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Its quirky and suggestive nature may turn some gamers off, but Ar Tonelico is a fun and rewarding experience. While it may not have the epic gravitas of Final Fantasy XII/, it distinguishes itself as one of a very small number of romance games with domestic releases. Fans of NIS and Gust, and gamers looking for a new role-player to sink 40 hours into should definitely give Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia a closer look.
But the point is this, my friends: you should buy this game. You've never played a game like this before (unless you're an importer), and a rental won't do a game of this length any justice. Its flaws, while noticeable, are few and insignificant compared to the grand scope and magnitude of this game. The premise of the floating world, the chance to dig deep into a girl's psyche, and the excellent aesthetic qualities should be enough to sell you. If they aren't, then I have no idea why you read this review. I suppose the game does have a "niche" appeal, and cannot be a hit for all people, but it "hit" me, and hard! That's why I liked the game so much and can't conceive of giving the game anything less than an "A" level grade. The order for the day is 91%. Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia is already a candidate for RPG of the year: 2007.
Ar Tonelico pretty much has it all. The story and especially pacing is fantastic; the music truly special, the battles are incredibly engaging via the Revyateils, and the art is simply gorgeous. The full-size character cutouts used for the game’s conversing may be the best that Gust has ever done, and that’s saying something. As for the localization; aside from a few ill-placed one-liners (in the first town a little girl exclaims “My Mommy said knock you out,” argh) it’s pretty great. I especially appreciate the promiscuous tone. When Lyner switches Reyvateils from Misha to Aurica, Krusche exclaims “Misha, you grew tits!” I guess you had to be there. I suggest you make haste.
Having done that, the Reyvateils will feel better about themselves and look forward to having you dive inside them. Your skills will have formed a solid bond between you and the Reyvateils, and normal insecurities of a young lady being dived into for the first time(s) will fade away. Then, dive all you want. It will surely be enjoyable for both you and your Reyvateil.
Ar Tonelico peut selon le joueur se révéler un excellent moment à passer comme être d'un ennui mortel. Dans tous les cas, le scénario sympathique, le développement poussé des Reyvateils et la sublime musique en font indéniablement un bon jeu qu'il faut au moins tester!
In spite of these notable missteps, Ar tonelico II is eminently playable, even for RPGamers who missed the first installment in the series. While the bugs and slowdowns were constant companions, this reviewer was able to look past them for the personality underneath; others may not be as forgiving. There's plenty to do, and enough to experience through the characters, music, and battle system to provide a strong lure to slog through the worst of it. Although the game completion time is listed as 40-60 hours, this number doesn't take the two-branched story or four endings into account. It's worth playing once as well as a second time, but probably not back-to-back. They say that time heals all wounds and absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all.
Of course, anything less would have made the game a failure. Music is so central to Ar Tonelico’s plot that you face it at every turn. A lackluster soundtrack would have fostered apathy for the whole concept. Thankfully, nothing went wrong. Without ever being obvious about it, Ar Tonelico successfully immerses you in its world, makes you anxious to seek out each new song and experience. Try to fight it and you’ll hate the game. Embrace it and you’ll find yourself wrapped in one of the most unique experiences available, wrapped up nicely in an intriguing story and tied together with the pretty little bow that is the reyvateil. If you’ve been looking for the next great thing and you can put up with a few distractions along the way, you’ve just found it. Role-playing bliss, your name is Ar Tonelico.
If you’re looking for a unique RPG experience that graphical harks back to RPGs of the SNES or early PS1 era, this is your game. Those intrigued should wait until a price drop is given to Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia. This game is fun, but not $49.99 fun.
In the end Ar Tonelico is a light hearted adventure. What the game lacks in the battle and exploration departments, it more than makes up for in the experience of getting to know a girl intimately.
Ar Tonelico is probably going to be one of those guilty pleasure titles for some players. It's got an interesting story, some creative characters, and very unique ways of bending standard RPG clichés on their heads. Unfortunately, it doesn't go nearly far enough with them. The battle system is too easy and the exploration system is too limited. Plus, the dive system comes with a host of issues that complicate the entire reason behind the feature in the first place. It's not even so much that the game can come off as a surprising date sim-lite turn-based adventure. It's that a couple of less defined game features weaken a title that would've otherwise been impressive.
Bref, Ar Tonelico est un RPG bien intéressant, mais qui essaie d'en faire trop. On a essayé d'incorporer plusieurs éléments originaux qui sont intéressants, certes, mais qui deviennent rapidement ennuyants. On revient toujours à faire et à se fier aux mêmes choses. Les discussions lorsque vous faites un "dive" dans une Reyvateil ou lorsque vous dormez sont souvent inutiles et brisent le rythme. Néanmoins l'atmosphère créé par les graphiques et l'histoire est très bien rendue. Ar Tonelico se veut être un bon jeu, sans être excellent. Plusieurs petits éléments deviennent agaçants à la longue. Néanmoins, Ar Tonelico se veut être un excellent RPG d'influence japonaise. Il est à suggérer à toutes personnes qui veulent se mettre un RPG sous la dent.
