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Thread: Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure - Staff Retroview

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    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure - Staff Retroview

    A teenager named Cornet is able to bring puppets to life by playing her horn, and fights a witch named Marjoly who is able to pull off a thong with no bra despite getting mocked for her age constantly. These elements really should have made for a better game.
    The sound effects deserve no mention.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

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    Member retrodragon's Avatar
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    I have a copy of this game, and I just can't seem to get into it for all the reasons mentioned here. Occasionally the game is charming and amusing, but the negatives far outway the small bursts of life. Although I still love Cornet's special attacks...
    Playing: Wild Arms 3, Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning, Star Ocean First Departure
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    Wow. I've never played the DS version, so I can't really comment on how well it made the transition (and I've heard a lot of bad things)... but I absolutely *adored* the PS1 version of this game. I thought the story was charming (and surprisingly dark in spots, like with the frog princess!), the musical numbers catchy, the battle system simple but engaging and the dungeons... well, not great, but passable.

    On the whole, I spent a weekend with Rhapsody, and immensely enjoyed myself. If I were to rate the original PS1 version on your scale, I'd probably give it a solid 4/5 -- not perfect, and there is definitely room for improvement, but it has the most important thing any RPG can contain:

    It has soul.

    I liked it enough that I bought both of its Japan-only sequels and enjoyed them as well. I always lamented that neither Little Princess nor Tenshi no Present got localized, as they're excellent titles that really improve upon the first game, as any good sequel should.

    -Tom

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    Member storino03's Avatar
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    I also played the PS1 version a few years ago and thought it was "great" for what it was and how easy the game ended up being. The DS version, I believe, only has the japanese vocal songs during the scenes, and not the PS1's English language.

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    Member TheAnimeMan's Avatar
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    This is the only game that has made me cried. For good reasons
    I am bad and that is good, I will never be good and that's not bad, there's no one I'd rather be than me - Wreck-it-Ralph

    27 years of gaming and still going strong
    and now a Proud if slightly annoyed Father :D

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Nekobasu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyrdwad View Post
    It has soul.

    I liked it enough that I bought both of its Japan-only sequels and enjoyed them as well. I always lamented that neither Little Princess nor Tenshi no Present got localized, as they're excellent titles that really improve upon the first game, as any good sequel should.
    I agree with you about soul. It has a lot of charming ideas, but the overall execution leaves a lot to be desired. I, too, hoped the sequels would've been localized. However, I never made the leap to importing them myself.

    Now that I'm thinking about it, I'll have to dig out my copy of the CD that came with the PS1 release. It's been too long since I've listened to a certain song about Mountain Men.

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    I agree with you about soul. It has a lot of charming ideas, but the overall execution leaves a lot to be desired.
    That describes a lot of my favorite games.

    I think that's always been the fatal flaw with game reviews. If you have an awesome game that's riddled with flaws, it's probably going to get a low review score... but that review score isn't necessarily indicative of the fun you'll have with the game in any way. For most gamers, I think actual technical merits are secondary to the sense of fun and adventure a game imparts, or the charm contained within it.

    But, that's neither here nor there.

    On the subject of Rhapsody, one thing that always impressed me (again, referring to the PS1 version) was the localization. Seriously, that game had one of the best overall localizations of its time, standing toe to toe with anything Working Designs or Ted Woolsey was putting out. Still has one of my favorite lines from any game script, too: "This is White Snow, a town filled with snow. Enjoy the world of snow. (Note: This is what happens when you do a direct translation.)"

    -Tom
    Last edited by Wyrdwad; 04-25-2013 at 02:30 AM.

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    BEARSONA Administrator Paws's Avatar
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    Fun is subjective; whether a game provides or lacks quantifiable facets is what the review addresses. Rhapsody is a technically subpar game and that will turn away a lot of people before they ever find the charm, which is sad.

    Possibly a peculiar fact: When I applied for RPGamer back in the day, my fake news story sample included a game that had a heroine rescuing a male in distress. After I was hired, writing the announcement for Rhapsody was one of my first assignments. It was rather trippy.

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    Hmm, makes me want to buy the PS1 version.

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    Member Confessor Rahl's Avatar
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    I went on a "beat every PS1 RPG ever" rampage several years back... suffice to say I gave up on this one just a couple hours in.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Confessor Rahl View Post
    I went on a "beat every PS1 RPG ever" rampage several years back... suffice to say I gave up on this one just a couple hours in.
    You were probably halfway through the game by then. You probably should've just stuck it out till you were done.

    Fun is subjective; whether a game provides or lacks quantifiable facets is what the review addresses.
    Oh, I know. Doesn't mean I have to like it, though! Game reviews are inherently flawed across the board, IMHO, and I'd really love to see them reformed wholesale at some point. I honestly think it's debatable that typical scored reviews are helpful to anyone -- though they are often quite entertaining to read!

    -Tom
    Last edited by Wyrdwad; 04-25-2013 at 09:53 AM.

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    Member Slayer's Avatar
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    I played the PSOne version back in the day. It was flawed but I had fun with it. I still have it with my large PSOne collection. Thanks for your review.

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    BEARSONA Administrator Paws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyrdwad View Post
    Oh, I know. Doesn't mean I have to like it, though! Game reviews are inherently flawed across the board, IMHO, and I'd really love to see them reformed wholesale at some point. I honestly think it's debatable that typical scored reviews are helpful to anyone -- though they are often quite entertaining to read!

