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I commend Gust for their hard work on this, and I?m glad to see NIS release it here. The voice actors deserve a thumbs up, and it?s a shame they aren?t credited in the manual, which would allow me to give props to each individual cast member. At the end of the day, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana is one of the most enjoyable RPGs I?ve ever played. It?s got a leisurely feel and pace to it unlike anything else I?ve seen. In spite of its flaws, I love most aspects of the game, and anticipate playing further installments.
Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana is an ambitious title which exceeds expectations in almost every regard imaginable. Given the series' track record, a domestic release is seemingly improbable, but we can always hope that publishers will begin to take note of quality titles like these and grant them the exposure they deserve.
Game Informer Magazine
Over the opening dozen hours, the game keeps introducing new systems and abilities that add depth and create a unique feel, but are never confusing or convoluted. The Atelier series has been going for many years in Japan, and Atelier Iris so charmed me that I'd love to see more of this endearing series come stateside.
Atelier Iris is, in the end, a tough game to judge. On one side, it's very clichéd and as such doesn't leave you with much in terms of substance (plotline-wise). Yet the localization makes for an experience that kicks it all up a notch. The synthesis system is fantastic and quite deep, but is also not for everyone and if you're in the market for an RPG that doesn't require a lot of experimentation with items, well, this is certainly not the game for you. However, the synthesis system in and of itself is brilliantly executed and the rewards you reap from creating a totally unique item are fantastic! It's a lot of fun and something I highly recommend.
Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana is like an old shoe: you know it so well, and it's made so sturdily, that every time you slip back into it, it feels like it belongs there. It's a comfortable, deeply satisfying game, the type of game that you'll find yourself taking more from than just a fun story, despite yourself.
Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana is the latest development for a long-running, alchemy-based RPG series by Gust. Atelier had its first debut on the Sega Saturn under the name Marie no Atelier and since then has graced consoles such as the Wonder Swan Color, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Dreamcast, Game Boy, and Game Boy Advance. However, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana is the first of the series to land itself on American shelves under the publisher NIS America, who has delivered big in the past with titles like Phantom Brave, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, and La Pucelle: Tactics. That alone should speak highly of Atelier Iris, but if you are still skeptical about what this game has to offer, please read on.
If you like RPGs and games that have a sense of humor you should get this now. You'll be happy that you did. Given the almost utter wasteland that is the RPG market right now, this game will give you more than enough to tide you over until Dragon Quest 8, or the new Front Mission, or Radiata Stories comes out. (And if not, well, NIS is releasing Makai Kingdom, too.) If NIS in the US means I get to see more solid, yet quirky Japanese games like this and Generation of Chaos series finally find an audience here in the US, then I'm all for it.
Game Informer Magazine
t’s been some time since we’ve had a straight-up RPG in the vein of Final Fantasy that is worth playing. Xenosaga II didn’t live up to expectations, FF XII is in development limbo, and the void needs filling. Enter Atelier Iris, the sixth title in a long-running Japanese series that has never before come to the States. While it’s certainly no cinematic masterpiece like FF X or Xenosaga I, an incredibly deep set of character and item systems along with a masterful localization by Nippon Ichi make this a fantasy epic that’s easy to sink many evenings into.
Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana is a delightful RPG that fans of the genre should purchase. In some ways it's a very traditional console RPG and the game will feel familiar to everyone. Despite having a traditional look and feel about the game (and a dated battle system), Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana is an enjoyable game. The artwork, the synthesis system and the humour all go some way to compensating for the game's shortfalls. When you also factor in the quality story and the interesting, anime-style characters you have a game that RPG fans will want to get their hands on. I also feel that Eternal Mana is a RPG that newcomers to the genre should experience. The learning curve in the game is fairly gentle and the difficulty increases at a comfortable rate, which is something you can't say for every RPG out there.
Auf den ersten Blick wirkt Atelier Iris wie ein klassisches Bitmap-RPG der SNES-Ära, was bei Rollenspielveteranen nostalgische Gefühle wecken, Technik-Junkies aber eher abschrecken wird. Doch antiquierte 2D-Optik hin, althergebrachte Spielmechanik her, Atelier Iris besitzt einfach einen Charme, dem man sich nur schwer verschließen kann. Die malerischen Schauplätze schaffen es auch ohne Polygone oder Renderprunk zu verzaubern, die Charaktere wachsen einem auch noch so pixelig und schlicht animiert ans Herz und das traditionelle Gameplay-Gerüst bietet so viele motivierende Features und liebevolle Details, dass man sich schon nach kurzer Zeit nicht mehr vom Gamepad trennen will. Vor allem das Zerlegen der Spielumgebung und Sammeln von Gegenständen für alchemistische Synthesen fesselt. Da nimmt man sogar zähneknirschend die bescheidene Oberwelt, das enge Storykorsett, die recht einfallslosen Gegner sowie die fehlende Lokalisierung und die schlampige PAL-Anpassung in Kauf.
