Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure Review
Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Nippon Ichi Software 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Atlus 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sept 23, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Let Them Eat Cake!
by Tony Capri

Atlus has always shown a lot of love to the DS, bringing games such as Trauma Center, Luminous Arc, Etrian Odyssey, and many others to the dual screen. Their latest collaboration with developer Nippon Ichi Software brings us a port of a very niche, musical RPG from the original PlayStation. Rhapsody is part Sound of Music, part “young girl falls in love with the handsome prince” fairytale, and a fest of traditional RPG trappings.

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure screenshot

The original Rhapsody released over eight years ago, and with no real update to the story, it’s definitely a throwback to past RPGs. That said, the story is as endearing as it ever was, and the dialogue is sure to give players a good chuckle from time to time. You play as a young girl named Cornet, and she’ll be accompanied throughout her adventure by a flying, talking-angel doll named Kururu. Cornet and every other girl in the kingdom are on a quest to win the heart of a young prince, but when he’s turned to stone and kidnapped, it’s up to Cornet and friends to save her one true love. The story progresses like Alice in Wonderland, and though it’s often senseless and over the top, it’s a tale that can be enjoyed by gamers of all ages.

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In many ways, Rhapsody comes off as a made-for-young-girls-RPG romp with loads of sugary sweet music and sentiment. However, upon closer inspection, it’s hard to overlook the game’s silver tongue, as it lampoons itself and games like it. The characters are witty and comical, and when you consider some of the risqué dialogue, as well as the fact that one of the characters wears a g-string, it’s a wonder the game garnered an E-rating.

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure screenshot

But, it’s all in good fun, and appreciating the characters and dialogue is really where the value of Rhapsody lies. The gameplay is solid but it’s pretty breezy, and we’ve seen all its RPG conventions before. Battles are turn-based, and you’re given the option of attacking, casting magic, or using items during each melee round. Additionally, you can set battles to auto, allowing your characters to do the fighting for you, and though the A.I. will only command your characters to attack, it’s a nice feature when you just want to zip through battles.

It’s the typical, four-member-battle-party set-up, though you’ll have various characters to choose from, which you can switch in and out of your combat party at any time. Enemies vary from toads and jellies, to flames and skeletons. Cornet uses…a cornet (horn) to attack, though she can also cast special spells such as Flan, Cake, and Pancake. Yup, they’re all food attacks. When you cast Flan, a giant, gelatinous dessert comes flopping down upon your enemies to cause massive damage. The game offers no explanation as to why you’re fighting with food, or why you’re even fighting at all in many cases, but the nature of the story really requires no explanation, and it’s easy to just kick back and enjoy this wacky RPG ride as is.

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure screenshot

Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the gameplay, however, is its pacing. Though it’s a completely linear experience, it’s patched together to produce a great little journey, without requiring the player to engage in the same repetitive activities. That is until about the game’s midway point. You’re eventually tasked with finding five elemental orbs, and gathering each one consists of five…repetitive dungeon crawls (plus backtracking). But there are a lot of ultra-cute moments reminiscent of the Three Little Pigs or other such children’s tales, and it’s these elements of the game that really make the journey well worth while.

Screenshots / Images
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