Ar Tonelico II discussion. - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:00 AM
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Default Ar Tonelico II discussion.

EDIT: I doubt anyone will go back and see this, but if they do, I played through the other branch and got the other endings and I'm going to bump the score up from a 7.5 to an 8. I was borderline to begin with, and one of the other endings was, in my opinion significantly better than the first one I got. In addition, by running from many enemies (escaping seems to have 100% success) to keep my level low and just taking the correct path rather than hunting treasure chests, the combat became difficult enough to at least be a little engaging (although it still wasn't enough for me to actually loose a fight.)

The Good:

Story: They tell a genuinely interesting tale. I spent pretty much all my free time from when I got the game until I beat it playing the game, and I don't do that if I'm not interested in the plot. Character development and interactions are very good. Better than the first game, and they seem to have addressed the issues of having forgettable side characters. The characters in your party are interesting, and have plenty of screen time and interaction. They don't feel like just a filler member of your party.


Combat: Combat is very unique, and quite different from the previous game in the series. It switches between attack and defense phases. In the attack phase, you have a limited time to to attack with your front characters whenever they're ready and try to combo together attacks to extend the fight.

In defense phase you have some guitar hero like action, where you have to press the right button when the moving line gets to a certain spot on your screen so your front line fighters defend the casters in the back. Timing it right reduces the damage they take while if you're too late, your casters take damage and have their casting delayed.

It was a bit annoying at first, but once you get used to it, it actually is a pretty entertaining combat system.

Diving:
Diving into the consciousness of the casters in your party is back. This part is pretty love/hate, and if you've played the first game, you pretty much know whether or not you'll like it. As a side note, you can't complete all the cosmopheres in one playthrough. You can only pick one to progress more than about halfway through.


The Bad:

Dialog:
While there's a lot of very entertaining dialog in the game. Don't expect to be entertained by anything the random townspeople have to say. They really seem to have put no effort into making it them the slightest bit interesting, and I stopped talking to them completely part way through the game.

In addition, as it's a gust game synthesis is back. They decided that rather than finding recipes in chests and such, there will be four different synthesis locations. Each of them has a character who will interact with your party member when you walk in at certain points, sometimes giving you a new recipe, sometimes just chatting. Unfortunately, the four of them are generally uninteresting. I found myself hoping they would shut up and just give me the recipe.

The conversation when actually synthesizing is somewhat better, but some of the jokes get repetitive if you're doing a lot of synthesizing and I really don't think you'll find yourself looking forward to this process much.

Then there's dive therapy. Seriously, the most boring uninteresting dialog I've seen in a game in a long time, thankfully other than one time, it's completely optional, and even if you do it, you can completely skip over what they're actually saying and just select responses at random and keep retrying till you get it right. Actually reading it doesn't really help your chances of selecting the correct response either so random works fine.

Those Jokes:
If you've played the first game, you know what I'm talking about. They're back, and if anything there's more of them than before. Yes, enough already, we get the whole diving joke thing now.

Combat:
I remember reading a review for the first game that claimed that combat was too complicated and hard to understand, but the general battle difficulty was too easy and the spells were overpowered. I thought that was a little harsh at the time and I think the person was exaggerating a bit. Thankfully, gust must have heard of these concerns and decided to address them ... by making sure no one could argue they're not true this time.

I gave a brief overview of combat before, but it is much, much, more complex than the little I told you. I've beaten the game and I still don't understand several parts of it. That, however, is unimportant, as every single necessary fight in the game is a complete joke. Unless you're deliberately trying to keep your party weaker, the only challenge you'll get in the game is running into an IPD (semi randomly spawning enemies you can try to capture) of an unusually high level. And even in the worst case of that it only force me to use items for the only time in the game rather than actually beating me.

And anyone who complained about OP spells in the first game, hasn't seen Replaka. It's a once per fight ability that basically increases the speed your spells charge by a factor of 2 to 100 depending on how much dive therapy you did. I had it up to 40 by the end of the game. It also doesn't increase MP consumption to make up for the faster charging. It doesn't matter that you can only use it once, as you'll one shot any boss in the game after just a couple turns of charging with it.

