Saturday, May 12, 2007

Incognito's RPG Impressions: Replacing Ar Tonelico

Before we get to the meat of this post, lets play some Jeopardy!

Answer: 4

Question: How many time would someone see the credits roll in Ar Tonelico if they completed the game and Shurelia's (spoiler) Cosmoshere?

This is a record that I don't expect to be broken any time soon.

Now that Ar Tonelico is finished, I've had the same problem that I often have in these situations: finding a new game to occupy myself with. Even with my extensive back log of games from which to choose, this proposition is not as easy as it sounds.

Since Persona 3 is on the horizon, the first game I though of was Persona 2. This lasted all of 2 hours. It's not that there is anything wrong with the story. On the contrary, the story started of strong. The problem was with the battle system. Well, sort of. You see, because of that huge backlog of games that I mentioned earlier, I can be very picky about which one I play. The big turn-off in Persona 2 was the ridiculous menu system in battle. The default battle system is an auto battle; you set actions for all you characters and they will automatically perform them until you say stop. But what if you don't want it to go progress automatically? Well, there is an option to do one round at a time, but to do that you have to wade through menu level after menu level. As you can imagine, this gets really cumbersome, really fast.

So I decided to put my time to better use that paging through battle menus, and I picked up Rogue Galaxy again. You might remember Rogue Galaxy from when Avenger raved about it back in the day. In short, I was less than thrilled. I first started it soon after it was released, but I put it down after an hour, largely due to my dislike of the points-based real time battle system (which I will discuss in a future website article). Admittedly, its biggest short-coming is all in my head. Rogue Galaxy was developed by Level 5, the same crew that is responsible for Dark Cloud 2. I loved Dark Cloud 2, and I had always imagined that Rogue Galaxy would be Dark Cloud 2 in space. Well, it's not. It's much more hack 'n slash, much more .hack than Dark Cloud. All I can think about while playing Rogue Galaxy is how much more I would like it if it was Dark Cloud 2: IN SPACE! As far as non-superficial grievances go, however, the comparative strength of physical attacks versus special abilities is laughable. Why would I bother even used my sword, and risk having one of the retarded AI-controlled characters die in 3 seconds, when I can kill every enemy in one hit with Desert Wind? Recharge drinks can be acquired on the cheap, so constantly using AP is no sweat. At about the 10 hour mark, I finally decided to put Rogue Galaxy down again.

So, what next? Coincidentally, I already mentioned it: .hack. .hack//G.U. to be precise. Yes, I am one of the people who enjoyed the original .hack series. And recently, I've had the strange desire to dive into The World again. And now that my first two attempts at replacing Ar Tonelico have failed, it's time to go out and add to The List again.

If anyone out in reader-land has an any comments/feedback on this series of posts (love it/hate it/change this/change that), please let me know.

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