Eternal Sonata


Key events

29th January 2008

Xbox Live DLC Roundup

27th November 2007

Namco Bandai unveils Fragile

2nd October 2007

Eternal Sonata

14th September 2007

Eternal Sonata PS3 confirmed

Xbox Live DLC Roundup

Xbox Live DLC Roundup

Halo 3 Heroic Map Pack, BioShock, Phantasy Star, Stranglehold, Guitar Hero, more.

Every now and then, someone pops out of the woodwork to complain that the games industry isn't innovative any more. This is clearly nonsense. Certainly, publishers might have an ongoing love affair with barely distinguishable sequels and a herd mentality that makes sheep look strong-willed, but consider this - year after year, the industry invents new and previously unheard-of ways to make you part with your cash. If that's not innovation, what is?

Download Content (DLC) is a new arrival in the exciting field of wallet-stripping, and the Xbox 360 is on the vanguard. Many Xbox 360 games have content available for download sometime after launch, allowing you to hand over a few measly Microsoft points for access to new maps, models, missions and the likes. It's a great idea in theory, obviously - who doesn't want to extend the life of their favourite game a bit? In practice, though, there's some suspicion about it. Nobody wants to find themselves paying extra money for content that should have been in the game in the first place.

Hence these DLC roundup features, where we'll be looking at the bits and bobs that have made their way onto Xbox Live - and, soon, PSN - in the past few months, and checking out what's worth whipping your card out for, and what deserves to sit, dusty and unloved, in the digital dustbins out the back of the Marketplace.

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Namco Bandai unveils Fragile

Namco Bandai unveils Fragile

Wii RPG from Tri-Crescendo.

Namco Bandai has whipped the wrappers off a new role-playing game for Wii called Fragile.

Its unveiling came by way of the official website, and revealed the developer to be none other than Tri-Crescendo of Eternal Sonata and Baiten Kaitos fame.

Other than a short trailer the details are largely scarce, although we can see it will come packaged with the usual lavish visuals and atmosphere. We think the story should be about a brittle-boned comic book collector hell-bent on finding the sole survivor of catastrophic accident.

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FeatureXbox 360: 12 Games of Christmas

Play these with mince wine.

It is now dark when we walk home and birds are either dropping out of trees in frozen lumps or going somewhere much nicer for their holidays. And, as always happens, the shops are hoisting their Christmas decorations up and getting us all worried about buying presents because we never know what they want is it socks or aftershave. So, we thought we would join in.

Eternal Sonata demo on Live

Role-play sing-a-long.

Atari has whipped a new demo for Eternal Sonata up onto Xbox Live, so that those of you who were unsure about buying it last Friday can try it out.

Eternal Sonata

Eternal Sonata

Hitting the right notes.

Videogames have always been a rich vein for ardent fans of the surreal. From the overtly psychedelic efforts of Jeff Minter's Tempest or Tetsuya Mizuguchi's Rez, through to the curiously domestic unreality of Keita Takahashi's Katamari Damacy, games provide some of the most unusual brain-fodder of any modern medium.

To our minds, though, things get downright weird when game designers start playing with historical figures - Japanese game designers, especially. Their willingness to perform eye-popping rewriting on their own history is legendary; witness the transformation of one of Japan's three key unifiers, Oda Nobunaga, into a fiery vengeful demon in the Onimusha series. It's no surprise, then, that European history comes out looking even more surreal when it's passed through the wringer.

Which roundabout introduction goes some way to explaining why I've just spent the best part of a week defeating an assortment of fantasy monsters with the aid of a spectacularly dandy-ish Frederic Chopin and his lethal conductors baton.

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Eternal Sonata PS3 confirmed

Tri-Crescendo's sought-after role-playing game Eternal Sonata has finally been confirmed for PS3.

That's according to the latest issue of Japanese magazine Famitsu (pointed out by Kotaku), which claims to have been given the go-ahead to report on it from publisher Namco Bandai. Go ahead, it probably said.

It follows musical news from yesterday that Namco Bandai had listed a PS3 version of the game on its website, before it removed it to stop us all phoning up and asking what was going on.

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New Katamari not on Wii, PS3

Namco Bandai removes listings.

Listings for Eternal Sonata on PS3 and Beautiful Katamari on Wii and PS3 have been removed from the Namco Bandai America website. Once again, both are now Xbox 360 exclusives.

FeatureEternal Sonata

A demonstration of beauty.

Hype is a fickle and unkind mistress. The games it chooses to touch seem almost chosen at random (or at least, at the whim of a marketing division, which often seems to be just about the same thing), with many wonderful games completely passed over by its gentle caress.

Feature360: 2007's Most Wanted

What will you be getting for Christmas?

A Most Wanted list you say? Cripes, whatever next: a Tips and Cheats pamphlet to go with Eurogamer's promotional Pacman Beach Ball cover mount? Still, it's the summer, there are precious few games around and, with an awful lot of new titles coming up towards the end of the year you might quite reasonably want to know which ones to keep an eye on.

Atari signs up Namco X360 pair

Ace Combat and Eternal Sonata.

Atari has stepped up to publish Xbox 360 titles Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation and Eternal Sonata. The latter's also known as "Trusty Bell", and both are the developmental output of good old Namco Bandai.

Eternal Sonata not 360-exclusive

Eternal Sonata not 360-exclusive

ESRB listing spills beans.

Namco Bandai remained tight-lipped this morning when asked whether Eternal Sonata would be coming to PlayStation 3, sticking to the firm ground of "no comment".

The publisher was speaking in light of a listing on the ESRB website that suggests the game's not as exclusive to Xbox 360 as we thought. While it's far from confirmation, the Ratings Board has historically provided big clues as to what we'll see in the future.

While Eternal Sonata - Trusty Bell to some of you - looked to be adding considerable strength to Microsoft's Japanese RPG portfolio, it was never promoted as a console specific title, leaving many to expect a Sony offering somewhere down the line.

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Eternal Sonata

TGS: The game also known as Trusty Bell.

Last generation was easy. If you wanted to play Japanese RPGs, you bought a PlayStation 2 - preferably investing in a dirt-cheap GameCube later on in the cycle when the likes of Tales of Symphonia tempted you to the platform. Microsoft's failure to crack Japan meant that this entire genre of gaming remained largely untouched on the Xbox, and the opinion-polarising properties of JRPG styling and gameplay meant that the majority of Xbox owners were perfectly happy with that situation.