Monday, February 9, 2009

Chopin up the classics

Here's a new concept: an RPG based on the life of classical composer Frédéric Chopin and featuring his music. Eternal Sonata, released by Bandai-Namco and available for PS and Xbox systems, is described below by a reviewer from the Minneapolis Music Examiner. (Hey, how about an RPG where you get to play Prince, rather than just a prince?).

In the game, two different worlds exist. The first is that in which the adventure takes place, and the other being our own world, over the night of the 16th-17th of October, 1849 (the night that Chopin passed away). Though it is commonly accepted that Chopin died of tuberculosis, the game describes him as having a troubled dream (in which he abides in the fantasy realm) that he eventually decides is his true reality, and so leaves his body in the real world behind.

Music in the form of original compositions and some of Chopin’s piano pieces performed by Stanislav Bunin permeate the game. You can collect score pieces and perform them with other characters in the game, as well as finding and unlocking some of Chopin’s greatest musical compositions. There are also cut scenes between chapters in the game that flash to images of early 19th century France and Chopin’s life. At times, these feel almost like history lessons in addition to providing more depth to the story. The cut scenes are surprisingly informative, supplying a good amount of information about Chopin’s patriotism, his life in France, compositions, romance, and illness.

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