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Gamer Tuesday

June 11, 2013

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: Just what is Fantasia: Music Evolved?

And the high profile Disney game releases continue! With the likes of DuckTales:Remastered and Disney Infinity hoping to capture the imaginations of Disney fans and gamers alike in 2013, we can add another hopeful to that list of highly anticipated releases: Fantasia: Music Evolved.

Fantasia Music Evolved

Of course, we can't talk about the game without first talking about the Disney animated masterpiece that inspired it, Fantasia. The third animated film by Walt Disney himself, Fantasia represented a huge creative and financial gamble for the company. Despite the incredible success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs years earlier, Pinocchio did not create the same results, and with the world on the brink of war, as well as the oddness of the project, Fantasia was poised to be a cult classic. But time can often be kind to masterful pieces of art as re-releases of the film helped it finally find the audience it deserved. People went from complete indifference to hailing it as one of the finest films ever made. This legacy inspired Disney to create a follow up with Fantasia 2000, which saw mixed reactions from fans and critics alike.

On the other side of the spectrum is Harmonix. The company is highly regarded in the video game industry as one of the finest creators of rhythm music games. Their work on the early Guitar Hero games gave them success thanks to immersive gameplay that was very easy to understand, yet challenging to master. Soon, they evolved the Guitar Hero concept and created Rock Band, a title that inspired the music band game craze of the mid-00s. Rock Band allowed players to control different instruments, allowing them to live out the dream of being in a rock band. That game featured various editions such as The Beatles: Rock Band. Once the band game fad fizzled out, they created Dance Central for the Xbox 360 Kinect, a game that was quickly praised as the best game for the newly released motion controlled camera.

Fantasia Music Evolved

Now, we have a gaming company that has rightfully earned its reputation as the creators of innovative music games, and that company has taken extreme inspiration from a film that celebrates music and animation as legitimate art forms. The end result is gonna be Fantasia: Music Evolved for the Xbox One and Xbox 360. And the title is about... It's a complete mystery!

All kidding aside, as we can see from the teaser trailer below:


The premise of the game remains a complete mystery for many. What's even more interesting is that despite the Fantasia name attached to the project, the music will not be about classical musical compositions as seen in the feature films. Instead, the soundtrack will be adorned by the likes of Fun's 'Some Nights' and Bruno Mars. The release of this trailer has not only confused people, but also made them mad. As it stands, people believe that Fantasia: Music Evolved only takes the Fantasia name and put it on top of a generic music game, disrespecting the legacy the film had created in the art and music world.

The very small pieces of information regarding this game indicates that the game will have kinetic rhythm game components, as well as free style modes where players use their arms to generate images inspired by the music. Of all the elements from the two films, the appearance of Sorcerer Yensid and Apprentice Mickey from 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' has been confirmed. The idea behind the films, which is to generate visuals according to the mood and feel of the films, so far seems to be the main reason behind the gameplay. It has also been confirmed that players start off in a blank universe that becomes more alive as the music grows along with a player's performance. And that's just it: information is just so sparse right now that people have no idea what to make of it!


All the confusion and indifference makes me believe that this is what Walt Disney and his animators experienced when the film was first announced and eventually released. Just like no one could understand the idea behind Fantasia, players and Disney fans don't know how to react to Fantasia: Music Evolved. The usage of modern day music throws a lot of people off, and the lack of gameplay details just generates more confusion. In my eyes, though, I rather give Disney and Harmonix the benefit of the doubt as not only is the information so small it is hard to form a general opinion of it, this may be the kind of experimental game that may eventually yield a huge following in its release. Harmonix has many years of expertise under their belt, and if there is one company that can give justice to the game, it is them.

Fantasia: Music Evolved is slated for a 2014 release on the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One. No word if it will be a digital release or a retail release.


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