The Violinist of Hameln is another unique action/adventure/RPG game from Enix that was released only in Japan. Thanks to the translation efforts of fan group J2e Translation, you can now play the game in English. The plot is based on the manga (and later anime) series of the same name. The story starts in the village of Staccato (the puns get worse, so don?t choke ;)) where monsters are terrorizing the villagers. When a kind-hearted girl named Flute is about to be beaten into a pulp, the legendary hero Hamel shows up and scares all the monsters away... by playing a sweet melody on his violin. |
If you hate ?nauseatingly cute? console games, steers clear of The Violinist of Hameln because it not only has plenty of cutesy characters, but the action is also decidedly non-violent: you attack monsters by playing a song on your violin, and then watching the musical notes hit the monsters. The graphics are bright and colorful, with plenty of details in both the scenery and monster designs.
Enix wouldn?t be as famous as they are if The Violinist of Hameln is a typical game you can easily categorize as ?2D platformer.? And here the company doesn?t disappoint. Although the game looks and plays like a platformer, it has a lot of fun adventure/RPG elements. The best part of the game is Flute, the girl you saved in the introduction: as she follows you around, you can pick her up and throw her (ouch) at enemies to collect gold and break down ?soft? walls. As you progress, Flute will acquire new costumes, each granting her different special abilities to help in your quest. (basically ?transforming? her in the process). One costume, for example, turns Flute into an ice shaver similar to a hockey puck that can be thrown and slide around (to Flute?s consternation, apparently). Knowing which costume to use where is crucial to solving the game?s puzzles and defeating some tough monsters. Flute has a limited amount of energy which is required for each transformation, so you cannot use her too often.
With a great gameplay, easy-to-learn interface, and a lot of unique elements including nice classic music, The Violinist of Hameln is a fun action/RPG game that you?ll enjoy playing if you can stomach the cuteness of anime characters ;) The one weakness of the game, like most action console games, is that it doesn?t let you save. But thanks to SNES emulators for PC such as ZSNES, you can easily use ?save state? option to save and restore your progress as often as you want. Two thumbs up, way up!
Note: the download here is already patched with English translation, so just load it up in your favorite emulator and play.
Reviewed by: Underdogs