Fans of bombastic, rich, expensive cut-scenes and acre-wide sci-fi plot lines will be disappointed, because Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana is old-school in look, character and budget. However, if it charms you, you'll be instantly hauled into its delightful world, desperate to help out in anyway you can - whether that's by supporting the lowliest street trader or tackling the powers and principalities that threaten its very existence.
Atelier Iris features fun gameplay, a great battle system, and good oldschool graphics. While they may take some getting used to, the numerous item creation systems are a lot of fun to play with too. It has a weak central story, but this is partially counterbalanced by many sidestory tangents. When all is said and done, Atelier Iris ~Eternal Mana~ is a lot of fun to play and a great game.
Pretty graphics and music, great voice acting and its mix of traditional and action role playing elements makes Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana a fine game. Yet its cartoony 2D look will put off a lot of players because it isn’t “cutting edge” so to speak and if you have that bias this isn’t the game for you. But if you love role playing games and don’t care how they look this is a game worth picking up. It the first game of the series to be released here in the United States, but it is the sixth game in the series. Hopefully more of Gust’s games will get published here for they are a nice change of pace.
Between fighting slimes that look like little Puyo-Puyo's and enlisting the aid of the fairy yakuza Pilke, this is a fun adventure with enticingly colorful graphics and vibrantly peppy music. Sure, it lacks the touching drama of a masterpiece like Emerald Dragon... but if an RPG can't be a stirring epic, it's far better to be fun than generic. With its memorable characters, inventive gameplay, and irrepressible charm, Atelier Iris is one of the more refreshing RPG's in recent memory.
Video Game Talk
The road for Atelier Iris may be a little bumpy thanks to random battles, RPG clichés and some spotty visuals/audio. Overall though this is one of the most memorable and enjoyable RPGs I’ve played in a long, long time. The personality that oozes from the game’s ever facet entertains and keeps you interested in between cut scenes. If you’re looking for a new RPG series to keep you busy or just want something that feels familiar, yet slightly different, definitely check out Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana. Highly Recommended
Prior to this, the Atelier games were relatively simple in scope. The world was never in danger. There were never evil villains hatching diabolical plots in the darkness. It was just about a girl trying to make a living at this alchemy thing. It was fun, but it lacked a grand scale and a spirit of adventure. Something that Atelier Iris provides in spades, while still remaining true to the elements that made the previous games enjoyable.
Overall, I think any dedicated RPG fan should buy Atelier Iris. Not only is it a great game, but it will most likely become valuable within the next year. If you enjoyed Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, or Stella Deus, you will completely embrace this one. Casual players beware though, Atelier Iris is not for the ADD engulfed Halo fanatic.
In the span of just over a year, the American leg of Nippon Ichi Software has become the darling of domestic RPG fans. Though its list of titles isn't exactly huge (limited to just Phantom Kingdom and Eternal Mana so far), its focus on decidedly Japanese strategy and role-playing games has made it an instant hit with the otaku underground. Its latest stab at the market, the aforementioned Atelier Iris ~Eternal Mana~ is no doubt aimed at that very audience -- boasting an abundance of clichéd RPG characterization, inside jokes, and old-school art designs meant to please the hardcore fan base. If you're the type of player that prefers harmless fan service to something decidedly more serious, then this is exactly what you're looking for.
The game takes place in a land of chaos, known as Regallzine. Part of the lore of the land concerns the city in the sky, Avenberry. It was built by a legendary race that communicated with mana, but disappeared suddenly. No one knows what happened to it, but the city remains a source of high adventure. The city of Kavoc is the base city for those wishing to search out and unlock the secrets of Avenberry.
As a lighthearted, beautifully drawn RPG, Atelier Iris delivers exactly as promised, a deep, non-violent, involving, at times engaging fantastical quest, which is surely more than suitable for its niche. It may not attract the masses but hey, the best games often don’t.
