Review From a S-Rank Perspective
So the other day I finally finished my S-Rank on Eternal Sonata. It took me 32~ hours on my first playthrough, and 27~ hours on my second. I believe I got to see and experience pretty much everything in the game, so I decided to write a review of the game.
So yeah, first things first; I wouldn't spend a total of 59~ hours on a game I didn't enjoy to some extent. The graphics are truly great, the story somewhat keeps your focus, and the (plenty of) voiceacting was good. I'd say that Eternal Sonata's biggest issue is the repetetivity. The story and game is extremely linear, and especially during your first playthrough you'll rarely go back to previous locations, but more or less just stay on the same path from start to finish. Not to mention the many, many (MANY!) battles you'll constantly get suckered into. Sure, the fights are often short and mostly buttonmashing, but believe me it'll get boring towards the end of the game no matter how much you enjoy fighting-systems like that.
The story itself is truly weird as well, although that's of course not always a bad thing. I've played plenty of RPGs that's far more far-fetched than Eternal Sonata was, but to make a Japanese Anime-style game that's focusing on the 19th century Polish composer Chopin's life is...well, weird. The entire game takes place in what's supposedly Chopin's dreamworld he made up on his deathbed. It's filled with various music-references (the main characters names for example; Polka, Beat, Jazz, Falsetto, etc), and it was quite interesting for me personally since I'm interested in music to begin with. But the story starts to drag towards the end, and eventually when watching the (LONG) ending I found myself just relieved to have finished the game. And let me tell you, the second playthrough felt more of a job than enjoyment, but that's just me being an Achievement-maniac talking.
However, if you don't mind a so-so story, quite boring combat sequences, you'll definatly at least find your first playthrough joyful from start to finish. The game look and sounds absolutly amazing, it's just a shame that the gameplay had to suffer. At writing time of this review the price of the game is really low since it's quite dated, and I suggest that any true RPG-fan pick it up if you find it below 30$.
(Apologies for bad English, it's not my main language)