Ar Tonelico certainly wins points for originality but in the end it does very little to get past its boring combat and limited exploration options that drag this game down considerably. While some of the things that would have made this game deeply engrossing fall a bit flat, there is a good story here that is worth discovering if you’re enjoy quirky role-playing games.
If you’re looking for an RPG heavy on the role playing elements, Ar Tonelico might be something you want to take a look at, but if you’re hoping for something with a little more action and a deep story, you’ll want to look elsewhere. It’s a nice little 2D RPG, but the PlayStation 2 has a lot of really good ones that are more worthy of your time and attention than this. This might be a decent rental or a good buy at a budget price, however, at full retail price I might be hesitant.
En évitant de n'être qu'un simple ersatz d'Atelier Iris, Ar Tonelico montre une vraie personnalité en s'appuyant sur de fougueux affrontements, des relations évoluées entre ses personnages et une synthétisation d'objets qui fait toujours recette. Dommage que l'ensemble soit toujours aussi linéaire et ne présente au final que peu de challenges.
Whether you'll like Ar tonelico or not is dependent on how much of a sucker you are for a cute damsel in distress. These aren't helpless girls, mind you, and your relationship to them will provide the bulk of enjoyment that Ar tonelico has to offer. If you're immune to them, then you may as well pass this game on by completely.
Game Informer Magazine
Those who have fond memories of the PSone cult classic Thousand Arms will definitely enjoy Ar Tonelico's strange blend of action, dialogue and courtship. On the other hand, if you aren't really into that sort of thing, this game develops into a painful exercise in endurance as you grit your teeth and wait for the next battle, then try to make it last as long as possible in hopes of delaying your return to the story and characters.
I know, it sounds like more work than it should, but this dating-sim aspect is oddly and cloyingly charming. Without it, Ar tonelico would just be another RPG taking up space on the shelf. But with it, it's just weird and different enough that it earns a bit of RPG street cred.
In the end Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia is a excellent example of an RPG that gets it half-right. The combat, item customization and Dive systems are all well done and allow for a great amount of experimentation without ever getting stale. The story is passable, but leaves little room for exploration and the visual and aural presentation range from mediocre to awful. In the end, whether you should or shouldn’t play Ar tonelico is completely dependent on which matters more to you: presentation or mechanics.
Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia has a charming look and some likeable characters, and it will take you a good 40 hours to complete the lengthy story. Just based on those characteristics this could have been a good, satisfying role-playing game. The problem is that the lengthy courtship sequences will wear on your patience because there's no interaction whatsoever. You'll spend a large portion of your time in this game repeatedly pressing the X button to flip through one nonsensical conversation after another. If you go into this game expecting an epic quest full of challenging battles and extensive exploration you'll be sorely disappointed. But if you're looking for something more lighthearted and character-focused than the usual role-playing game, you'll find plenty to like about Ar tonelico.
Video Game Talk
If you're a sucker for a quirky RPG released by NIS then there's no doubt you have already checked Ar tonelico out. The game offers a lot of personality (insert perverted "dive" joke here), a few interesting gameplay gimmicks, and some inspired events. Unfortunately the awkwardly paced 45 hour adventure leaves a lot to be desired in the end. Things just lack the overall polish that one might expect and in the end Ar tonelico resides firmly in rental territory. It's not a "bad" game but it's not exactly the best RPG to come along.
Ett spel som sannolikt kommer att intressera den manliga publiken mer än den kvinnliga. Tjejtjusare kan höja betyget med ett snäpp eller två.
Game Informer Magazine
And it doesn't help Ar Tonelico's case that it looks like a PSone game. Only the hardest-core Japanophiles should bother with this sub-par effort.
Ar tonelico is unique, pleasant, and sometimes funny, but missteps in pacing, poor execution in storytelling, and sloppy localization not befitting Nippon Ichi standards prevent it from being a quality game. Nevertheless, fans of the Atelier series may fall in love with this title, as it features Haruka Shimotsuki, the vocalist for the Atelier Iris games, and some special Atelier Marie and Elie cameos. It is unlikely that Ar tonelico will appeal to the broader RPG audience, but some individuals will appreciate its distinctive melody.
At its core, Ar Tonelico is a game for hardcore RPG fans (especially those who can still enjoy oldschool 2D RPGs). Those who are concerned with fancy graphics, overly convoluted stories, and wildly innovative battle systems will find nothing to like about Ar Tonelico - it's a simplistic game that has a few unique features, but not much else. People like me, who enjoy a lighthearted romp through a more traditional setting, though, will find it to be a nice change of pace from all the extravagant games of today; just don't expect too much of it.
Bovine Conspiracy (The)
It is rather unfortunate that this game has so many interesting aspects that all seem poorly finished. But such is the case, and it turns Ar Tonelico into a substandard JRPG. There are enjoyable aspects, and if the sound of a dating simulator interests you, by all means play this game, but to the rest of the gaming world, I advise you to avoid Ar Tonelico.