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.
It is nice to see how Viese can still play an important part in the saving of the world, being that she’s still in Eden. The ring that she gave Felt allows them to stay in connection and share items so she can help with synthesizing items. Felt is played to progress the story and for the adventure half, battling enemies, and Viese is used to create items important to Felt’s progression. Both have to be played in order to get anywhere in the game, which gives the game a unique touch. Accessories and Alchemy items have to be created in the shop by Viese, and the same for Felt but only to upgrade weapons in camp.
But after a while I found it repetitive, having to keep switching constantly between the two characters to get one simple item you needed to progress further. Sure, its not a bad aspect and adds depth to the game, but still having to switch to Viese to make a bomb so you can get past a boulder, run around talking to people, going through ‘mazes’ as there are no monsters in the world she’s at, and talk some more before you actually get to synthesize your item, then having to do it again and again gets a bit tedious. Yet the game wouldn’t be as good without the dual scenario, so its hard to say this is a draw back to the game.
In order to make items you need a recipe for it, which you can get in events, find in treasure boxes, or buy from the store. Where Viese’s area of alchemy is making items, Felt’s is synthesizing weapons. He can take an item Viese made and use it to make weapons stronger for himself and his companions. Throughout the story you’ll find new recipes, or purchase them, to make lots of useful items.
The game has a good story going for it and keeps you interested in what’s going to happen next. The only issues I had were the tedious bits, but those were overcome easily enough and you were back on track to saving the world in no time. Atelier Iris 2 also has a nice soundtrack which gives the game the right ambiance. Although I found most of the voice acting to be well enough a few don’t sound so into the role, or throw the character off a bit in appeal.
Game graphics are considered ‘old school’ with hand drawn sprites and water color backgrounds. It is quite pretty for a 2D game, with detailed backgrounds and high resolution sprites. Each character is animated well and the battle sequences are especially so. Throughout the game you’ll run into full animated sequences which are fantastically done, though I wish there were more of them. So even though you don’t get any of the 3D eye candy like in most recent rpg’s, this game has a great look to it, being warm and bright in coloration and just wouldn’t be the same if it were in a 3D format.
Overall Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny is a good game. It may not be up to par graphics wise with many of the games out today, but I find that graphics aren’t the most important aspect for rpg gaming. Game play, storyline and believable characters are first, and this game has those well enough. The 2D style is reminiscent of old school gaming and so I find that many RPG fanatics will love it and find Atelier Iris 2 to be a great addition to their collection. Although I haven’t played its predecessor I find that Atelier Iris 2 stands on its own and was a great deal of fun from start to finish. Another chance to save the world? Who could resist? Atelier Iris 2 gets a 7 out of 10.
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