By far, the best part of this game is the story. This game has very endearing and hilarious characters, and extremely well written dialogue. Most modern games with their GPU melting graphics and 9 figure budget are incapable of the basic entertaining story of Chantelise. The game opens by explaining that Chante has been turned into a fairy against her will, and she needs her sister Elise to help find a way to remove the curse. You're always looking out for the next time the game will allow you to read the next few lines of dialogue.
The problem here is that this is a video game, meaning you actually have to PLAY it. Ugh.
Don't get me wrong - I'm the kind of person who expects an epic story in every game I play. I'm the one in a million who actually ENJOYS cut-scenes. For me, gameplay always takes a backseat to story and characters.
But the gameplay in this title is sickeningly loathsome. It feels like an alpha version of Ocarina of time. It's meant to be an action game, but the controls feel so stiff, and it is very easy to get attacked by an enemy or fall off a ledge because you couldn't see it. Generation 5 camera at its finest. Going through dungeons is a chore - and there are no puzzles, mini-games, or anything else to break the monotony. To progress to the next room in a dungeon, you must kill ALL the monsters. Miss one? Wander around the over-sized rooms looking for it, only to finally kill it so you can enter the next room AND DO THE SAME THING OVER AGAIN.
As for actually fighting these monsters, you can walk up to them and whack them with your sword. When they die, they often drop money (which can be used in town to buy items) or gems. These gems are used for spells - ex: red for fire. But you'd think you could save up gems and plan to use the right spells on the right monsters. Nope, you cast spells based on which gem you picked up last. The game is set up in such a way that some spells are VERY useful or useless against the right or wrong monster, but you have no way of saving a spell for the right monster.
Many other reviewers seem to believe this game is hard. No, this game is easy if you pay attention. The problem is the combat is so freaking BORING that there is no way you CAN pay attention. I have played many games where the story is the main draw, and the gameplay is there only to serve as a medium for the plot and characters. But Chantelise is below even that - the battle system is an OBSTACLE, actively preventing you from getting to the next part of the plot (with yet another room filled with generic monsters).
The awful gameplay of this title 'bottlenecks' the fantastic story.