animated and well choreographed. They occasionally use a really nice, soft glow in there too.
Sound: 10. Considering it’s a game about a composer, Chopin, of all people, OF COURSE THE MUSIC BETTER BE DAMN GOOD. 8| I love Chopin; he’s my favorite piano composer ever. I loved especially the interludes when they played pieces that indirectly reflect on the events in the game, while giving background on Chopin’s real life. Beautiful. Also, Motoi Sakuraba’s music for this is so much better than any Tales soundtrack he’s done imo, because I’m an orc dork. >_>;
Gameplay: 10. BUTTON-MASHIN’ FUN. FUN IS JUSTICE. Not just button mashing, but timing is important too! And actual strategy is involved too! I love it! Without a walkthrough, the dungeons are really frustrating to go through, however. I’d recommend using a guide for this game unless you really enjoy wasting time getting lost or have a special skill for mazes. Anyway, I didn’t think much of this system at first, but once I got the hang of it, it’s soooooooo much fun. I can see that it’d be really frustrating for people who can’t handle it well, but too bad for you; this is my kind of play.
Replay Value: 9. Plenty of interest to play a second round, as all of the monsters are much more challenging the second time around, and you have to play it twice to complete all of the achievements. For the PS3 version, the alternate outfits are fun, and besides Polka’s 2nd alternate outfit, you can play most of the game with the alternate costumes.~ Allegretto is so much nicer looking in the alternate outfit *w*~~~~ Best of all, it’s fully optional, so you can play the game just once and still get the main enjoyment of the game. Unlike other games that practically make you play it twice, thrice, more to actually stand a chance against optional places… *cough*Tales*cough*
Overall: 10. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. One of the better JRPGs I’ve ever played, and well-deserved to be put on these high-end consoles. I’m saddened by all of the mediocre reviews it’s received on Gamefaqs (ironically, the Xbox360 version has a more positive outlook even though it has less than the improved PS3 version). Why so picky, PS3 gamers?

I’ve yet to see the ending, which I hear is a whopping 45 minutes long, so these scores are tentative. No spoiling!
Saw the ending… I read the warning that the end didn’t make much sense but ahhhhhh I felt squishy. I cried too because I’m lame. I was kind of worried I wouldn’t be getting what I was hoping for… but I kind of did! I liked it~~~

Anyway, I almost want to mark the score down from 10 just because I wanted JUST a little more from the characters in this story. This just happens to be one of those cases where I would APPRECIATE moar fanservice. The coupling kind. *nudge* But that’s unfair to myself because I demand that of most of the other games I rated 10 too. So I put it into perspective… I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE MORE GAMES LIKE THIS, OF THIS CALIBUR. hurrrrr.

Wiki (US)
Official JP PS3 site


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