Monday, October 27, 2014

When You Smash Fantasia and Video Games Together

Now this is a music game I could be interested in: Disney Interactive teamed up with Harmonix, the developers of Rock Band and Dance Central, and made a video game sequel for the movie Fantasia. The 2010 movie, not the original, but sprinkles some of the 1940's in between. But still, that's a pretty cool idea given how music drives the narrative of Fantasia. Fantasia: Music Evolved is an XBox 360/One exclusive that allows the use of motion controls for you to conduct the story.

You, the player, are tasked as the Sorcerer's Apprentice, and must animate the new worlds that the Sorcerer has created. As you move forward in the game, you unlock new gestures, elements, and music. One thing I can appreciation about this collaboration is that Harmonix does not half-ass a product. They are all in when they develop a title. When you talk to fans of music games, people tend to choose Rock Band over Guitar Hero. Why? Better song choices and solid controls. If you want straight up guitar rifts, then GH will be superior. For the rest? Go for the band. So this mash-up with Disney couldn't be a better fit.

The game was recently released, so reviews are a bit scarce right now. I don't have a Kinect so I can't play, but I'll see if I can bum off of a friend to test this out. The music was composed by Inon Zur, who also did a spin on Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' for the game. Yeah. Queen is in a Disney game. It's a mixture of classical and pop culture. And to take it a step further, you can customize the music in the game.

"In each song you’re going to hear a different soundscape and you’ll be able to customize it and then record a solo, which will loop back into the track at intervals that fit with each particular song." ~ Jonathan Mince, lead designer.

When you have the composer in-house and able to give that artistic freedom to the gamers, that's pretty damn cool. One of the downfalls of music games, I find, is not being able to integrate your spin on classic songs. This game encourages it.

If you've picked up a copy, post your thoughts. I'm curious to try this out.


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