Ephemeral Fantasia

Posted by staff | Posted in Role Playing | Posted on 14-10-2010


Amazon.com Review
Konami made a very strange decision when it chose to release this game in the U.S. While the selection of role-playing games for the PS2 is currently limited, Konami could have selected from a number of strong RPGs it has published in Japan. Instead, the company serves up a mediocre offering in Ephemeral Fantasia, a game that’s originality is negated by frustrating and difficult gameplay, making it appealing only to hard-core RPG fans. Unlike most RPGs, you won… More >>

Ephemeral Fantasia

Comments posted (5)

** Minor spoilers included in text **

In this game, you play “Mouse” (you can rename him — I did), a thief/bard who is journeying to an island to play at the wedding of a popular ruler. But… All is not as it seems on the island. The bride is unhappy, the ruler has some secret, and there is something funny going on with time…

This game uses the same “time loop” plot device that you’ve seen in “Groundhog Day” and others. But here, it is a 5 days that repeat. The first “week”, you are basically led by the hand to every major encounter by your beautiful, fiesty guide Rummy (the leggy redhead you see in the screenshots). After the first week, though, you are free to explore, figure things out and recruit people in whichever order you want. Didn’t save whats-his-face on Day 4? Don’t worry, next week he’ll be alive again, and you can save him then.

Story: (8 out of 10) I won’t give the main story away, but I enjoyed it. The time-loop plot device was a good twist, as you could do things differently the next week and see what happened.

Characters: (9 out of 10) I liked most of the characters, with the exception of the princess — she seemed bored, and to complacent. Rummy and Rinna where my favorites. The characters had personalities, and for the most parts, stuck to them well. Only games I like better for characters would be Grandia 2 and Lunar 2.

Combat: (7 out of 10) Party based, like most console RPG’s. This time, though, attacks are happening simultaneously, so you need to choose your options quickly. I liked the skill system, and the ability to learn skills by watching other players. Still, I would have liked for it to pause while I was choosing options.

Graphics: (6 out of 10) This is the worst part of the game. Still, they are better than PSX quality. But they could have used better lighting. The character models are good though – I especially liked Rinna and Rumi.

Enjoyability: (9 out of 10) Can’t really put it into words, but I find this game very fun. Supposedly there are multiple endings, I’ll try for each one. I feel I got my moneys worth on this game.

A lot of people seem to like the “guitar freaks” mini game. This is a minigame where you pluck tunes by matching colors that are scrolling up screen. Well, it wasn’t my cup of tea, and to be honest I was horrible at it. But I found that it didn’t really matter whether you were good at it or not. (One of my favorites: “oh, that must have been the ‘progressive’ style that I heard about!”) So don’t be put off if you can’t play it. I can’t, and still had fun!

Sever reviewers on the game sites seem to be bashing this game – I believe they didn’t play past the first week. The first week should really be considered an intro to the events- the game really begins on week 2.
Rating: 4 / 5

True, I’ll be the first too admit that EF has it’s problems… problems that will smack you right upside the head a few times as soon as you start in fact. Example, whenever you look at a character head on, looks like they don’t have a nose…okay that’s not a gameplay flaw, but a graphical oddity. As to a gameplay factor, it is EXTREMELY non-linear after the first few days, so while it offers a ton of freedom to do as you please, that also means alot of chances to get lost. But still, once you getting past those inital hurdles, I think you’ll found a very enjoyable story. Patience is the key in this game, and it will pay off if you can manage it.
Rating: 5 / 5

… Ephemeral Fantasia is an interesting and challenging game, with the time-loop concept and some really great characters in a huge setting. The main character is a young musician named Mouse who is summoned to Pandule island to perform at the Princess of Pandule Island’s wedding. After he arrives, he discovers things are not as they first seemed…
Anyway, the music is wonderful (especially the battle music and when Mouse plays certain songs on his banjo), and the mini games are addicting. One mini game is finding the eggs of Death Hyokos, which can fight alongside you in battles as an extra character. But be warned, Death Hyokos can’t be brought back if they fall in battle! The eggs are hidden all over Pandule Island, and searching for them can be VERY addicting. There are 100 Death Hyoko eggs in all. Another mini game is the fact you can play aquired songs anywhere on your banjo after you play the songs for the first time. Play the game to see what I mean!
The sound effects (like when Mouse hits his banjo, or other sound effects) are very good, and the game’s gameplay is almost flawless as well. Ephemeral Fantasia’s graphics are not top quality, unfortunately, but they serve their purpose well enough.

Here’s my ratings for all of Ephemeral Fantasia’s elements (out of a possible 10 points):

Graphics: 7 and a half/10
Replay Value (mini games, secrets, and such): 9/10
Gameplay: 8 and a half/10
Storyline: 8 and a half/10
Music: 9 and a half/10
Sound Effects: 8 and a half/10
Overall, I’d have to give Ephemeral Fantasia an 8 and a half.

One other thing, through, some people may grow tired of this game quickly because of the time-loop slowing down Ephemeral Fantasia’s story’s progress. I recommend renting this game before buying it.

Rating: 4 / 5

In Ephemeral Fantasia you take the role of a musician/bard/theif named Mouse. Mouse and his talking instrument accept a job offer from the Island of Eternal Summer. Very quickly you soon find out not all is as it seems. Your mission is to break out of the time loop.

The repetitiveness of the game can be annoying (being stuck in a time loop) but after the first week you don’t have to go to any of the events again unless you want to or are trying to recrute a certain character. Which makes this game very non-linear. The way you recrute characters is by convinsing them they are repeating the same week over and over. Its ok if you miss someone one week because you can get them next time.

Don’t forget the mini games. I am not very good at the guitar mini game (which reminds me of guitar freaks) but thats ok. Its frustrating not to get a good score but it doesn’t sffect the game’s out come. Another mini game (there are others) is the drinking you play with Clair (a very inportant character to have). The first 9 times you beat her you get a piece of the map.

While were on the subject of the map, this is probably the most anoying part of the game. Find the different peices for the ‘world’ (island) map can be difficult and tiresome.

Its true the graphics aren’t what you would expect for PS2, but really the’re just different. Ephemeral Fantasia has a cartoonish anime look (which I like.)

I noticed this game hasn’t been getting the best reviews. I think people are being to hard on Konami. I find this game challenging but entertaing and fun too.

What this all boils down to it that some people like it and some don’t. Deffinetly rent it first. If you like non-linear RPG adventers deffinetly give it a try. Don’t reviews sway your opinion until you try it for yourself. Try to keep an open mind.
Rating: 3 / 5

Theif or musician? In EF you take the role of Mouse, a theif disguised as a musician. Your partner is a 300 year old talking instrment named Pattimo. [dont worry mouse is REALLY young]
Mouse receives an invatation from pandule island to come and pay a visit. he accepts thinking hes gonna make lots of money which he does. But anyway the graphics are AWESOME if you like anime. the battle systems great and you get more allies than you know what to do with. one thing. the princess is THE UGLIEST GIRL ON PANDULE!! sure she might be pretty on the cover, but in the game shes UGGGGLY!! Rummys prettier. you’ll get to know her when you play the game. anywho, inthe game the same 5 days get repeated. the princess is pretty much forced to get married to the evil guy stupidly named Xelpherpolis [sounds like a city] time keeps on looping soooo.. you have to stop time from looping
great graphics
fun battle system
hilarious cutscenes
if there were 10 stars thats
what i would give it!
By miranda
Rating: 5 / 5

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