Frederic – Resurrection of Music Review—It Will Improve Your Health, Your Mental Health
-Played on PlayStation Vita-
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. We are going to start reviewing PlayStation Mobile games starting now, on top of reviewing the usual Minis. If you are asking why I chose to review Frederic – Resurrection of Music first among the 21 PSM launch games, well, it’s the first PSM game in the Store list. Now you have a good idea what game might be reviewed next.
Frederic – Resurrection of Music was already released in the App Store (the digital store for iOS devices, for the uninitiated) early this year, also priced at $3.99. However, when I checked it in the App Store more recently, I got it for free!
There have been music games in the Minis program, such as Vibes and Boom Beats. Unfortunately, I’ve only played Boom Beats, and I’ve been playing it for a long time now. More than a year, and finally it looks like it is having a successor.
Frederic – Resurrection of Music uses Frederic Chopin’s pieces as its soundtrack. To be precise and accurate: modern renditions of Chopin’s pieces. And each track rocks. Developer Forever Entertainment SA was able to fuse Chopin with country, techno, synth, Irish folk music and many more genres rather excellently. Chopin himself would be proud. No rolling in the grave here.
This PSM game is worth 500+ MB of space in your card because it uses lots of voice acting and cutscenes. The cutscenes are orgasmic to behold on that OLED screen, but you can skip them altogether by tapping the screen.
Yes, just skip all of the cutscenes because the story barely makes sense. Basically, Frederic Chopin is revived from his grave, waking up in modern day France. Three muses then appear before him and say to him that the world (music world, that is) is in peril, and then they disappear. Then a guy flying with a jetpack and armed with keyboards and speakers appears before him, and the story gets confusing as you move forward. The point is, this game has an anti-corporate music stance woven through its narrative.
I am not impressed by the humor because it’s slapstick, with all the cross-eyed faces just to make players “laugh.” However, the unintentional comedy will make you laugh hard. The premise is already ridiculous, the lines are outrageous (hence the review subtitle; Frederic says that) and the voice acting sucks. I don’t know if it’s the accent or not, but the pauses, the intonations are placed in awkward places.
Gameplay, this is where the game shines. You duel with musicians all over the world, treating the screen as the keyboard. Each key has a string, and these strings are where the notes slide from above. If you’ve played Rock Band and other rhythm games, you already know how things work.
There is a power indicator in the top center where it shows who is doing worse in the duel. More green means better for the player. Also, you have to win the power indicator to move to the next chapter. There is a score multiplier on the left side. You can gain up to x5 bonus to your score if you are able to string ten notes in a row for each increment. My math skills are able to calculate that you therefore need to hit 50 notes in a row to get the x5 bonus. Missing one note will readily reset the ENTIRE thing, meaning back to x1 with your multiplier.
There are gameplay additions that make use of the Vita’s hardware. You have to shake that Vita when the game prompts you to, thus making use of the gyroscope. This is the Super Attack. When dueling, there is a dynamic background where you can see Frederic and his opponent play their instruments. As the camera keeps on panning, twirling and much more, you can easily get distracted. With a Super Attack, an animation takes over, showing Frederic casting some musical spells at the opponent. The opponent can also use Super Attacks, though, as those attacks depend on who dominates the power indicator.
Frederic – The Resurrection of Music is already difficult to begin with, and with all that shaking, it makes it more difficult. The notes move quickly, and they correspond to the pace of the music. If you are at the “climax,” good luck! The help section is more than helpful, but practice makes a good musician, so you’re going to have to invest lots of time.
There is the usual Campaign, where you follow Frederic in his exploits around the world and battle it out against international stars. There are four difficulty settings: Too Easy, Normal, Hard and Chopin (the god-level). Completing the Campaign will unlock Arena. I haven’t unlocked it so far, and hence I can’t comment on it. I could try to, but that would mean I couldn’t review other PSM games. There are 20 more waiting to be reviewed!
I also played Frederic – The Resurrection of Music on my iPod Touch 4G. The Vita version is a direct port, but the game plays a lot better on the Vita because of the larger screen. The iPad should be the best hardware on which to play this one. Screen size is not the only problem, either, because the game stutters on my iPod Touch, too. Sound is also a lot better on the Vita, both through speakers and headphones (I used my Sennheiser earbuds, water resistant ones, I forgot the model). I am not a golden-eared, high-fidelity-loving audiophile, but I can hear the difference. The main advantage of the iOS version is its connectivity, since it has complete Game Center integration. Also, only the iOS version is eligible for the “Competition” because of the online leaderboard. You can win a real item prize (as of this moment, the prize is a jewelry set from Hiroco, a Japanese artist) by topping said leaderboard!
Frederic – The Resurrection of Music is simply a great game, and a 10/10 is a rightful rating for it. However, due to its lack of online leaderboards, trophies and other goodies compared to its iOS version, I have to slash some points from its score. Other than touchscreen controls, use of the gyro and its 500 MB size, this piece of art is just a glorified Mini after all. An über-excellent Mini, that is. Again, though, being a PlayStation Mobile game, we’re expecting more, much more.