[Click here to start from the first progress log]
Okay, so I meant to continue pushing through Eternal Sonata to finish it up, but ended up leaving it unplayed for a month. No regrets, but doing so led to some awkwardness when going back to the controls. I was also dogsitting, so I had to pause every so often to chase a mischievous puppy around. With that out of the way, though, the game is quickly wrapping up. If all goes to plan, the next progress log should be the last, and then I can put Eternal Sonata behind me forever.
You know, we might be serial killers
Here’s how random this game’s writing is: we go straight from the random fortune-teller to Mt. Rock, climb up a few hills, then catch up with Prince Crescendo and Princess Serenade, only to be ambushed by Royal Brat Baddie and murder him instead. Granted, I got into some unnecessary fights early on to try and reacclimate to the gameplay and there are some absurdly long conversations where characters make stupid decisions that are immediately proven to be such, but that’s the gist of things. That just leaves his Mr-Miyagi-as-an-accountant lackey to deal with, and he chickens out and drinks the super monster juice Royal Brat Baddie had him create to test whether Polka was the key to the glowing agogos or not. Then he becomes so powerful that he rips a hole in space to the realm of the dead, but apparently forgets to finish off the party before leaving for some inexplicable reason. I hate this game.
Only quality games freeze the entire console
Entering the realm of the dead to chase after a powerful monster seems like it’d be interesting. It isn’t. There’s a barrier blocking the way forward, so everyone has to climb a tower to reach the random barrier deactivation switch that was placed up there. Why have a bunch of dead people put up a barrier? That’s a very good question that I 100% don’t know the answer to. I suspect one doesn’t exist. Anyway, getting to the top requires finishing three puzzles that task you with playing a song on the piano (which is awkward; real-life musical muscle memory doesn’t translate to slowly moving a character around notes), followed by staircases with unavoidable enemies and wide open spaces that exist solely to waste your time. Then you reach the top and there’s a boss fight. Here’s where things take a turn for the comical: toward the end of the fight—which is 38:40 in the video above—the game froze my Xbox 360. I kept it running for awhile to see if the problem would resolve itself, but I ended up having to hold the power button to turn it off and on again. None of the buttons worked, including the Xbox home button. This game is trash in every way.
The tower you have to climb to turn off the barrier isn’t immediately accessible, naturally. This guard tells you that only people who have the elder’s permission are allowed to continue, so you have to run forward to the barrier and find him in the middle of nowhere so that he can give it to you. There’s no point to any of this.
Then you run back to tell the guard that you obtained permission and he just takes your word for it. A game where you play as a liar in a world like this and take advantage of everyone’s naivete would be hilarious, because this is pathetic.
To add to the “why do dead people need a barrier” question, why are they all apparently afraid of climbing the tower? Again, they’re dead. What could monsters possibly do to them? If you’re going to add filler like this, at least try to justify it.
Busywork and BS
There was a save right before the boss fight—you know we’ve hit the bottom of the barrel when listing bog-standard features feels like generosity—so I ran back and challenged the tower boss again after restarting my Xbox 360. This time, things went much less smoothly. My timing was off (I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of this game potentially damaging my system and wasn’t focusing on the game itself as much as before), so Allegretto and Beat got poisoned. The whole thing was a mess, but it eventually worked out. Then all that was left was to continue forward, spurred on by the elder’s weird advice that “the four mirrors become monsters, and the flowing time collects at the bottom.” Thanks for the nigh worthless tip, filler dead guy.
That last annoying tower we climbed clearly wasn’t tower-y enough, so the game decides to mandate yet another awful tower full of padding. That means dodging enemies who often can’t be seen because of the camera’s ineptness. It took awhile, but I finally found a boss-type thing here, and it’s a repeat of an earlier boss faced when the tutorials were still popping up. Once it’s defeated, it explodes into light and Claves appears to Fauxpin randomly to tell him about how God will totally be into movies once they’re invented. I’m not even joking. The conversation starts at 25:30.
I stopped playing there for the sake of my sanity.
[Click here to go to Eternal Sonata log #10]
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