If there’s ever a whackier concept for a game premise than Frederic: The Resurrection of Music, be sure to point me in its direction because I frankly don’t believe you. Based on Frederic Chopin, the famous classical composer and master pianist, the long dead maestro is back from the grave to battle it out against soulless modern music. Travelling around the world with his magic carriage and piano, he partakes in musical duels to regain some class to the world of music.
If you’re playing a rhythm game, it’s definitely not for the story though. Frederic: Resurrection of Music does try, to give it some credit. There are lengthy cutscenes played out between your musical duels and they try their best to tell a humorous story. Honestly, as whacky and weird as it is, I couldn’t stop myself skipping cutscenes after about halfway through as they did grind the game to a halt at times and their meandering pace did kind of bore me.
All of the cutscenes are fully voice acted, which you would think is a plus point, but the acting and writing is so horrendously poor it’s bordering on funny. The only reason you’d want to sit through all the story on offer is if you want to laugh at the poorly delivered dialogue. Some of the accents on display are really quite magical, but not in the good way. The animation is fairly decent, if a little on the basic side, but it does the job to convey the story. It reminds me of a young child’s cartoon where there’s obviously no need to go overboard with the animation frames.
So, it’s not the best start to a review for this game, but rhythm games are all about the gameplay. Thankfully this is where Frederic: The Resurrection of Music gets back on track.
If you’ve ever played a rhythm game like Guitar Hero and the like, you’ll instantly get the gameplay for Frederic. Notes fall down from the top of the screen to the bottom. Hit the correct note at the right time and you’ll succeed, miss too many notes and you’ll fail. As there is a duel aspect to this game, the top of the screen presents who is winning the duel as it sways back and forth between Frederic and his rival at the time. Finish the stage with more in your favour and you win, if your opponent has more, then you lose and have to try again. It’s pretty simple.
Frederic: The Resurrection of Music may be a little on the difficult side for some, especially those not accustomed to rhythm games. I think even experienced players may struggle at times too, especially with seven notes to keep track of along the keyboard. Each key is assigned to a button on the controller and so you’ll definitely be kept on your toes keeping track of everything. In order from left to right you have the left, up, down on the D-Pad, ZL, then Y, X and A. While six of those are fine and easy to get your head around, it’s the ZL slammed right in the middle of everything that can throw a spanner in the works. It took me a while, but i eventually got used to it. It just seems a little unnatural though. At first I thought it would be literally impossible for me to adapt since, visually, the placement of the key goes against what you’re physically doing. They just don’t match and my meagre brain had a difficult time catching up. But, just like anything, practice makes perfect and I just about got there in the end.
For those who just can’t get used to this, you may want to play in handheld mode which makes use of the touch screen. For the most part this seemed easier although the odd rogue key press happened even though my fingers are far from chunky. It’s obvious the game was designed this way from the start as it’s just very natural compared to the controller.
There are various difficulty levels, but this doesn’t change the note patterns or anything, it only changes the room for success or failure. I started off on normal but I indeed found it very difficult getting used to the controls and I kept failing on the second stage. I decided to try easy and yes, easy is easy. Even if you make loads of mistakes you can still progress and this gave me a much better chance to learn the rhythm of the game without feeling too frustrated. Indeed, after a while I actually became fairly decent at it. It just takes a bit of time, that’s all.
As a music rhythm game, the music should be of high focus and high quality. Thankfully it is. I’m not an expert on the man’s discography, but I think most, if not all the songs present here are remixes of his songs. They’re really good too, even if you’re not into classical music. They’re remixed into a nice variety of different modern genres from urban hip hop, reggae and country music. I personally found the first half of the game to be really strong, but as the game reached the latter part the quality did seem to fall off a little. Songs lost some of their identity and didn’t really reach the genre they should have gone for. The Russian and Indian songs had so much potential but failed to live up to what their respective countries are known for. Thankfully I still loved a lot of the songs. The reggae song in particular left a great impression on me.
Frederic: The Resurrection of Music is actually a very short game, matching its fairly cheap price tag. You’ll have finished the game in an hour or less no problem. Unless of course you really can’t get the rhythm. That may be a barrier for some, but I think if you like the gameplay and especially the music, there is room for replaying it and enjoying it, especially if you want to get a better score and try more difficulty levels. You have to appreciate how much work went into each of the songs in this game, but it’s such a shame there’re so few of them.
It’s difficult not to give a recommendation to Frederic: The Resurrection of Music, it’s a quirky quick game that has some great music and rhythm gameplay. The problem is that it’s just a little too quick, and I think many people will lament paying the price for something that is light on content. Saying that, the £5-odd price won’t be breaking the bank and you could be sure to spend it on much worse games. I know there is a sequel to this game already out on PC and iOS so it’s a shame that both games couldn’t have been packaged into one nice game purchase, that would have been an instant recommendation for sure. As it is, if you’re into rhythm games, sure. If not then it may be difficult for Frederic to persuade you otherwise.
Game provided by Forever Entertainment.