March 25, 2014

I’m loving myself some PS2 Gust

Posted in video games tagged , , , , , at 7:55 pm by riulyn

Except I’ve run into a bit of bad luck the past few days with different games freezing on me. I don’t think Atelier Iris 2 ever froze on me, but Atelier Iris froze on me once late in the game. Atelier Iris 3 froze on me one time randomly after exiting my workshop (I had just saved right before that). Ar tonelico froze on me the first time you see the song “Ar Tonelico”, which if I say more will be a spoiler. Ar tonelico 2 froze on me today during a screen transition as well, and I was only about 1-2 hours in (and thus switched to playing Atelier Iris 3). The last three freezes have occurred in this past week, but I’ve also been putting a good amount of hours into these games.

I’m just over 20 hours into Atelier Iris 3. It’s not really a great game (the first two are significantly better) but it’s amusing enough and kind of soothing to play. I have a tendency to listen to podcasts while collecting all the items and slashing things in Alterworlds. The game is still too quest-heavy for my tastes, but finally something cool happened in the plot today. Even before today I was enjoying the interactions of the main cast. I think that’s why I don’t mind dungeon crawling so much in this game compared to something like Dark Cloud.

I also got Misha’s first ending in Ar tonelico and I am currently working on her second. Even though Misha will still be my preferred girl (I’ve dived up to level 7 in Aurica so I feel safe making this statement), I am definitely interested in doing Aurica’s path. I’ll be using that save file from before you make the choice, since I don’t think I need to rehash the beginning any time soon. The beginning wasn’t bad but the later parts are just so much better! Also, maybe the final bosses will really have me using my full arsenal of song magics, but right now I barely go through any of them and usually just use each Reyvateil’s first song. Anyway, I got the first ending at around 25 hours. If my PS2 allows me to play more of the game, I think I’ll get the second ending around 40 hours. So far going for that second ending has brought up a lot of interesting things and has already been worth my time. Of course, while the gameplay is fun, I really play this game for the characters and story.

I hadn’t heard as many nice things about Ar tonelico 2, but so far I am intrigued. I found myself pleasantly surprised by the battle system changes. I didn’t expect a ton at first since the graphics quality is not great and my experience with the Atelier Iris trilogy made me think not too much would change. However, I was immediately challenged by the quick battle system, which I will fail to describe adequately. Basically you have a certain amount of time to hit buttons to make your characters attack in real time. That means a character can perform multiple attacks in one turn if they can finish one attack before the timer runs out. So far I believe each character has three types of attacks, which can be performed by hitting the appropriate right-side button (aka square or X) with the left-side directional buttons (aka up or down). In the defending phase, you protect the Reyvateils by hitting the appropriate character’s button (such as square) at the right time as the attack hits. I’m terrible with timed hits and you need to be able to hit both square and X at the same time if necessary. I’ll probably get better at it but at some point if I just keep failing I might even have to drop the difficulty! Which seems crazy since I usually think of doing that only for action games. I guess I need to invest in some rhythm games too.

The other major impression was Cloche’s introduction. She is definitely a character and brings out a lot of life in the other characters, including the main character Croix, who looked to be boring otherwise. He certainly seems smarter than Lyner (the charming idiot main character of Ar tonelico). I’m sort of amused that Croix’s already traveling around with a “harem”. Compared to other games where girls seem to be lacking, Gust games don’t care if everyone but the main character is a girl. And later on (one day I will get to them!) Gust even makes the main characters female. As long as Gust games cooperate with my gaming systems and don’t crash too often (they tend to have a lot of save points so crashing doesn’t make me lose too much progress hopefully), I plan to keep playing them. Though I don’t think I’ll catch up any time soon…



  1. Joseph said,

    I have a very complicated relationship with gust games. For some reason they never manage to hold my attention past the mid point. Even in ar tonelico I’m right near the end but not motivated to finish. Probably Lyner being pretty pathetic didn’t help lol. That said I have wanted to dive into Ar T2 for quite some time as I think I would really enjoy the battle system. Hope your ps2 holds out! Also have you played Mana Khemia? Imo it’s the best version of any of the gust alchemy games. Really great cast (I think it’s a gust title anyway)

    • riulyn said,

      At this point I’m pretty frustrated with my ps2. I plan to buy another one once I get a job.

      I really need to pick up the Mana Khemia games at some point. They are definitely high up on my interest list. I hear that Gust doesn’t really use the Mana Khemia system anywhere else, so that’s why I started with Atelier Iris.

      While I didn’t find Lyner’s patheticness a turn-off, I can see how it could be for others. Especially since some of his lame stances come up time and time again. Lyner is really like Asbel of Tales of Graces for me. I can’t help but be fond of his stupidity (though not sure how well I’d deal with a real-life Lyner). Anyway, so far Croix does not suffer Lyner-type denseness. Cloche and Luca are certainly different from Misha and Aurica, so I don’t think I’ll have to worry about the games being too similar. Hopefully it continues that way. I guess I’m not sure if Ar T and Ar T2 are directly related story-wise. They seem pretty separate at the moment. Otherwise I’d just tell you to go ahead and start playing Ar T2.

      • Joseph said,

        I’m sure I’ll finish Ar 1 at some point, but too many games are attracting more interest right now that it’s going to have to wait until summer I think. And sledding of ps2s, my cat jumped on the loading tray while I was swapping games and broke it completely off lol. I made it useable again but it’s super broken. Good thing ps2s are really cheap now!

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