AI2 is a completely new game, based in a different world than its predecessor. Yet, with its 2D sprites, can this game really stand up to the ever popular 3D games? I think so, and it’ll go to prove that 2D is far from dead, and is still just as fun as ever.
For over 400 years the lands of Eden have been a paradise of peace and prosperity. But when a crisis strikes the land, two friends must part ways to save their world from crumbling. Epic words that all of us are familiar with when it comes to the RPG genre, the beginning phrase that draws each of us in with a promise of adventure. Saving the world once again with our pixel friends in the fantasy lands of some far away world. What could be better?
Atelier Iris 2 is a new RPG title developed for the Play Station 2 by NIS America who is renowned for their RPG title releases. Some of you may be familiar with the first Atelier Iris, with was an RPG title based on the Alchemy, and Atelier Iris 2- The Azoth of Destiny is based on similar principals. Even so, it is a completely new game, based in a different world than its predecessor. Yet, with its 2D sprites, can this game really stand up to the ever popular 3D games? I think so, and it’ll go to prove that 2D is far from dead, and is still just as fun as ever. So grab your swords and staffs fellow adventurers, and see just what this game world have to offer.
One thing I really like about Atelier Iris 2 is the characters. They have a great sense of feeling to each of them, a uniqueness, and their high res 2D sprites are suited. Some of you may not like that ‘cutesy anime’ look, but it fits in this game and gives it the right atmosphere.
In the beginning you start out as the character Vieze, a girl who is a young alchemist, and although she is fairly average in alchemy she can synthesize just about anything. Vieze is best friends with the hero of the story, Felt who is also a young alchemist, dreaming of adventure. An earthquake signals the beginning of the troubles for Eden, and afterwards Vieze and Felt learn that half of Eden is now gone! Now Felt must use the Azure Azoth, an ancient sword created by alchemy which he pulled free from its place of resting in the forest after the earthquake and enter the Belkhyde Gate, leaving Eden in order to save it from disaster. Before he departs Vieze gives Felt a ring that she was given when inducted as a full alchemist. With this ring they are able to communicate and help each other, even when in separate worlds.
Every time a new place is introduced your map will open and it will pop up stating a new place has opened. You can use your map to travel to many different places once you’ve unlocked them.
This game is random battle oriented, where you happen to run into creatures while traveling in the lands of Belkhyde. You can have up to three team members on the screen at once, but can switch between these active characters and others in waiting during battle if you so choose. The battle system is nice and straight forward. There are no ‘turns’ during battle, instead the enemies actions as well as your heroes actions are put together, and depending on the action the character can go either faster or slower. You can see who goes next by looking at your ACTB Bar in the top left hand corner of the screen. When a characters icon is at the far right side of the bar it means that its their turn next, and you can also see where the other characters line up as well.
The skill gauge located in the upper right hand corner of the screen is used for when any characters are using skills, and is used amongst the entire party. Its a sort of replacement for the MP counter that most RPG games have. The gauge can be charged up by attacking with a charge attack or taking a hit from an enemy. The number is what will be used by the entire party when they do use skills, so be sure to keep an eye on it. If there isn’t enough available then a character can’t use a skill. You can also do combos and the Break System can be helpful in getting in a lot of hits on an enemy, by knocking your enemies turn position back and also causing some effects like disorientation.