Ephemeral Fantasia
Game Info
Playstation 2
ESRB Rating
Blood, Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco/Alcohol
The Good

• Excellent battle system
• Guitar mini-game is challenging yet fun
• Great concept and story

The Bad

• Graphics not the strong point
• Loading times
• You have to hold down a button to run


Ephemeral Fantasia is one of those games where the initial impression turns out to be the wrong one. Any player who picks up this game for only a few hours will come away confused and disappointed. Where Konami's first RPG for the PS2 really shines is over the long-haul with effort and exploration. The story follows a musician by day/thief by night by the name of Mouse and his talking guitar, Pattimo. The two are hired by Xelpherpolis, the man betrothed to Pandule's princess Loreille, and brought to the island. Once there, the events over the next five days quickly reveal themselves. After the fifth day, though, Xelpherpolis' plot becomes evident and time reverts back to the first day that Mouse was on the island, forcing him and the other people to relive the next five days, over and over again.

Ephemeral Fantasia, while not ugly, does not do itself any favors with it's visual presentation. The character and environment designs are often bland and uninspired. Even though consistent, visual textures are average and won't wow gamers. Structurally, though, the game is solidly built. The visual interface is not so bad that gamers won't be able to place for it being so ugly. Just don't expect Final Fantasy X out of this.

This is where EF really shines. After the first week of required events, the game basically lets the player do as they please, looking for pieces of the map and trying to convince other characters about what is going on. These attempts at recruiting involve more than just talking to someone. You have to show up at certain times, locate items and talk to other characters to figure out how to convince potential allies. Also, the Guitar-Playing mini-game is rather a fresh addition to the RPG genre. While, most of the time, you just get points and a score by playing, there are times when you can actually get paid for playing decently.

One of the nicer aspects of EF is the well-developed battle system. Instead of you and your enemies lining up and facing each other, everyone is placed on a circular field in one of four spots. Allies can be surrounded in the center or placed out on the perimeter. Where they're placed really makes a difference on their ability to defend or attack. EF also implements a real-time fighting engine where enemies and players attack as soon as their action counter fills. This leads to more than one player or enemy making attacks at any given time, giving greater urgency in making choices in combat.

There are a few sore spots in EF. Since the whole game takes place on one island, the loading of area has been split up into map sections, which means that running from one place in town to another might send you through three loading areas, taking anywhere from one to five seconds to load apiece. While this is not horrible, is does seem to break up the flow of movement. Also, concerning the map... Until players start finding maps and getting familiar with how the town is set up, they might find themselves confused and lost often. By the time week 2 or 3 rolls around, you should be able to get anywhere on the southside with no problem.

Ephemeral Fantasia is a throwback to the way RPGs used to be made before polygons. With anime-style characters and a firm story and gameplay, this game should be enjoyable for anyone who can get past the graphical weaknesses. Players who enjoy running around and doing as they please will thoroughly enjoy themselves with this game.

- - Kinderfeld

ILS is not affiliated with, endorsed by or related to any of the products, companies, artists or parties legally responsible for the items referred to on this website. No copyright infringement is intended.
Game Shots