Sweet, do-able, lovely, unique RPG
I wish they had maps. Hey, I wish someone wrote a strategy book. Is it really that unpopular? Controlling the character can be awkward, and the onscreen stats and the hundreds of items I find, all can be overwhelming. But none of that stops the sweet and simple story that if I can follow most anyone can.
Ar Tonelico mixes RPG with alchemy with dating sim. It's quite a mix and, for me, a good one. I like the story, I think they did the personalities well (way better than I'm used to in an RPG), the characters are all lovely of course, and even the music is nice. So I'm having fun. I don't think this game will strain or stretch anyone's ability to solve puzzles, build a strong team, or strategize fights. That suits me. I love to fall in love with the characters and get involved with the story, which I think is what this game does best. All the interactions are kept short and fairly intelligent. I like that. I have trouble with the RPGs that force me to watch a movie, usually a very boring movie.
They do 'alchemy' which for Japanese games is making items, from weapons to healing potions to trousers, by mixing different ingredients. I pick up recipe cards along the way, from shops or just found by the road or in the woods or whatever, that tell me how to mix something, and once I find the ingredients I can make the item. I like the idea, and I've made a few things, but I've found oodles of stuff and I can see I'll never be a master alchemist. I can see how that could be a lot of fun, but I haven't the patience with it. Still, my not making lots of items doesn't stop me from playing the game. I like that, that Gust put so much into the game but still let me pick and choose what I like without undue punishment.
Same with the fighting. It's a mix of real time and turn base, and I'll never be a pro at it. Still I'm good enough to get through the fights and move along with the story. I appreciate that a whole lot. And the fights are fun for me. They mixed the dating sim into the fights, which I can't believe works but it does.
OK, I'm a nerd, I'm easily impressed. I not only rest and save, like most any RPG, but in my bedroom at the inn or in a tent out in the 'wilderness' . . . I'm about to rest and there's a knock on the door, and my gal, my fighting partner, my super looking babe walks in and asks if she can talk to me. We've been fighting all day and there I am in my bedroom and she comes in to talk to me. I know it's corny and so simple but I love it, and I love her for it too. I always come to care about my characters in any RPG that I enjoy, but this dating sim thing is awesome. There's repetition, and it's all very simple, but I think it's well done and for me very effective. I enjoy it. It's more intimate than sexy, and isn't that the point? To be intimate? I mean in a dating sim. And the interactions are just goofy enough to remind me of real dates.
I could say more but I better stop here. I found it sweet, not too hard, fun, and the dating sim adds some simple and nice thrills for a nerd like me.Read full review