DS Review: Rhapsody – A Musical Adventure

A Musical RPG remake? Whatever next?

As Cornet, a young girl who can talk to puppets, it falls to you to save the day when the dashing Prince Ferdinand is turned to stone by an evil witch! Aided only by a wish-granting magic horn and a growing band of willing puppets, you must put things right and ensure a fairy-tale ending for all!
Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure takes you on a light-hearted journey to a world of magic and melody! Featuring user-friendly gameplay, charming visuals and some catchy songs, this family-orientated RPG from acclaimed developer Nippon Ichi Software is comfort food for the soul! Better still, the DS version of the game features numerous enhancements over the PlayStation original which are guaranteed to add to the fun!

A light-hearted musical adventure in which you must play tunes to succeed.

User-friendly gameplay and charming visuals will appeal to gamers of all ages.

An All-New Battle System – The battle system has been completely reworked with turn-based simplicity in mind

Touch Screen User Interface – All interactions including menu navigation and travelling can be controlled via the Touch Screen – simply point and touch to command your characters!

Navigation Map – A convenient navigation map has been added. Now players can explore dungeons safe in the knowledge that a brief glance at the upper screen will prevent them from becoming hopelessly lost!

Additional playable characters – A quirky collection of extra party members awaits!

Being a 21 year old male, it’s pretty hard to play Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure. It’s cutesy and clearly for the female crowd. It keeps the traditional RPG formula, but instead of beating enemies with swords and spells…you use instruments. How a song could kill an enemy is beyond me, although some of the musicals in a menu are pure torture.

The game does let you use the stylus to move your character and choose options, it’s nice to see that they are adding this support for most RPG remakes now. Essentially though, this is for younger girl gamers who may be persuaded to enter the RPG genre for the first time. The story is full of clichés about princes and evil witches, but is a fairly good tale for the young crowd. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t break any new ground, which an RPG is dying to do these days.
That pretty much sums up the game as a whole, really. It does all you would expect from an old RPG from the PSOne, but most remakes prove that the oldies were ahead of their time…sadly, that’s just not the case with Rhapsody, instead it’s just fairly average. The game is incredibly easy, I rarely came across a fight that I struggled with and the other elements of the game are standard for the genre, there’s nothing that stands out…which is the game’s downfall.

Then there’s the problem that it only appeals to the female crowd, I can’t imagine any guys playing it other than those reviewing it or as a mistake as a present from a parent. For girls though, they might feel that this is a good stepping stone to enter the world of RPG games as it’s incredibly easy and not too complicated to get to grips with. That’s perhaps Rhapsody’s greatest gift, but perhaps it’s only one.

The visuals haven’t improved that much (if at all) over the original game, which is a shame. Perhaps some nice 3D visuals might have made the game score higher in the graphics department, but then again…they aren’t everything. Voice-acting is non-existent, but the score is fairly good, even if it is perhaps too cutesy for this reviewer. Musicals I mentioned, they are awful and bring down the sound score to the same level as every other aspect of the game.

The Verdict

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure is a true remake to the original while adding new DS features to make it justify itself well. The problem is that the game itself just isn’t that special, it lacks innovation or anything to make it stand out from the crowd. On the plus side though, it’s a great way to get young girls into the genre.