Localization:
I'm a bit disappointed in NIS America on this one. They must have had their B team working on it. They still are too lazy to subtitle cutscenes but in this one, rather than play them in English, they just leave it in Japanese with no subtitles if that's the language you selected, they don't warn you they'll do this at all either. There's even one line of dialog, that's nearly impossible to miss getting in the game, that's completely untranslated. Still shows up in Japanese text on your screen. This isn't any special text, it's normal message box text.


Final Score: 8/10
I enjoyed the game a lot, and believe most people will find it better than the first in the series. It's not an amazing game that will wow you, but I feel that what it does right outweighs what it does wrong.

Last edited by BStroms; 02-17-2009 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:59 PM
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I'm currently in phase 5 and really enjoying it. Honestly it and Persona 4 are my favorite RPGS of the last couple of years. Solid 8.5 so far for me.

+story
+tons of sexual inneundo
+unique battle system
+fun side systems (crafting, IID collecting)
+hardcore anime vibe
+diving (relationship stuff)
+excellent musical score
+japanese voices
+very unique
+multi path story (4 endings + 1 distinct branching point early on)

-some minor bugs
-some of the battle and game systems aren't explained well and take a while to figure out
-low production values (visuals)
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:40 PM
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I just tried this out last night, and it seemed very good. I also tried Kingdom Hearts re: Chain of Memories and I disliked the combat system so I'll probably play ArTII next.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Godstar View Post
I just tried this out last night, and it seemed very good. I also tried Kingdom Hearts re: Chain of Memories and I disliked the combat system so I'll probably play ArTII next.
Tales of Vesperia?
MGS 1 - 4?
Gears of War 2?
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:52 PM
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By IID collecting, do you mean IPD collecting? If so, that's probably the biggest knock I have on the game. It is so horribly boring collecting them and doing dive therapy. Despite it being optional, they lost points in my book just for having that in, and it would be a better game if they dropped it out completely.

I mean can you really consider the following conversation entertaining? Especially when you have minor variations up to 100 times. They have a pool of generic questions and generic responses, with different people expecting different responses for the question.

IPD: Do you regret anything?
options: "Sometimes", "I regret everything"
select: "I regret everything"
IPD: Woah ... you threw me a curveball.
IPD's tension level is 25.

IPD: Which is worse hot or cold?
options: "Hot", "Cold"
select: "Hot"
IPD: You're so sheltered.
IPD's tension level is 15.

IPD: My head hurts.
options: "It's natural healing", "I'll cure you"
select: "I'll cure you"
IPD: Liar
IPD's tension level is 5.

IPD: I'm going to set myself on fire.
options: "Huh ...", "You can't do that."
select: "You can't do that."
IPD: Even if it's a lie, I'm still happy.
IPD's tension level is 40.

IPD: IPD pretends to stumble.
options: "Are you okay?", "Stop playing around."
select: "Stop playing around."
IPD: How can you say that to me?
IPD's tension level is 35.
IPD has been cured.

Those was not an exaggerated scenario. That's pretty standard as far as I can recall and I tried to use real question,option, responses to the best of my memory. Do a few dozen of them and see how much fun it is!



I'm really not the type to usually complain about a game being too easy. I'd rather have an easy game than a frustrating one, but this was too ridiculous. If they had done the following I'd agree with with you on an 8.5. The rest of the game is good enough to deserve it.

1. Bumped up the difficulty so it's at least a little challenging without you doing things like removing gear from yourself.

2. Dropped or completed revamped the whole IPD part.

3. Added subtitles to the Japanese language track cutscenes, and fixed up the other little localization errors.

However, I do feel these are some very significant issues, and they do detract from the game. I was borderline giving them an 8 even with the issues, but they certainly warrant some penalty, as they did affect my enjoyment of the game considerably.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BStroms View Post
By IID collecting, do you mean IPD collecting? If so, that's probably the biggest knock I have on the game. It is so horribly boring collecting them and doing dive therapy. Despite it being optional, they lost points in my book just for having that in, and it would be a better game if they dropped it out completely.

