Rhapsody U.S. Screens
Rhapsody should hit stores next month, but until then we have 83 screen shots.
For those who don't know, Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure is the translation of Nippon Ichi's Marl Oukoku no Ningyouhime. It's a colorful game with hand-drawn backdrops and 2D sprites. As the title might suggest, Rhapsody incorporates vocal music interludes with standard RPG elements.
But how does all of the above fit together? Quite well, actually. First of all, the dialogue is hilarious! Whether Cornet and Kururu are bickering, Etoile is being her narcissistic self, or Marjoly and her minions are having an all-out shouting match, the characters are very enjoyable.
As mentioned in past updates, the vocal music is available in either English or Japanese. Both versions sound excellent and blend well with the story. Best of all, you can switch between the different versions throughout the game.
The battles are a mix of FFT-style character positioning combined with standard turn-based attacks. The colorful nature and isometric view reminds me somewhat of Super Mario RPG on the SNES. Cornet finds puppets on her journey and even monsters she's defeated who can join her party. Any combination of three can aid her in battle with many different special attacks. However, don't get me wrong...Cornet can pack quite a punch herself. With her "Horn" command, she can raise her allies' power, which adds a music note to her power meter. When the power meter reaches certain levels, she can perform various special attacks. This is how the cake, pancake, and other weird attacks are executed.
With only five hours of solid gameplay (with about three more hours to provide you with screens) no strong conclusions can be made regarding this game's overall merit, but it definitely has a good presentation.
May 19th, 2000