    -Tom
    As far as I'm concerned reviews that try to judge a game's fun are inherently flawed, and I'd really love to see them reformed wholesale at some point. The reviews here are scored because there would be bloody murder screamed otherwise. There's some 1000-1500 words that go with the score, people can stop being lazy and *gasp* read them.

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    Oh, I agree, reviews that try to judge a game's funfactor are ALSO flawed. I think the ideal review is one that assumes a game has a specific audience who will enjoy it, and attempts to suss out who that audience may be. No scores, no attempts at saying what's fun and what isn't... just an attempt to narrow down the game's target audience as much as humanly possible, with detailed information as to why that audience would be likely to enjoy it.

    May seem overly simplistic, but the fact is, there's not a single game out there that doesn't have fans who enjoy it. Even E.T. on the Atari 2600 and Penn & Teller's Desert Bus have sizable fanbases, despite the former being regularly regarded as the worst game ever made and the latter being intentionally designed to BE the worst game ever made.

    There are inherent flaws in writing reviews like that as well, of course... but I still think it would be more helpful to try and identify a game's target audience than to subjectively declare the game good, bad or somewhere in between, either on a technical level or on a "funfactor" level.

    -Tom

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    BEARSONA Administrator Paws's Avatar
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    *shrug* Then we disagree that a technical review can do that. It's the thing that I like about RPGamer reviews -- they generally will tell me who the target audience is, even when the game is particularly awesome or terrible. D3 got a great review, but I knew from the review it was going to be a game I played in fits and bursts and generally not solo.
    I still want to know things like "will the game suddenly jump out of my system and try to make off with my power cord?" because flawed tech, even in a quirkly lovable game, is still flawed. Going into a title knowing there's a game-breaking bug in saving during chapter 3 is just as important to me as knownig if the music is monotonous or the battle system is imbalanced.

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    Ah, Rhapsody. Although it is an appallingly simple game (and the DS version makes it worse), it has a charm and an energy you don't see with many games any more. I think it's safe to say it's quintessentially Japanese, almost too much to be successful outside of it. Still, it's a game I'm willing to go through multiple times simply because the short story is so engaging.

    Plus I give it props for being the game that introduced me to Nippon Ichi.

    However, the DS version... they should have localized the music. This is not the game to leave the music in Japanese for; the songs actually play a major role in the game, and though you can read the subtitles to get the gist of the songs, it's not the same as hearing them. I stopped playing the DS version when I found that out, and hunted around for a copy of the PS1 version simply because having the English songs improves the experience that much.

    Oh, and Evil Queen is awesome. And you have to give props to a game where you get a song about the Mountain Men, a song about how awesome pirates are, and a song about the frogs of the "Amphibian Paradise". And Thank You still makes me cry.
    Last edited by Dark Phoenix; 04-25-2013 at 01:03 PM.

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Nekobasu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paws View Post
    Possibly a peculiar fact: When I applied for RPGamer back in the day, my fake news story sample included a game that had a heroine rescuing a male in distress. After I was hired, writing the announcement for Rhapsody was one of my first assignments. It was rather trippy.
    I don't remember if I submitted Cornet's livejournal as my personal website, when I applied for RPGamer. But I should have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyrdwad View Post
    I honestly think it's debatable that typical scored reviews are helpful to anyone -- though they are often quite entertaining to read!
    But what would we argue about, if not review scores?! Comic books have the old chestnuts of Superman vs. Batman and "Who would win in a fight? The Incredible Hulk or...?" but RPGs are bereft of such a hot-button issue. Everyone has agreed to disagree on "What is an RPG?" so we need something to talk about between Dragon Quests!

    Please note: This comment is made with tongue firmly in cheek and do not represent the official stance of RPGamer Corp or its subsidiary holdings.

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    Dread News Editor RPGamer Staff Fowl Sorcerous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nekobasu View Post
    I don't remember if I submitted Cornet's livejournal as my personal website, when I applied for RPGamer. But I should have.



    But what would we argue about, if not review scores?! Comic books have the old chestnuts of Superman vs. Batman and "Who would win in a fight? The Incredible Hulk or...?" but RPGs are bereft of such a hot-button issue. Everyone has agreed to disagree on "What is an RPG?" so we need something to talk about between Dragon Quests!

    Please note: This comment is made with tongue firmly in cheek and do not represent the official stance of RPGamer Corp or its subsidiary holdings.
    obviously we would which of the ps1 era Final fantasies is least terrible.

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    Member Minneyar's Avatar
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    I played Rhapsody back when it first came out on the PSX, and I did enjoy it, but yeah, it's got some significant flaws. The worst for me was the dungeon design, really; it was so repetitive and bland, I have a hard time believing I actually made it through. I remember feeling relieved near the end of the game when I encountered a dungeon that had a different tile set from all the others. Oh, it was still the same set of big open rooms with exits in the cardinal directions, but at least it had a different tile set. My other complaint was the difficulty... even if it was intended as a friendly into to RPGs, it was still way too absurdly easy.

    And other than those two things, really, I liked the game a lot. Cute graphics, a fun story, fun songs, lots of charm. I remember really liking the localization, both it and several of NIS's other early games... then Ar Tonelico 2 hit and singlehandedly stopped me from buying any more NIS games for a few years, but that's unrelated.

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    The only thing I really remember about this game is that a certain RPGamer staffer had an undying hatred of it.

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