Role-playing games are hard to come by the on the Playstation 2. THE BOUNCER couldn't really be considered a RPG, and before the recently released DARK CLOUD there were no games of that genre on the system. Well, the "first true Japanese RPG" has arrived on the Playstation 2, and Konami is saying that "this is the RPG experience Playstation 2 owners have been waiting for!"
EPHEMERAL FANTASIA revolves around Mouse, a traveling musician and occasional thief, who has been invited to sing at a royal wedding. You, along with your trusty talking guitar, Pattimo, set off to the island to perform. But little do you know, an evil sorcerer has cast a spell on the island that causes the days before the ceremony to repeat over and over again. It's up to Mouse and Pattimo to break the spell and restore peace and order to the land. Although the story reminds me of the movie GROUNDHOG DAY, starring Bill Murray, it is quite inventive and original, and I like it.
EPHEMERAL FANTASIA's graphics are above average for the capabilities of the Playstation 2. While the backgrounds are brilliantly colored, and the spells themselves are relatively pretty, there is one fault. At times, the colors can all fade in together and give you an eyestrain that most people don't even want to think about. The game features a wide variety of monsters, and contains 10 playable characters, each with their own abilities and characteristics.
One of Konami's main selling points of EPHEMERAL FANTASIA is its unique battle system, which is called the "surround battle system." Players must be on guard at all times, because attacks can come from anywhere instead of just from one direction. The game also features tons of mini-games to play, such as rhythm-based guitar playing, arena fighting, and even a drinking competition. While the music doesn't offer much, except the six tracks found in the rhythm-guitar playing sessions, it's decent and surprisingly fits the game. It's not FINAL FANTASY, but what is?
EPHEMERAL FANTASIA is a decent effort by Konami. It provides hours of entertainment for Playstation 2 RPG fans, and will hold people over until FINAL FANTASY X arrives
Platform: Playstation 2
ESBR Rating: T
Genre: Role Playing Game
Developer:Konami Computer Entertainment
Publisher: Konami Computer Entertainment
Suggested Retail Price: $49.99
Fun Factor: B-
Reviewer's Wild Card: B