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Fantasia: Music Evolved

Platform(s): Xbox 360, Xbox One
Genre: Rhythm
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Developer: Harmonix
Release Date: 2014

About Brian Dumlao

After spending several years doing QA for games, I took the next logical step: critiquing them. Even though the Xbox One is my preferred weapon of choice, I'll play and review just about any game from any genre on any system.


XOne/X360 Preview - 'Fantasia: Music Evolved'

by Brian Dumlao on Sept. 12, 2013 @ 12:30 a.m. PDT

Fantasia: Music Evolved transports players to a breathtaking world where music and magic combine to transform extraordinary interactive landscapes in entirely new and creative ways!

This year at PAX Prime, Disney Interactive and Harmonix were armed with a new build of Fantasia: Music Evolved for the Xbox One for our viewing pleasure. However, the build for hands-on play was the same one from E3 2013, so there's nothing to report there. The presentation showed off a new level and gave us a better idea of how the player would progress and interact with these levels.

The level in question is The Haven, a snowy environment with birch trees and a lovely sunrise. The player can move around the environment, but that's limited to a 2-D plane. You can go left and right to get a better idea of the depth, and you can go a certain distance into the environment, but you can't rotate it. The main items to look for are songs that contain energy bundles; the bundles are unlocked once you complete the song performance. In this environment, the player could choose from "Settle Down" by Kimbra, "Some Nights" by Fun, and the appropriate "Four Seasons: Winter - 1st Movement" by Vivaldi. We saw nothing different from our last preview of the game, but the presenter liked to remix Vivaldi with lots of dubstep.

Touching the energy bundle created some environmental changes, and unlocking more energy bundles changed the environments even further. A peeking sun gave way to a full sunrise and went into a daytime setting. The ice on the lake was broken by a creature with tentacles that held on to some trees and unleashed plenty of one-eyed beings. Once this occurred, the creatures flinch when an aura spark passes over them. The snow blocking a cave was broken, revealing a sleeping yeti inside. After waving to the yeti, he turns out to be friendly and wants to play hide-and-seek. The game is basic enough since you can easily spot the giant yeti despite his camouflage, but the silly movements, such as him tiptoeing between hiding spots, made the encounter endearing. Venturing further into the cave revealed another yeti who was interested in singing. Placing your hand over particular spots in rhythm caused the yeti to mimic the rhythm, again making the simple activity humorous due to his actions.

Fantasia: Music Evolved looks to be a fun, experimental game with a good amount of focus on the musical experimentation and the world that bookends each experience. It hits next year for the Xbox One and the Xbox 360 and it'll be interesting to see how the experience will differ on the two platforms.

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