Harmonix Strikes Again With Innovative ‘Fantasia: Music Evolved’

I have been a big fan of Harmonix for just over a decade now. In my mind, they are geniuses in terms of innovative gaming and the incorporation of music into the gameplay experience. The developers of FreQuency, Guitar Hero, Karaoke Revolution (which I covered for a previous web site for four years) and Rock Band were always ahead of the game with the music game experience and pioneers of the industry. With Dance Central the most recent endeavor by the team, they also managed to incorporate motion and make it a fun experience for all. Naturally, it was time for a new IP to be introduced once the new next-gen systems were announced, and Harmonix has teamed up with Disney to introduce Fantasia: Music Evolved. The announcement trailer is below and while cool, is mostly a tease instead of a comprehensive trailer with gameplay details.

Confused? Most other people were too, but it was intriguing nonetheless. One of the major details you will notice is that it is for the Kinect for both the Xbox 360 and the new Xbox One, so apologies to Sony fans out there. Regardless, I imagine the game will take advantage of the technological advancements that the new Kinect for the Xbox One brings to the table. Basically, the story goes as this: this is basically a continuation of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice part of the film with Mickey and that magical hat. This time, we take over as the apprentice and are able to create, just like Mickey did, our own orchestral arrangements and bring the scene to life. While we probably won’t see any Disney characters in this game, the amount of creativity being touted for this game is unparalleled. Most music games follow an extremely linear path where we hit the notes at the same time with no real way to branch out and improvise. This game basically flips that notion and leaves it to the gamer to create music and possibilities through the waving of hands, body and gestures.

The clip below, courtesy of Gamespot, shows some gameplay elements such as The Shoal, a place to interact with the environment to collect magic energy for your master. Of course, it also shows off Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. This is where the fun begins and I’ll let you watch it below;

That gameplay pretty much did it for me; I’m sold. The way the gamer was able to bounce back and forth between melodies and be able to determine how she wants the music to play out and the different styles. Fantasia: Music Evolved will boast a modern soundtrack with artists like Bruno Mars and Fun. providing some of the music but luckily, the game will also include music from the original Fantasia movie as well so we can play out our childhood and conduct our way through nostalgia and classical music. This game promises to be a revolutionary step in music gaming and I definitely will be looking forward to more information coming out as we still have a bit of a way before it’s release date in 2014. Regardless, Harmonix has yet again delivered a cool, new innovative experience that I can’t wait to partake in.


Images: Disney, Harmonix

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