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Fred3ric Review

Fred3ric Review

Fred3ric is the third entry in a series of rhythm-based indie games featuring modern renditions of popular classical music from some of the most iconic composers in history. These remixes combine new-age, electronic, rock, and classical genres to form a unique, inspiring-sounding collection of songs. You'll definitely recognize a fair amount of melodies in this game even if you aren't that familiar with classical music, as most of the original pieces that Fred3ric draws upon are extremely common in popular culture.

The game plays out as a series of musical duels between Frederic Chopin and other popular composers. There's an evil robot who time travels and possesses these different composers, turning them into cyborgs to fight Frederic. It's a super simple plot that assumes you've played the previous games, as you don't really know much about the robot antagonist who seemingly has a significant role in the other titles. I was pretty confused after the opening sequence, but since the story's purpose is just to provide some goofy context to gameplay, I think the lack of backstory can be ignored.

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However, the idea that the player is assumed to already be familiar with the franchise comes up again once gameplay actually starts. There's no tutorial, and while a rhythm game is somewhat self-explanatory, there are a few different power-ups and bits of the interface that aren't so intuitive. Fortunately, there's a handy gameplay guide that can be accessed from the main menu that explains everything you need to know. Though, it would have been better to prompt the player to run through these instructions before jumping into gameplay. It took many attempts for me to figure things out as a result.

The controls will be different depending on your platform of choice, but the goal is to time button presses with notes that roll down the screen and land on a virtual piano. The better your timing, the more points you get. A battle meter at the top of the screen determines if you beat your opponent at the end of a song. For every note you hit successfully, the meter increases slightly, and if you miss a note or press the wrong button, the meter goes down. To win, your meter has to be more than halfway full, which really isn't too difficult to do. For an added challenge, you can try to get three stars on the level, which requires your overall accuracy to be close to a hundred percent.

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I played Fred3ric on PC, but it's also available on the Nintendo Switch. From what I've heard, it plays much better on the Switch since you can use the touchscreen instead of a physical keyboard. This makes it much easier to time presses and feels like playing on actual piano to some extent. Even though keybinds can be customised on the PC version, I found every configuration I tried to be pretty awkward. I’d definitely like to try this game out on the Switch just to experience the difference.

One feature you absolutely can't ignore about Fred3ric are the insane backgrounds in each level. Every backdrop is filled with tons of detail and looks like something out of Where's Wally?. There's a ton of random stuff like pizzas and monkeys all over the place, surrounding Frederic and his opponent as they pound away at the piano. These backdrops are static for the most part, but the camera pans all over, zooming in on different cartoon characters like panels of a comic book. Somehow, I wasn't really distracted by all of this. There's just so much going on that it kind of all blends together, and when you're focusing on the keyboard you don't really see it. Aside from being a rhythm game centered around classical music (which I think is rare to begin with), these crazy background images also help make Fred3ric unique.

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With only nine levels, Fred3ric isn't the most substantial rhythm game out there. However, what you do get are some solid tunes, straightforward gameplay, and artwork that took a ton of effort to make. By converting old classical compositions into our current era of music, Fred3ric might lead players to appreciate the classical era just a bit more.

7.00/10 7

Fred3ric (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

Though the amount of content is definitely lacking in Fred3ric, it offers straightforward gameplay and enjoyable melodies. Detailed backdrops also enhance the experience and keep levels looking fresh.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Nathan Lakritz

Nathan Lakritz

Staff Writer

Still plays Wii Sports more than he'd like to admit.

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