February 27, 2016

I like Atelier alchemists for the most part but…

Posted in video games tagged , , at 12:02 am by riulyn

I think it’s obvious enough for anyone who follows this blog that I really like playing as a female protagonist in Japanese RPGs. If not as the playable character, I like having female characters that are important and powerful in the plot. I would also prefer female characters in a game to not all be the same, for them to have both physical and mental prowess, and then I pretty much find myself in Suikoden or Fire Emblem land… Also Rachel in Wild ARMs 4 is the only reason to play that game.

Anyway, I’ve recently been playing a lot of Gust games. Maybe I’ve overloaded on the Atelier games. While it is totally awesome that most of the Atelier games are led by female protagonists, I’m finding more and more that I’d wish there was a bit more variation in the female protagonist’s character. I think the similarity between Rorona and Escha was too much for me. Especially considering that Escha & Logy has two alchemists who come to alchemy via two different means. Of course Logy has to be the bookish one, the one who actually went to school and can do things because he studied a lot and is book smart! Sure, it’s the male alchemist who uses weapons that aren’t staves (Logy obviously, as well as Keithgriff from the Dusk series and Felt from Iris 2)! I’m not an Atelier expert, but where’s the female alchemist with the awesome sword or gun? Maybe it’s not cute enough for Atelier?

The other trend I noticed is that almost all the Atelier games I’ve played in the series (except for the Iris games) the main alchemist starts off as new to alchemy and needs help nurturing her alchemy talent. Sure, nothing wrong with a person starting fresh and learning, like she can go to school (Eilie) or she gets a mentor/teacher… Ayesha is a bit different at least in the sense that she had a driving force and kind of just fell into becoming an alchemist, so I don’t blame her for not really gunning for alchemy or being initially competent. It’s just I’d like a bit more self-taught and able to self-improve alchemists? And maybe a bit less reliance on an outside source for all the thinking that comes with alchemy? I might have posted about this already somewhere, but despite how much I do enjoy cute girls like Rorona and Escha, I do miss having the Iris trilogy alchemists who seemed much more competent and were doings things on their own from the beginning of the game and felt like proper alchemists. Iris is still my favorite Atelier alchemist so far since she even comes up with a lot of alchemy recipes on her own!

Of course I’ve yet to play Totori, Meruru, Shallie, Sophie, and a bunch of stuck in Japan indefinitely Atelier games, so maybe an Iris-like main character has appeared again. It’s really too bad I didn’t enjoy the unnecessary padding of Iris 3, because I did like the cast of characters in that game.

(Once again I have to save my thoughts on the Ar tonelico girls for another day… One day I will rant about them, I’m sure.)

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May 8, 2013

New and Improved: Female Protagonist in P3P

Posted in video games tagged , , at 5:29 pm by riulyn

Hello May! In the past 8 days, I’ve hit my replay of Persona 3 Portable pretty hard, already getting about 1/3 through the game already. As I’ve already beaten the game as the male protagonist, I decided this time to see what the female route had to offer. Combined with following a max social links guide, I have gotten a pretty good look at the changes so far, though I hear the best has yet to come…

So what’s new with the female protagonist? Most importantly, new and different social links! I think everyone figured that one out. Not only do I enjoy the new social links so far, I like the ones that have changed so far as well. But most importantly, I think the fact that the male protagonist doesn’t have social links with the male SEES members is kind of ridiculous. You are out there risking life and limb for each other and you don’t “support” (sorry for that FE term)? At least there should have been a Junpei social link on the male side (sorry Kenji, but your social link is crap).

I also enjoy different, mostly because I didn’t want Yukari and Fuuka to become my girlfriends, especially Yukari. Something about her personality and mine don’t mesh, I guess. I like her a lot better in this playthrough for some reason…maybe because I can join Yukari in calling Junpei a pervert? Or Junpei spends some of his time “hitting on” me as well as Yukari? Who knows?

Another added bonus in the new social links is having your friends actually care about you instead of you just solving all their issues/comforting them (Kenji caring about your clothes does not count). It also brings up an interesting but unfortunately true fact in life, at least from my observations. Take a pretty boy with all the skills who quickly gets popular: all the girls want him, all the boys want to be him, and almost everyone is amazed by him. Take a pretty girl with all the skills who quickly gets popular: people spread nasty rumors about her, somebody thinks it’s okay to take perverted pictures of her, and it’s definitely okay to threaten her. I haven’t seen anything more than verbal harassment yet, and I think the game doesn’t quite go to that level, but it could easily be imagined. Well, having Mitsuru as an ally probably prevents anyone from really doing anything…

Anyway, the biggest change is really in the social links. Most of the dialogue only changes “he” to “she” (except one part in the audio they forgot to switch “he” to “she”). In some of the story events where your gender matters, you get paired up with the appropriate other people. But the gist of the plot is the same. So if you don’t care for the plot, the female doesn’t make it good enough to replay it. But if you enjoyed it the first time, it’s definitely worth a female protagonist run. If nothing else, you get to wield a naginata. How cool is that!