The lights are on
At PAX Prime, Harmonix showcased a new
region of its fantastical Kinect game, Fantasia: Music Evolved.
The Haven starts off as a darkened
winter forest drawn in the art style of Daniel Danger. Between the
branches of barren birch trees, stars shine brightly in the sky. As
players wipe away icicles, they collect prisms filled with magic that
feed into a meter. Once the meter is completely filled, the player
can unlock one of the three songs featured on the level: Fun's "Some
Nights," Kimbra's "Settle Down," or Vivaldi's Winter movement
from "Four Seasons."
Songs are peformed making sweeping motions to align with the on-screen icons. How you go about this is up to you. Some perform like conductors to a symphony, and I saw others do it while dancing. When players successfully perform one
of the songs, they are given a transofrmation key that alters the
environment. When the first key is applied, the sun starts to rise
and a sea monster emerges from the middle of the forest. The second transformational key brings a yeti out of hibernation, who
then plays hide and seek with the player.
Once all of the songs are unlocked,
players can enter a remix mode that allows them to apply different
musical styles to the song of their choice. For the sake of this
demo, former GI editor and current Harmonix community manager Annette Gonzalez chooses Vivaldi's "Four
Seasons." As you perform, a color wheel appears that allows the you
to select a new music style to apply to the song. In this case, the
choices are a surf rock sound, dubstep, and a more traditional
classical approach. Applying these gives the player a sense of ownership over the song, as you can easily jump from style to style in the middle of a song.
Fantasia: Music Evolved isn't an easy
game to describe, but the whimsical world, free-form gameplay, and Harmonix pedigree combine to make a rhythm-based experience unlike
anything we've ever seen before. Featuring more than 30 songs and
several different realms to explore, Harmonix plans to release the
game in 2014 for Kinect-enabled Xbox 360s and the Xbox One.
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