I have begin with the game’s mechanics. The way you control Fantasia is incredibly unique, and very original. So much so, that it is somewhat difficult to break down into words. It often feels like you’re conducting, particularly anytime you’re playing though one of the game’s may classical tracks, but you’re not conducting for the purposes of keeping the music in time. The swipes, pushes, and other various hand movements are focused on different instrumentations within each song, so that, for a minute or so you may be matching your movements to the song’s drum track, and the next minute be attempting to swipe to the song’s vocals.
This change is done at critical points in the song, where you will change both the focus of your movements, and the mix of the track you’re playing. Each track has the original version of the song, plus two alternate mixes, that includes everything from a classical arrangement of Bohemian Rhapsody to a Pentatonix cover of Take Care. The final piece of the game’s mechanics are composition spells, which unlock by completing chains of movements at particular points in the song, and are used to make somewhat original loops that are then inserted into the background of the song at various points.
All of this is conveyed to you in very simple and intuitive ways, making it easy to feel very comfortable with gameplay that’s never been done in a game before. That’s quite a feat. Some of the later stages become very involved and the feeling of building up a long streak without missing a cue is really satisfying. One of the downsides though, is that the game is a little more abstract than pervious games in the music genre. I found that moving my hands around in time with a song’s cues just doesn’t feel quite as natural as sitting behind a drum kit in Rock Band or attempting to bust a few moves in Dance Central. On thing that remained constant though, was the game’s replayablity. There are plenty of unlockables, from new mixes to little abstract musical creations within the games well varied worlds, and I constantly had to make myself quit when life’s responsibilities called, for fear of never being able to quit saying to myself, “Just one more song…”.
Overall, Fantasia: Music Evolved does what Harmonix best — make games that bring you closer to great music. There are exciting worlds to visit, and a ton of new musical discoveries waiting with each one you visit. You’ll discover how each song’s alternative mixes change things in various ways, you’ll play around with those mixes to create your own unique versions of the game’s many tracks, and despite a pretty surface level story, you’ll be given the impression that your movements really are affecting those songs. It all adds up to a game that any music fan should have in their collection, and one what gives you control over music in a way no game has ever done before. Dare I say, its magical.