I got Rhapsody DS today. Despite many sources saying it was released Tuesday (which I'm pretty sure was correct, but maybe it was changed last minute), a lot of stores didn't label it as being out until today. Not only that, but the stores that said that didn't have it today in my area. One of those even listed it as being available at that exact location today, but it definitely wasn't there (even accounting for them possibly not knowing the alphabet). After about the third or fourth store I made my way to EB games (I didn't go there first because I went in the order that was easiest driving-wise) which had several copies.
I'm not very far (just got done with the contest, about to see the prince get kidnapped), but so far I'm really happy with it. It looks like they kept the PS translation, which was something I was concerned about--I was afraid they'd change the dialogue. Strangely enough, the NISA page for Rhapsody lists Sharte as "Shalte", but in the game it's still Sharte. I guess that's NISA for you. The controls are nice, and I like the new battle system, I guess because I've been playing Little Princess and have gotten used to a standard-RPG system. Having a map is nice too, since I remember having to make my own with graph paper when I first got Rhapsody. I don't know if there's a way to change this, although I don't really want to, but the songs are by default in Japanese with English subtitles, the subs coming from the English versions of the songs and not direct translations. The sound quality is better than I thought DS speakers were going to give me. The little microphone minigame is pretty useless, and you either have to blow fairly hard or put your face kinda close to the mic and can no longer see what's happening on the screen. To be honest though it's not an important feature anyway, I can't see myself ever needing an extra 30 inotium that I couldn't get from a few easy battles.
I was kind of worried that the game would be too watered down because of the whole advertising ploy of "Perfect even if you've never played an RPG". It's a pretty close port to the PS version overall. I've not noticed it as being any easier than the PS version, although there don't seem to be different difficulty settings so if you do find it too easy, you're out of luck. The biggest thing I could see helping someone who wasn't used to playing RPGs is that you can ask Kururu what you're supposed to be doing, but it's mostly common sense unless you had put the game down for a long time and got off track. I haven't gotten far enough to have played the Angel's Present chapters, but I'll probably post again about them. Basically, I'm incredibly impressed with how good they did putting this game on the DS. It's a refreshing way to replay the game. My only real complaint with the game is that Etoile's character art looks really weird to me. I can't figure it out, but her face just doesn't look right. Also the Nyankos suddenly have wider heads and smaller eyes, but oh well. Everyone else looks just fine.
So, does anyone else have it yet?