Since it was first announced last year, Harmonix’s upcoming effervescent, luminescent, Kinect-driven dancing/conducting/sorcering simulator remained a bit of an enigma. Defying comparison, it’s tough to convey exactly what kind of game Fantasia is. We recently had the chance to see and play Fantasia: Music Evolved and gained a clearer picture of what we can expect from the final product, including the newly revealed multiplayer mode.
For those unaware, Fantasia’s core gameplay is about taking popular songs, like The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” (also newly announced for the game) and layering different instrumentations over them to create remixes on the fly. At pre-defined points in each song, you choose between different instrumental themes--like electronic beats, 8-bit bloops and jazz--creating a different-sounding song on each run. Of course, the game is also making you move in time with the music for a high score and in the two-player mode it's all about scoring higher than your competitor to gain control over the mix of the song. Basically, whoever has a higher score at one of those points will choose what instrumental direction the song will take.
But, thanks to the conductor-esque wild gesticulation Fantasia asks of you, the danger of being slapped in the face by your opponent is very real and ever-present, so it may not be where you want to spend all your time. For when you’re not flailing your hands about in the midst of a contemporary pop hit, Fantasia also has something of a hub world that takes the form of a magical forest. Here, you’ll unlock “composition spells,” which gate your progression through the game. They’re essentially minigames that allow you to create music in a free-form way by touching mushrooms. In case you were wondering if they’re doing the brand right.
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