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Old 09-22-2005, 05:29 AM   #126
Paper exe
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 9,066
Atelier Iris Eternal Mana~PS2-RPG

I played this game more then 70 hours and lost 25 hours on my life, because I thought that I missed something on the game, so I start all over again and then it turned out that I was wrong and I missed nothing.
The funny thing is that half of my play time on my original data was synthesizing items.

Again, this game has a very lame English voice actors like most other games, but they not only let you remove it, but there is also an option on the option screen that let you change it to Japanese. I know it sounds too good so NIS figured out a way to ruin it by making it return to English voice every time you turn off the game, which means you have to change that in the option each time you play this game and if you choose English voice and removed the voice, you will still hear them in battle, so you better off change it to Japanese each time you play the game and God knows how rarely I remember to do that and how I mistakenly hear there English voice that have nothing more to do other then higher your blood pressure.
Note that even enemies have different voices.
I have no problem in the sound effects part?.

The story isn't much. It is the saving the world kind of story.
All of the characters are anime like on design and characteristics, so nothing new here.
There are a lot of events that happen depends on your actions, but most of them are really stupid and mean less, but both the Baker and the Magic Shop owner has some good events that actually worth seeing.
NIS, blow it by changing some of the script and adding American jokes on it (OMG, OMG, OMG!!!111) that just unfunny in my opinion and when I buy a game I want to play it the way that the developer makes it. Publisher job is just to publish the game it is as simple as that, they have nothing to do with the game, if they want, they can add some extra contents on the package, but that?s all.

The game is simply a turn base RPG, you will encounter random battles then fight by choosing commands, from run, use Item, fight, magic, change, I think the name speaks for them self. In battle you will use all of these commands often unlike other RPGs, because some times, you will encounter very strong enemies that you cannot beat in that level and sometimes and far form the game you may encounter these very weak beginning enemies, in short the random battles are really random and you will encounter enemies in a lot of times from weak to strong it is not all about where you are in the game, in fact you may encounter one of the strongest enemies in the game in the beginning, so the run command is really needed,

Magic are really useful as well, one of the strong points about the game is that you shouldn?t underestimate any enemy. Dungeons/towers etc are very short even shorter then Lunar, but the enemies aren?t weak, they have a lot of moves and they also have Mana (MP) and one of these beginning enemies has an attack that decreases about 75% of your HP and if you are at level 25 they still do some damage to you even thought you are 20 levels more then when you first met that enemy. The problem here is that half of the monster Log (It is a list of all the enemies in the game (There are about 100 enemies)) 50% of them are boss and 30% of the others are enemies that are from the same species, but stronger. They do share some difference, thought and each on of them has his/her own difficulty of collecting his/her dropped item and the rare once are really rare.
The boss like always, trying to change there state (Poison, paralyze, sleep, charm, curse) isn?t a good strategy, because it either will mostly miss or they are unaffected on it or they will be cured automatically on there turn, but sometimes there are enemies with them and there are a lot of other moves to use against them so it is still ok.
You should kill each enemy using the hero attack as the final blow and use Noran ?Turn 2 Candy? skill and it most work on each enemy and get all both of there drop items (Common and rare) to complete the monster Log. Keep in mind that boss and some monsters will automatically counts that you complete them, so don?t start the game all over again if you think otherwise like what I did and waste all of these golden times of your life.

The battle are on 2D, the animation is decent, there movement are very fast in fact they really look abnormally fast, at lest the battle wouldn?t be boring and spends too long to make a move or have a long start like Pokemon. The environments on the battle mostly are plan and sometimes on some areas there are 4 layers of Background, but most areas end up having only one. The sprites are good and clear, just like what you expect from PS2, but I hate the special effects, it is very lame and feels out of place and when you or the enemy doge the attack it still happened, which make it look really weird.
There are two special types of attacks: One of them need you to charge on you turn then after some few turns you or the enemy that charged will unlash it, but keep in mind that you or the enemy can break the skill if it hit you in enough power when you or the enemy are charging and that you only need one turn to charge, you can hit the enemy with the charge attack and also play your second turn normally, you only have to wait a while to unlash the charge attack. The second one, which can only be used by the enemy, is calling for help, then after some turns if the battle isn?t over the attack will be activated.
I know, everything in the game is so traditional.

Here where the change comes and what make the game special and different from others. It is the fact that the Hero is an alchemist, he most collect elements and then let your Mana (Monsters) create the item using the elements that it needs. You can hold maximum of 9 items if it was alchemist or normal items. You most first search for these yellow treasures box and then open them to learn how to create an alchemist items. There are a lot of different kinds of alchemist items and each one of them has it own use, so it is all good. Keep in mind that the hero is the only one that can use it and it is needed in battle, so if the Hero died you are in trouble. The hero magic skills are all for the usage of these item and how to use it, so it is still not that bad, but they need Mana (MP), but you can use an alchemist item to restore it, and you can also create an alchemist item in the battle if you have enough elements, but you have to wait longer to come your turn and you cannot use any of these magic skills that for the alchemist items usage, so you are better off not doing that.
Why not no character can use these alchemist items that already been created is beyond me, I think it was lame from developer to make it only for the hero. I hate it when I have to relay on the Hero to win.

