An entertaining story combined with competent rhythm game mechanics and great music makes Fredric a wonderful addition to the PSM library.
Rhythm games are fairly common this generation with the likes of Guitar Hero and Rock Band putting you into the Rock Star life with guitars and drums jamming along with music we all know and love from the past and present. Fredric – Resurrection of Music is a rhythm game that does things a little different. The soundtrack is composed of classic Chopin compositions remixed with new instruments and styles in a surprisingly good and catchy way. More than a couple of times when I finished up playing I would have the tunes stuck in my head, and I was perfectly fine with that.
The game’s story is told in over an hours worth of voiced motion comics which I found to be an enjoyable way to experience it. While the voice acting can seem a little groan worthy at times, I really liked the art style used and I was quite impressed with a PSM title having so much video and audio content. The story itself though is certainly…something. The story premise starts off wacky with Chopin getting raised from the grave and having to face different musicians for music supremacy and this wackiness just continues throughout. You will experience Elvis impersonators, a US general wearing a tutu, a borderline racist leprechaun, and the game hinting at Chopin getting high down in the Caribbean. Of course with no one wondering why Chopin has suddenly returned from the grave after being dead for over 160 years. But I’ve got to give Forever Entertainment credit, while the story is crazy to the tens I found myself enjoying it and cracking a smile with how ridiculous it is and at the pop culture references that appear throughout.
As Chopin you use your trusty grand piano to play the game. Music notes flow down the screen towards four black and three white piano keys at the bottom and you must play each note by tapping, holding, or sliding your finger on the correct key. While you can hit a note anytime it’s on a key you gain extra points for hitting it at the perfect time when there is a red outline on the note. Hitting ten notes in a row will increase your multiplier to a max of five, which as everyone knows in rhythm games is important to achieving those high scores.
Hitting ten perfect notes in a row will also produce a golden note from the key you last pressed. This golden note will float up and off the screen but once tapped will give you bonus points. Trying to coordinate tapping these special golden notes along with the regular notes you have to play can be quite a feat some times. This is complicated further by the fact that the golden note isn’t tappable as soon as it appears, so you need to wait around half a second as to not have the game confuse the tap with a key play. More than a few times this fooled up my streak while playing.
While getting a high score is usually the main goal of a rhythm game Fredric adds another element. On the top of the screen is a meter that portrays Chopin’s and his opponent’s fortitude, showing who is currently winning the music battle. At the end of each song the meter must be more than half way in your favor in order to pass. As you would expect hitting notes increases the meter in your favor and missing them lowers it. While different from most rhythm games I do like the fail state implemented this way as it’s friendlier to the player; allowing you to play the whole song without instantly losing if you come across a difficult section that you can’t handle.
Every once in a while when you are doing well you will get prompted to shake the Vita to do a special move. Doing so will give an increase to the meter in your favor and show off Fredric doing something like shooting a beam from his hand at his opponent (that crazy power of music). While in theory this sounds like a good addition, the amount of shaking needed for the game to pick it up and the small window of opportunity it gives you is a surefire way to end up missing notes and still not setting it off, with the chance always there to accidentally fling your Vita across the room. Since your opponents also does a similar move when they are winning I find this implementation to be kind of backwards, rewarding you for doing well when you don’t need it and punishing you when you are doing bad and need the help. So while flashy to look at I find this a kind of needless addition and one that I pretty much ignored while playing.
Overall I had a great time playing Fredric – Resurrection of Music. While it took a few songs to get an understanding of how the game was played I found it to be quite fun and fairly forgiving once I did, although I do wish that the harder difficulties would have contained more of a challenge. While I am no stranger to these types of games, being able to breeze through the hardest difficulty was a bit of a disappointment. But beyond that, you have an entertaining story combined with competent rhythm game mechanics and great music which makes Fredric a wonderful addition to the PSM library.
A copy of this game was purchased for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation Vita version of the game.
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Developer:Forever Entertainment S.A.
Release Date:October 2012
Price:£3.19, £3.99, ¥300