A few years ago, Microsoft invested heavily in securing quality Japanese titles to help sway fence-sitters from the East to put aside their DS and PSP in favour of a chunky 360. Eternal Sonata, developed by the much-loved Tri-Crescendo team, is an example of Microsoft's JRPG drive, and is a steal at £8.93 from Play.
Eternal Sonata averaged a fairly respectable 79 on MetaCritic, but was widely accepted amongst JRPG fans as an unsung hit. Marrying a strong, cel-shaded aesthetic with a blend of turn-based and real-time combat, not to mention a wonderfully operatic score, Eternal Sonata even managed to spike 360 sales in Japan upon release, such was its reputation.
Strangely enough, Eternal Sonata's protagonist is none other than Polish composer Frederic Chopin. Chopin died of tuberculosis at the age of 39, and the game imagines that, on his deathbed, Chopin's consciousness drifted in and out of the real world, slipping into the fiction realm of Eternal Sonata, where he is a hero on a quest. Music, obviously, factors into the narrative and the design. Characters are named after musical terms, and the actual soundtrack is an amalgamation of Chopin's work and homages to his music from a variety of composers.
Combat in Eternal Sonata was generally well-received, in large part due to the team's forward-thinking approach to enemy encounters. JRPGs often drown in their own legacy when it comes to combat, forcing players to relive the same rigidly turn-based exercises they've been bashing away at for years. Eternal Sonata, instead of entirely abandoning its genre roots, instead augments the turn-based aspects of combat with real-time scenarios.