Rhapsody: Marl Kingdom Chronicles

Review: Rhapsody: Marl Kingdom Chronicles

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure was a hidden gem at launch and, to this day, is one of the most memorable games on PlayStation. Sadly, it was the only game in the series to leave Japan until this week when Rhapsody: Marl Kingdom Chronicles arrives on Switch, PlayStation 5, and PC. It is a duology pack featuring Rhapsody II: Ballad of the Little Princess and Rhapsody III: Memories of Marl Kingdom.

NIS America is one of the few publishers actively revisiting its past catalogue and updating it for a new generation. I wish more developers would do the same and see that while remakes are great, a remaster of niche titles that didn’t have the audience years ago would now find the audience it deserves.

Rhapsody – A Quest for Love

Rhapsody II: Ballad of the Little Princess is a direct follow-up to its predecessor, continuing the story of Cornet while introducing us to her daughter, Kururu, the Princess of Marl Kingdom. Like her mother, Kururu has a naive attitude and is a sheltered individual who seemingly doesn’t understand how the world works. She’s spoiled and out to find true love; with the help of her best friend, Crea, the story unfolds a grand adventure for the princess.


A significant departure from its predecessor, Ballad of the Little Princess moves away from an SRPG battle system and into a traditional one. However, given how long ago the original launched, don’t expect anything to challenge you. Instead, it’s a lighthearted experience that intersperses the storyline. A positive note is that Rhapsody 2 is lighthearted and aims to help Kururu achieve what she wants. It’s a nice departure from games where gods seek to destroy the world.

Kururu can talk to puppets and recruit them to help her in battle. So, as you find and discover party members, you can begin to assemble a party to help Kururu achieve her goals. Overall, it’s a fun experience and a beautiful companion game to the original Rhapsody.


As you step into the world of these Rhapsody games, one thing becomes immediately apparent – the pace is your ally. Story scenes weave seamlessly into linear dungeons, offering you the perfect balance between preparation and excitement. Healing statues and allies are sprinkled strategically, ensuring your journey is as smooth as a well-composed melody.


Given that the series is from simpler times, I find the Rhapsody series is better because it isn’t overwhelming. With a quick and engaging battle system, you’re never bogged down by sluggish mechanics. Battles are often snappy as they are satisfying because they don’t last long. It’s like watching a well-choreographed dance, with each move and action flowing seamlessly. The fast-forward feature, activated by the triangle button, keeps the tempo up, ensuring you’re always in the groove. Overall, the pacing is pretty impressive, and you can save anywhere, which older games rarely do. Adding an auto-battle mechanic means you can enjoy the story without worrying too much about button inputs, so it’s a manageable experience.


The pixel art design of both games stands as a testament to the timeless allure of retro aesthetics. Characters wear emotions on their pixelated sleeves, and the musical sessions are captivating. Yes, they break into song and dance, an experience tickling your senses like a harmonious breeze.

Exploration isn’t the most exciting aspect of either game in the Rhapsody: Marl Kingdom Chronicles bundle. Moving is simplistic, and despite having such a colourful place teeming with potential locations to visit, you’re rarely allowed to move to those locations, instead focusing on the linear pathways in front of you. Despite these restrictions, many sites offer some personality and are colourful, so it isn’t my worst experience.


The music is a treasure trove of emotions, with tunes that range from soothing to exuberant. Whether navigating regular sections or diving into the musical sessions, the melodies resonate with the joy of adventure. The lack of a full English voiceover might be surprising. Still, it isn’t a deal breaker – the characters express themselves through sighs, grunts, and gestures, adding an authentic touch to every interaction.



Rhapsody: Marl Kingdom Chronicles is a nice little detour from the packed summer release calendar. The niche series is one that I believe has some longevity to it, given that NIS America has faith enough to remaster it. And with that in mind, Rhapsody: Marl Kingdom Chronicles is a fun port that I’ve had a ton of fun with after revisiting the original last year.


[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: Switch

Rhapsody: Marl Kingdom Chronicles
Two excellent RPGs
Musical elements are wonderful
The cast is overall solid
Didn't Like
Dated gameplay
Very little challenge offered