If you like rhythm games, you will probably find Fantasia: Music Evolved to your taste. It is the interactive video game successor to Walt Disney’s famous 1940 animated film Fantasia and it’s 1999 sequel Fantasia 2000. Both films serve as the inspiration for the game’s mechanics and effects.
Published by Disney Interactive and developed by Harmonix, the developer best known for Rock Band, Fantasia features all the hallmarks of a rhythm action game and features elements of the two films mentioned above.
Starting out, players are introduced to Percy, the guide, who tells players that they will be embarking on a musical journey.
In order to begin this journey, the player must place stars on a Sorcerer’s hat – which is a direct reference to the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” a segment from the 1940 Fantasia. Once this task is complete, the player is then introduced to supporting character, Scout, who teaches the player how to conduct music.
It is soon discovered that this musical land has been cast into cacophonous chaos by a force known as the Noise.
It will be up to Percy, Scout, and the player to restore the musical timbre to the land – which has been devastated – and bring life back to the realm through the creation of music.
Using Xbox Kinect, players interact directly with the music in a creative experience
Fantasia relies heavily on motion controls that come with the Xbox using the motion-detecting system Kinect. The game cannot be played without this accessory.
The gameplay of Fantasia follows many different motion-controlled rhythm games such as Dance Dance Revolution but instead of tracking feet, it tracks hands.
Players stand in front of the Kinect and will follow on-screen cues on what gesture to make in order to complete a puzzle. Gestures can include reaching up, sweeping arms, reaching forward as if to “grab” an object, and other conductor-like motions. This is all done in beat with a song being played, which will also determine what sort of motions are needed.
The players can see silhouettes of themselves on the screen that mimic their hand gestures.
The game includes a multiplayer cooperative mode where two players can create music compositions together based on a song and the visuals on the screen.
Aside from musical accompaniment, Fantasia allows for deep personalization
As a music and motion game, Fantasia also seeks to put players at ease by giving them as much interactivity as possible. To do this, there are numerous customization options throughout the game that enable players to change the way that music is played.
This can include changing the featured instruments in songs to different types. And, especially on player-created music, it allows them to choose what instruments they want to play the different parts such as harmony or melody.
The game puts together a number of features into one composite and enjoyable whole. Its visual effects are lovely, the animations smooth, and it comes with a wide variety of music to listen and conduct to including Applause by Lady Gaga, Locked out of Heaven by Bruno Mars, Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes, and many more.
Fantasia began making sweet music in October 2014 for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The Kinect motion-sensing peripheral is required to play this game.