I mean can you really consider the following conversation entertaining? Especially when you have minor variations up to 100 times. They have a pool of generic questions and generic responses, with different people expecting different responses for the question.

IPD: Do you regret anything?
options: "Sometimes", "I regret everything"
select: "I regret everything"
IPD: Woah ... you threw me a curveball.
IPD's tension level is 25.

IPD: Which is worse hot or cold?
options: "Hot", "Cold"
select: "Hot"
IPD: You're so sheltered.
IPD's tension level is 15.

IPD: My head hurts.
options: "It's natural healing", "I'll cure you"
select: "I'll cure you"
IPD: Liar
IPD's tension level is 5.

IPD: I'm going to set myself on fire.
options: "Huh ...", "You can't do that."
select: "You can't do that."
IPD: Even if it's a lie, I'm still happy.
IPD's tension level is 40.

IPD: IPD pretends to stumble.
options: "Are you okay?", "Stop playing around."
select: "Stop playing around."
IPD: How can you say that to me?
IPD's tension level is 35.
IPD has been cured.

Those was not an exaggerated scenario. That's pretty standard as far as I can recall and I tried to use real question,option, responses to the best of my memory. Do a few dozen of them and see how much fun it is!



I'm really not the type to usually complain about a game being too easy. I'd rather have an easy game than a frustrating one, but this was too ridiculous. If they had done the following I'd agree with with you on an 8.5. The rest of the game is good enough to deserve it.

1. Bumped up the difficulty so it's at least a little challenging without you doing things like removing gear from yourself.

2. Dropped or completed revamped the whole IPD part.

3. Added subtitles to the Japanese language track cutscenes, and fixed up the other little localization errors.

However, I do feel these are some very significant issues, and they do detract from the game. I was borderline giving them an 8 even with the issues, but they certainly warrant some penalty, as they did affect my enjoyment of the game considerably.

Yeah IPD, and it was more the act of collecting them then the whole breaking them in part. Honestly the whole IPD fixing gameplay never bothered me, it was insanly easy and over fast. I just liked the searching them out in dungeons part.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snadinator View Post
Tales of Vesperia?
MGS 1 - 4?
Gears of War 2?
God dammit! Quit reminding me! LOL!
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godstar View Post
God dammit! Quit reminding me! LOL!
Gears of War 2 is pretty short, you could probably slam that out pretty fast. Honestly i'd recommend Ar Tonelico 2 over Tales of Vesperia unless you're hard up for wanting to play something next gen.

Tales of Vesperia is a generic yet fun RPG, Ar Tonelico 2 is a fun and unique, if not slightly flawed RPG. Pick your own poison.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weasl View Post
Tales of Vesperia is a generic yet fun RPG, Ar Tonelico 2 is a fun and unique, if not slightly flawed RPG. Pick your own poison.
Well I'm ready for another RPG. Fallout 3 is like a sandbox FPS game set in the future with RPG elements tossed in, so I'm ready for something more strategy based and less centered around shooting. ArT2 seems like that might fit, or Eternal Poison for that matter, but I am about 1/5 of the way through Tales of Vesperia, and I did like it very much. I definetly liked the music in ArT2, it was quite impressive.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weasl View Post
Tales of Vesperia is a generic yet fun RPG, Ar Tonelico 2 is a fun and unique, if not slightly flawed RPG. Pick your own poison.
I really enjoyed Vesperia. It has nothing to do with me being an Xbot. It has nothing to do with me desperate for an HD JRPG. I thought the story was passable but the characters were so well fleshed out and their voice acting was fantastic. I also loved the art style and all the extra goodies.

Art tonelico 2 I will get to eventually. I have a lot of PS2 RPGs to go through...
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