Outside of battle, the game is on 2D, because it is a 2D game. Duh
You can jump and examine stuff and you can also use these Action commands that you learn more the farther you go in to the game like throwing fire to break some blocks and something that help you reach higher to reach areas etc. In the beginning you will have Elemental Extraction, use it to extract the elements from objects on the field to use it to make alchemist items, but that doesn?t work on all objects.
At first the graphics was impressive, but then it gets old. When you reach far enough in the game the environments will be less impressive and more of a rushed work and there will only be few of these object that can be extracted and there ideas seems like it all ran out and these object no longer looks part of the environment, for an example, to get lighting element you most extract that weird and suspicious electricity machine.
How obvious is that? They just don?t look part of the environment anymore.
They could have at lest made more thought to what elements you will get after extract an object, for an example if you extract red flowers you will get wood and Fire element. :annoyed:
Not to mention these slow downs and freezes that happened from time to time. Saving the game recently is something needed! The loading on the game aren?t long, thought.

There are a lot of items that can be found dropped on towns/dungeons /forests etc. Instead of placing them right and make it part of the background they just randomly place most of them and made them look obvious, by using lighter colors for the background and to make them even more obvious they made them shiny. Note that these items are used as a gift for your Mana(Monsters) to make them like you and more healthy and used to synthesizes them in shops. each shop has it own evenings and synthesize items. At lest every character can use them, but they mostly end up having the same use and that to restore HP and/or MP. The shop owner will give you the main ingredient, but the item that he will make will be based on the items that you give him/her, for an example you selected milk instead of goat milk and that will change the quality of the item and the higher the more people will like it, they say something good will happen if you made the shop get 100% by making a lot of high quality items, but when I did that to the magic shop nothing happens other then it was full with people. Maybe I did not notice it or something.
Sometimes when you use different ingredients the shop owner may make a new item. The quality depends on the review that it get like sweet, burning hot etc each item can only have maximum of five reviews. The shop owner will tell you if the items you selected will have a new review or will come something different. Note that new reviews don?t mean a good one.
If you picked a lot of items to synthesis, slow down may occur. o_0
Another problem is that they did not made much thought of what items to use, for an example you can use wax to make food and use a fruit to make a machine and so on. More thought to it wouldn?t kill them. I still think this game needs more items to synthesis what they already put are very few and being misplaced make it even worst.

Finally, there are Mana, they can be used to create Alchemist items (every Alchemist items needs you to use elements that it needed to create them) and each one of them has an element and can use from two to three elements only, which means a Mana cannot be used to create all Alchemist items in the game. You can also transform Mana using an item that you will get later on the game. It changes Mana main elements.
There are items that called Red, blue. Glowing etc Mana stone, these items can be used to create your own weapons, which fixes the problem of the lack of equipments in the game. Each Mana can make these items in to a different use some Atk+1 and some turn it in to a poison resistant 1 and some Fire resistant 1 etc and then you fuse them together to get a crystal with both powers, but you can only let your crystal have a maximum of three, but you can fuse it with as much crystals as you want and then you can fuse it to your weapon and let your weapon have your own customized power, but keep in mind that these Mana stones cost a lot and the enemy can hardly drop one and that not all weapon can be enhanced.
You can also equip a Mana to a character to give him/her some new abilities and help them master some skills quickly by getting 100 Mana points. Each Mana power up different skills and give different Abilities

There is Bonus mode, which is a good add on. You can unlock stuff by completing series of items or getting a lot of items. Every time you see an item, just talk to the lesbian and she will unlock stuff each time you complete a series, but you have to show her the items first. Note that you don?t have to get the item to be counted there, for an example each shop has limited numbers of each of his items, if it finished it counted that it soled out, but when you come to him/her again you will find him/her own them again and with the limited numbers of the item. Sometimes they own item that just written sold out all the time when you go to him/her, but the Lesbian still count them and add them in her list. You can unlock all the movies in the game (there are only 4)
And you can unlock information of some few characters (not all of them are in there) and you can unlock some very few artworks and each of the six heroes has only one artwork. Again it is still too few.
The main and best one of them is the sound taste, you unlock one music each time you complete a series. The Music is simply the strongest point of the game and it is great and I actually liked most of the music and the others mostly end up being at lest listenable. The soundtrack is just that great. I do hate both songs on the game, thought. I always perform music over songs, so it is no wonder I rarely like a song.
The game has some secret enemies and boss that can be battled after beating the game, so there are still some things to do after beating the game other then completing the monster log and item list.
I don?t want to even talk about the world map, when you try to go to an area to the other you will see your self on an ugly 3D map and not to mention if you used the short cut they will first send you to the fairy shop then from there you can go to other places. I see no reason for making me wait for three loadings to use the short cut especially when they can just let the Fairy shop be one of the options when I step on the transformation circle instead of forcing me to go there.

Gameplay (6/10)
Graphices (5/10)
Sound (8/10)
Length (7/10)
Atelier Iris Eternal Mana (26/40)

Last edited by Paper exe; 10-02-2005 at 10:45 AM.
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