Nippon Ichi Software's Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure is just as its name implies. The game is a music-themed RPG for the DS about a girl named Cornet and her magical puppet Kururu that in a unique twist presents its story in the form of a musical. Unfortunately, the actual game that supports the concept is far too simplistic to sustain it.
The game begins with the peasant girl Cornet, who dreams of marrying a handsome prince. With help from Kururu, she manages to enter a contest to determine who will marry Prince Ferdinand. However, complications arise when Marjoly, an evil, slightly over-the-hill witch steps in, wanting Ferdinand for herself. As a whole, the plot is very basic fantasy fare that is suited to young girls, though the highlight of the game's presentation comes in the form of its musical numbers. Like a classic Disney musical, key points in the plot are played out through song and dance, with the small character sprites twirling and swaying to the music. Each song also features Japanese lyrics sung by the characters with English subtitles.
As a concept, the game takes the idea of a musical RPG and runs with it, and for that, it deserves some praise. It's a unique approach that fits the style and tone of the game perfectly. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the actual gameplay. The combat system is a beyond-basic turn-based affair where little in the way of strategy or thought is required. Random encounters are frequent, yet the battles themselves are simple enough that many end in a matter of seconds. Rhapsody also features a large cast of recruitable puppets that can join Cornet on her quest, but the vast majority of them are unnecessary, and there's little-to-no reason to switch characters in and out of the active party.
Rhapsody has some interesting ideas going for it and its general lack of challenge may make it more ideal for younger audiences, but at its heart it's simply not a deep or challenging game. As sweet as this game may seem on the surface, this musical hits too many sour notes. There are moments of brightness buried within the game, but they're simply not worth the exercise in monotony.