Eternal Sonata

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
Eternal Sonata Game Poster Image
Parents recommend
RPG visits Chopin's death bed and fantasy world.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The character of Polka is a social outcast because her illness means she can use magic, and people mistakenly think she is contagious.


Players battle a variety of villainous humans, monsters, and animals. The violence is animated and not graphic. All of the enemies are aggressive but not all of them look menacing -- some might find it disturbing to beat up on mice, ponies, and other creatures who cry out each time they're hit.


Occasional mild and non-gratuitous cursing like "damn."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Settings include bars and a wine cellar. In the wine cellar you briefly interact with a drunken worker.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that underneath its pretty veneer, this Teen-rated game raises serious philosophical questions about the choices people make when faced with their own mortality. Several cut scenes take place at Frederic's deathbed in his Paris apartment. There's plenty of fantasy violence but nothing too realistic -- except when it's directed at rats and other animals. Settings include scenes in bars and a wine cellar and players will encounter a drunken person.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8, 9, 10, 13, and 16-year-old Written byaallison77 June 26, 2011
Adult Written byStarZero December 11, 2009


I personally don't care for the game itself. However, it shouldn't be a problem for most kids, and can be used as a platform to teach them about music... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written byella13bin April 9, 2008

What's it about?

Video games have featured some unlikely heroes, but ETERNAL SONATA surely takes the cake by making its central character 19th-century composer Frederic Chopin. In real life, the sickly pianist succumbed to tuberculosis at the age of 39, but in Eternal Sonata he's a robust character who whales on enemies with a souped-up conductor's baton and unleashes devastating magical attacks while uttering battle cries: \"You cannot stop my relentless advance!\"

As Chopin lies on his death bed in his Paris apartment, in his mind he travels to a beautiful fantasy world where he meets a girl named Polka who, like him, is afflicted with an incurable illness -- except that in Chopin's dream, characters who are doomed to die from illness are granted a wondrous side effect of being able to use magic. Eventually he and Polka meet up with other characters and set out to confront the warmongering Count Waltz, who is breeding a sinister army.

Is it any good?

Chopin's world is a gorgeous one, with bright and colorful surroundings and characters with exquisitely detailed costumes and expressive faces. Eternal Sonata also boasts a unique and dynamic battle system where there are a limited number of seconds to execute a turn, and special abilities are affected by whether the character is standing in light or shadow. Each battlefield includes both sun and shade, and a big part of fighting is maneuvering characters into the desired lighting. There are also documentary-style interludes that narrate important episodes in Chopin's life while his music, performed by pianist Stanislav Bunin, plays in the background.

In spite of its many high points, the game is weighed down by long cut scenes and the lack of an overworld map to prevent frustrating backtracking in several locations. Annoyances aside, however, Eternal Sonata is a fresh and beautiful role-playing.


Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it would be worth it to have a rare and special talent if it meant also having a horrible side effect, like Chopin's prodigious musical abilities along with frail health, or Polka's incurable illness granting her the ability to use magic.

Game details

  • Platforms: Xbox 360
  • Price: $59.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Namco Bandai
  • Release date: September 21, 2007
  • Genre: Role-Playing
  • ESRB rating: T for fantasy violence, mild language, use of alcohol.
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate