For years I've had to deal with those insufferable Eternal Sonata fans boasting about how their game was the only one to star 18th century romantic composer Frederic Chopin as a playable character. Guess what, Sonatees? There's a new game in town, and it makes yours look like cheap anime RPG fluff.
I really have nothing against Eternal Sonata or its fans, though I secretly hope they decide to take 'Sonatees' as their official title. It was a fine game with a bizarre concept; a role-playing game that seemingly took place entirely in the fevered dreams of the famed composer's final moments. But while Eternal Sonata let you fight giant vegetables as Chopin, it never let you experience the man's true legacy: His music.
Enter Frederic - The Resurrection of Music for iOS, a game that not only stars Frederic Chopin, but allows you to perform several of his most famous compositions. Competitively. Against modern-day ethnic musical stereotypes.
It begins with Chopin clawing his way out of his grave. Then things get weird.
In the not-too-distant future the music industry stands on the brink of oblivion. What was once a haven for artists from all walks of life and musical origins is now the domain of select artists, hand-picked by a mysterious overlord bent on total control of all things harmonic. Only one man has the power to save the music world from total oblivion.
That man is Frederic Chopin, one of the greatest romantic composers to ever live, often referred to as the poet of the piano.
Chopin died on October 17, 1849, at the relatively young age of 39, but that's nothing a little magic can't fix. The muses that once inspired Chopin to create use their power to bring him back to life, inspiring him to travel the world destroying those that would do music harm. Armed with a magical buggy and a size-shifting grand piano, Chopin sets forth on a quest to resurrect music.
The story of his journey is told through a series of fully-voice animated cut scenes. colourful and full of character, the art direction lends itself perfectly to depicting the international collection of musical misfits Chopin must take down.
From a French electronic artist to a reggae rasta; Irish leprechauns and Japanese chiptune artist; Chopin battles them all in his quest to revitalize new music with old.
Odd then that the game's true charm lay in revitalising old music with new styles. Each stage culminates in a musical battle between Chopin and his latest foe, playing one of nine glorious remixes of the composer's most famous pieces. His waltzes, preludes and nocturnes are magically transformed into hip electronica, feel-good reggae beats and spaghetti western themes, each one more enticing than the next.
Battles play out via on-screen piano keyboard, notes falling from the top of the screen as animated background scenes vie for the player's attention. The patterns start out simple enough for one-handed play, evolving into finger-twisting dances that require two hands and the application of headphones to help follow the beats. Play better than your opponent and Chopin's musical power manifests in spectacular fashion.
While Eternal Sonata brought the works of Chopin to the attention of gamers, Frederic - Resurrection of Music installs his compositions directly into the player's soul. The tracks might be twisted, but the spirit of Chopin can be felt in every track.
Frederic - Resurrection of Music is available now via iTunes for the limited-time special price of $1.99, so I'd strongly suggest picking it up as soon as possible. Then use the money you save to buy the game's soundtrack, which shall always have a special place on my iPod playlist.
Frederic - Resurrection of Music [iTunes]