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Finishing Eternal Sonata: Raindrops (Part 1)

I hate segmenting this thing into two parts, but I need to relinquish my internet connection soon and I've reached a good stopping point. :)

The Bread Basket (i.e. Not the main course. Get it!?)

 Eternal Sonata is so far from my mind right now. Come on, I can make it through! It'll be a while.
 Eternal Sonata is so far from my mind right now. Come on, I can make it through! It'll be a while.
After an entire week I could’ve spent playing Eternal Sonata, I came away from these past seven days only playing just above three and a half hours of clocked active playtime. I could chalk it up to a general lack of enthusiasm right now ( Marvel vs. Capcom 3 comes in on Wednesday) but it’s really due to me taking this game one chapter at a time and me being a procrastinating writer overall. Even still, I’ve persisted and, if you asked me two months ago, playing any part of Eternal Sonata would’ve been slightly preferable to having an eye cut out. Believe me, starting up the game was a small miracle.
 
I've been making substantial progress on other games though, as my current count for games finished this year made the jump from 10 to 18 in the past week alone. Most of them were iPod Touch games, but hey, they count! Speaking of which, Zenonia was decent despite the Bombcast butchering it received during the DSiWare readings and Mirror's Edge is a great example of the platform's strengths; I'm a bit sad EA isn't so keen on Mirror's Edge 2 right now. Trying to dismantle Call of Duty is fine and all, but Mirror's Edge had a ton of potential!
 
Anyway, here’s the first bit of my masochist quest for love and understanding!

Overview

It begins! Oh my goodness, the main menu is the worst thing ever! I hate this game already! A rotating crystal and floating eighth notes!? What were the devs thinking!? Eternal Sonata? More like Eternal SO-NOT-A-GOOD-GAME. If Care Bears could vomit, they drudge up this sorry excuse for a menu! Options!? Get the fuck outta’ my face with that! Pfft, as if I’d dare start a new game on this piece of crap. …Oh, I hate myself. *presses X button*

Fact (that may or may not be fun):

Eternal Sonata is developer tri-Crescendo's first and only attempt at making a game on their own. They were responsible for co-creating Baten Kaitos and provided the audio work for numerous tri-Ace games. Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon and Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow, their most recent games, were done alongside Namco Bandai. They are still a healthy company whose current project is unknown as of this writing.

 Sorry, I don't buy stuff from the terminally ill. Why don't you go be cheerful and adorable elsewhere while society stews in its hatefulness?
 Sorry, I don't buy stuff from the terminally ill. Why don't you go be cheerful and adorable elsewhere while society stews in its hatefulness?

Right off the bat, we get terrible foreshadowing via inner monologue. Okay, yes, yes, I said I’d be more optimistic BUT if a character can’t wait until the end to jump off a cliff, then what the hell am I playing for? To be fair, a handful of games start with a later-occurring death. However, I believe there are better ways to raising the interest of the person playing; I haven't gotten attached enough to the characters to care and compounding their emotional dilemmas on top of all that doesn't help.
 
Immediately cut to Polka as a young girl, because we've apparently found a time machine that seconds as a plot redactor. Now, cute things get to me, and Polka as a kid fits the bill. Her mannerisms remind me of Ushio Okazaki from Clannad After Story with the primary differences being hair and eye color. I hate children (because they hate me, no joke) but I wouldn't mind pinching Polka's cheeks like that crazed aunt-in-law no one likes at Thanksgiving. The game's cheeriness now has me enveloped in its warmth; I'll freely admit that I feel like I'm in a good place right now.
 
BUT WAIT, here comes a big ball of negativity and sadness! It's crashing down and destroying the illusion of wonder, beauty and fantasy! Here we have little Polka asking her mother about waves, piquing her curiosity as most children do, when her mother begins muttering about vanity, wealth and power and telling her daughter she might have to throw herself in the water to make the world a better place one day. Wait, what?

That's my sticking argument against Eternal Sonata, it does enough to make me smile at a regular clip but, just as often if not more, the plot shows its bad side and slaps the happiness and whimsy away. There's always some sort of caveat to anything positive. Not only is it a real bummer, it's terrible writing and a poor way to usher in character growth. Why not have these bitter pills to swallow:
 
  • Polka can use magic! BUT WAIT, it's because she's terminally ill!
  • This entire place is a wonderful dream of Chopin's! BUT WAIT, it's because he's terminally ill too!
  • Allegretto and Beat are noble rapscallions stealing bread for others! BUT WAIT, it's for kids who're impoverished due to high taxes!
  • These flowers that bloom only at night are beautiful. BUT WAIT, people think they're omens for death!
  • Chopin looks calm when he's resting! BUT WAIT, that could also mean he's dying quicker!
  • Polka wants to visit the king to lower taxes on the good she sells! BUT WAIT, that's only beneficial to her village! THAT INSENSITIVE BITCH!
 
I've obviously done a job of highlighting what I didn't like about the game thus far. So, what do I like? Read mah shit tomorrow!
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