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Overall, Rhapsody is a solid, but short RPG experience that's plagued with a few flaws. It will definitely attract a younger, less experienced RPG audience, but also appeal to fans of the classic 16-bit RPGs. Rhapsody has a unique charm and style to it that I was really fond of, but I would still recommend a rental of this one first to make sure that it's for you.
To put it in a nutshell, Marl Oukoku no Ningyouhime is an average game with good ideas but with a few annoying flaws as well. The game's originality and lighthearted feeling may please some gamers and annoy others. I'm not sure whether this game will find an audience in the US, but fans of cute things will probably like this one. It has some good points and some personality, but definitely isn't a title most players will remember. Hopefully, Atlus will consider porting the sequel Little Princess, which didn't retain some of the flaws of the original game.
Graphically, Rhapsody can compete with the best of Squaresoft's 2D offerings, especially when it comes to the gorgeous hand-painted backdrops. Certain areas do get a little repetitive, but not to the point of ruining the game. However, as nice as the visuals may be, they can hardly compare to the sheer uniqueness of the Broadway soundtrack. Though by no means for everyone, there is a certain goofy appeal to watching tiny sprite-based characters burst into syrupy Disney-esque song. In the end, Rhapsody may not have much appeal for the hardcore action gamer, but for the rest of us, it's well worth a look.
I'm not sure who Atlus is aiming Rhapsody towards, but I would hope it's small children and non-gaming savvy girls, because I really don't see experienced male gamers flocking to this game in huge droves. For the most part I think Rhapsody will do very well with children, but not so well with most of the older gaming crowd. If you're looking for a great birthday present for your child or little brother or sister, I think Rhapsody would be a great choice. However, if you're looking to buy Rhapsody for yourself, I would suggest renting it rather than buying it. It's just too short to warrant a "must buy" static when there are so many great RPGs coming out around the corner.
It's obvious that there are some serious flaws in Rhapsody and for that reason it's tough to decide whether to shell out the money or not. The localization is spectacular and it even includes a bonus music soundtrack, but that does not make up for the easy gameplay, the shortness of the game, or the oversimplified dungeons. Still, credit must be given to Atlus for introducing something new to the U.S. audience. Rhapsody is definitely worth the rental fee and if it's your kind of RPG, then worth the purchase as well!
Although Rhapsody has more than its share of gameplay and sound problems, its strong dialogue, bright visuals, and quick pacing give it a certain charm matched by few others. This one's worth taking a look at.
Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure is, like most other Atlus games I've played, too short. It's got the right stuff, though. It's fun, it's quirky, and above all, original. Kids will have a blast with this beginner's RPG; the songs, characters, and setting may very well win them over as role-playing gamers(as if Pokemon didn't). We older gamers, on the flip-side, will yearn for a little more. That doesn't mean that Rhapsody isn't above average. Quite the contrary! Older gamers have just come to expect a lot more out of their purchases. You'd be lucky to milk 20 hours out of this one, and I'm being nice.
Game Informer Magazine
Amusing dialogue, charmingly simple characters, and collectible monsters all flesh out the title, even if backtracking through areas plagues the experience. Silly and cute? Yes. Able to compete with the glut of newer classic-style RPGs? Afraid not.
Doté d'une bonne idée de départ et d'une réalisation toute mignonne, Rhapsody est malheureusement loin d'être un jeu indispensable. Loin de valoir les cent euros affichés par de nombreuses boutiques, il pourra cependant satisfaire les quelques curieux en quête de musique et d'un jeu court qui s'y essaieront. Les autres allez chercher ailleurs.
What makes Rhapsody worthy of attention, in the end, is its nonconventional production. Its more practical aspects are either too derivative or not particularly robust (15 hours will easily get you through the game). If you're the type of RPGer who commits to checking out the most nonstandard manifestations of the genre, then Rhapsody is definitely worth your attention. But if you're an avid warlord or explorer looking to be immersed for 60 hours of your life, then you'd best look elsewhere - Rhapsody is a novelty, and nothing more.
Even a musical CD has more gameplay than can be found here, and that’s a shame, because Rhapsody had a lot of potential and quite a bit to offer.
Rhapsody is not a game most people would show off to their friends. Perhaps there is the niche market that this game is perfect for. However, I am not part of it. The overall feeling was that the story was overly sappy, and the dungeons kept me away from wanting to continue. However, if you want to try it out, you can easily beat it in a three day rental.
Once you find yourself in battle, you are given multiple commands, such as move, attack, and use item. Where most contemporary RPGs let you choose only one command for your turn, Rhapsody employs multiple steps for its system. For example, rather than just attacking, you would first move your character into place and then attack. It really isn't that different, and has all the flavor of an old-school fighting engine. To this end, fans of traditional role-playing games will probably find some fun with the bare bones approach.