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E3 2013: Fantasia: Music Evolved Preview

If I had to choose a game of the show for E3 2013, it would be Fantasia: Music Evolved. Let me tell you why.

It’s not often that a game comes along at a show like E3, where as I sit down, filled with stress about what I’m going to see next or how I’ll be able to cram everything into three days, completely removes all that from thought and, instead, leaves me with a moment of pure joy filled with wonder. Fantasia did that.

It didn’t just do that in a basic way, but rather in a way that pulled me back to my childhood, a childhood filled with Disney, creativity, and imagination.

In Fantasia: Music Evolved, you’re placed inside the base world, which was The Shoal during the demo. Once inside, everything seems sort of dead. You can move side-to-side to navigate the world. Your goal is to bring the world to life. To do so, you have to create music that will regenerate the world.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that, because this game is from Harmonix, it requires creating music or dancing. You aren’t creating music, just conducting and remixing what’s already there and you don’t have to dance, you’re only moving your arms around. It’s all very minimal, unless, of course, you don’t want it to be and, in that case, you can get as into it as you would like, wavy arms and all.

As for the music itself, there’s everything from Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen to Some Nights by .Fun. It isn’t just rock or pop, but there’s a large selection of songs that you’ll play throughout the course of the game. There’s also five tracks from the original Fantasia in there too, so the film’s classical roots will be evident, no worries there.

When conducting, you simply have to wave your arms in the direction of two arrows on screen at the correct time. It’s extremely simple to understand and is more about creativity than hitting every note absolutely perfect. It’s a family game, after all.

It doesn’t stick like this all the way through a song though. Instead, as you play through the song, you’ll be given a choice of which instrument to add in next, even for instruments that were never there in the first place. Oh, you wanted to add a clarinet to Bohemian Rhapsody? You can totally do that! And it sounds awesome.

It’s all about creativity, and that comes through even more in the remix sections, where you’re given a section of the track and can do a variety of things to change the track dynamically; whether that’s physically bending the metal track or simply drawing a pattern that turns into music. It’s all up to you.

That’s kinda the best part. Fantasia is all dynamic based upon what you do. As you fill out this world, you’re doing things the way that you want to. There’s a section inside The Shoal where you have to play some jazz clams and the environmental song that plays inside the world changes based on how you play those clams the first time.

Fantasia: Music Evolved isn’t just a simple concept to bring music and Disney to the masses, but, instead, it presents players with a unique chance to create inside Disney like they’ve always wanted to. Walt Disney intended for Fantasia to be updated as time went on so that it was always modern, Music Evolved is the direct evolution of this design. It left me in a state of complete awe, something that games haven’t done for a long, long time.

Words by Alex Rubens. 

Edited On 23 Jun, 2013

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