Nippon Ichi Software has built a name for itself by effectively cornering the market on lighthearted but complex strategy role-playing games like Disgaea: Hour of Darkness and Phantom Brave. Primarily a development company, Nippon Ichi has been publishing its own titles stateside under the NIS America banner since 2004. Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana is the latest from NIS America, and while it wasn't actually developed in-house, it has a distinct style and sense of humor that Nippon Ichi fans will immediately recognize. However, in a departure of sorts, this game features a traditional turn-based battle system that more closely resembles Final Fantasy than Disgaea. In fact, with its simple, turn-based battles, storybook universe, and saccharine characters, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana feels like a throwback to the glory days of the SNES role-playing games--which is the best thing that can be said for a game like this.
Overall, Eternal Mana is an intriguing entry into the RPG market but probably too niche for most to consider it a great game. Though the game does not offer much in the way of replayability, a bonus dungeon and unlockable extras do let players squeeze every last bit of gameplay. Even so, it is worth looking at, especially for RPGamers who enjoy crafting in all its aspects.
Agréable surprise, Atelier Iris : Eternal Mana est une véritable ode à la composante ludique du RPG. Pas forcément évolué au niveau du scénario ou de la psychologie des personnages, il parvient à attirer passionnément grâce à son gameplay profond et à son ambiance chaleureuse. Rappelant les grands jeux 16 bits avec passion, son seul défaut est de perdre grandement en intérêt lors des combats assez peu dynamiques et surtout très classiques. Pourtant, et malgré le 50 Hz associé à l'absence de traduction, vous vous laisserez facilement bercer par le soft au-delà de vos espérances. Espérons que la suite, encore meilleure au passage, nous arrive rapidement.
NIS America is stacking up the RPG hits. Following on the success of Phantom Brave, NIS is publishing the Gust-developed RPG, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana. The title may not appeal to everyone due to its emphasis on gameplay over visuals, but RPG purists will find a lot to love here. The use of alchemy and the ability to turn almost anything in the environment into base ingredients for your magic is a fun and unique take on the RPG genre. The hardcore RPG fans should have a good time with this one.
Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana may not blow anyone away, but it will provide a fun, enjoyable experience. The light nature and clichés that are rammed down your throat may turn some people off, but many fans will appreciate the quirky humor that arises from it. Those of us who sometimes yearn for days gone by might just find some of the old magic of the 16-bit era RPGs as well. Eternal Mana might be a bit much for the budget at its launch price, but fans of Nippon Ichi’s games or those suffering from nostalgia should pick it up immediately.
At its heart, Atelier Iris uses innovative techniques like item creation and scavenger hunting to draw in gamers. However, these things can almost as easily be viewed as ways to compensate for a lack of combat style or a worthwhile story -- two things you come to expect in a good role-playing game. It's sunnier and funnier than your average game, but at the same time it's more redundant. Only you know which values you hold more important in your video games, and that knowledge will dictate how much you enjoy Atelier Iris.
In short, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana may not be a terribly original game, but it's full of things to make hardcore RPG fans' heads spin. It's a visual treat; it has extremely solid gameplay and an enjoyable story. While there's nothing new here, everything is crafted with care and the polish shines through. This is a game that, if you have the time in between the dozens of other stellar RPGs on the PS2, you will most likely enjoy. If you've been longing for a new Lunar or other old-school 2D RPG franchise to be revitalized for the PS2, then you most definitely should be giving Atelier Iris a look. It's a surprisingly solid package, and deeper than it looks on first or second glance.
Eternal Mana is a thoroughly enjoyable read, but in the context of a video game, Gamestyle expects more. A story and its characters will overcome many things but with Eternal Mana the temptation is there to give up when confronted by another dungeon. Most players will unfortunately do so, instead seeking out a superior PS2 RPG offering.
I honestly can’t recommend someone picking up this game for fifty dollars. It’s short by RPG standards, and it’s just got little to nothing that makes this stand out as a must buy. There’s so many better RPG’s with a higher degree of difficulty and a more original story that beating Eternal Mana gives you the same triumph of coming in second in a race when you’re the only competitor to have both legs. Thank god Makai Kingdom is out in a few weeks to allow us to forget this game.
In summary, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana is an attempt at a lot of good that is met with only limited success. While some parts of the game are executed very well, many other aspects are likely to leave a sour taste in the mouths of most players. The gameplay isn't always enjoyable, and the glitches found here and there scattered throughout the game are an annoyance. Thus, in the end, this game is nothing more than an average turn-based RPG experience that might leave a person wishing that they had saved their money.