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1156  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ar tonelico 3 coming to the PS3 January 2010 on: January 19, 2011, 08:59:56 AM
Yeah...sorry but I'm going have to disagree with a few people. I love the first game to bits and have some affection for the second; but the Ar Tonelico series is neither dark, deep, nor does it have a dating sim.

First; the darkest Ar Tonelico ever got was the story revolving around the character Jacqli; but that was dark-lite at best. There've been themes of equal "darkness" used in Magical Girl Genre anime, if not even darker ones. And that's hardly even touching upon the darkness either genres of entertainment have generated over the years. It's understandable if you've never been exposed to anything dark that you'd misconceive this but honestly Ar Tonelico is a pretty light-hearted story as far as genre tales go. This same thing applies to it's depth.

Secondly, Ar Tonelico does not contain a dating sim. There are many other games I would say that have a "dating sim" before I would even put Ar Tonelico on that list. Some examples include Sakura Wars V and Persona 4. Ar Tonelico's Dive System is basically all those "character development" cutscenes you seen in JRPGs that tend to chug the plot during slower times combined with Tech Trees ala Xenosaga I. You're paying an in-game currency to receive both a power-up and a dialog scene; that's it and that does not a Dating Sim make.

Dating Sims are all about choice, or rather the illusion there of. You make choices, choices have consequences; irrevocable consequences usually. In the aforementioned games you have multiple choices (sometimes branching dialog trees) you can make during the "Sim" scenes that actually have consequences. People could love you for them, or hate you for them, or even surprise you by their reaction. You can "fail" these sequences, "win" at them, get "bad" endings to their stories or "good" endings all depending on your choices. Ar Tonelico has no choices, but rather you're just sitting through multiple dialog scenes generated by a point and click map. It's like Final Fantasy X only you're paying DP to see these sequences. On rare occasion a choice box might appear; but this isn't a true choice at all. It's either "Pick right and advance or pick wrong and pay more DP to continue with the "right" choice." Ar Tonelico had the potential to be a dating sim, it presents itself as a dating sim, but at the end of the day...it isn't.

Which is a shame. The world of Ar Tonelico lends itself...nay...begs pleadingly to be one of the best Dating Sims the west has ever seen. Look at the lore mentioned so often about the same involving the Dive System. How many times were you warned that not being careful in a Reyvatiel's sub-conscious could "screw up" the girl's mind? What about the people who "force" their Reyvatiel's to craft song magic? AT could've had a brilliant dating sim element with actual challenge, moral dilemma, and real heart-wrenching consequences. Did you say the wrong thing and now the Reyvatiel won't respond well to you in the Dive? You could lie to her, mess with her mind to make her accept what you did and craft for you anyway. Or get outright domineering/destructive and cower her into making song magic. Or be the nice guy and take the long route with the right choices to try and progress naturally; although she'll always remember what you did wrong and hold it against you at later levels. Is your Reyvatiel happy at the end of her journey? Is she just "normal" because you neither excelled nor did anything terribly wrong? Is she broken like a used war-doll because you squeezed every ounce of power out of her at the expense of her mind? Or is she "broken" in another way and completely psychotic because of the mental abuse you put her through?

This could've lead to deep characters, meaningful gameplay/simulation, better relationships, and as a result: Better protagonists and character development. But nope...it's simple lead-you-by-the-hand Point A to B with subject material and relationships about as deep as a dollar store fishbowl. Still fun? In the early games, yes. But it's such wasted potential...
1157  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ar tonelico 3 coming to the PS3 January 2010 on: January 18, 2011, 10:15:32 PM
Edit: Bleh, strike this. I can't get the metaphor to work right.
1158  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ar tonelico 3 coming to the PS3 January 2010 on: January 18, 2011, 03:00:33 PM




Too easy. XD

1159  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ar tonelico 3 coming to the PS3 January 2010 on: January 18, 2011, 02:47:41 PM
I've actually pondered over the earlier point as well.  I'm surprised we can't get some hybrid of J and W.  

Quick mention on this note: Tabletop RPGs are actually "ahead of the times" of their video game counterparts regarding this as far as comparing them to Video Game RPGs. As an example, look up Legend of the Five Rings sometime; it's a Samurai Tabletop RPG that blends together eastern themes with enough westernization to make it appeal to people who're typically turned off by the cliches and over-bearing themes in most JRPGs & Anime while still managing to hold a very eastern feeling. Even allowing for games to be customized more towards the East or West depending on your group's tastes.

Shame the company in charge of it (Alterac Entertainment Group) has no interest in the digital frontier. They'd make a killing in this jaded market.
1160  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ar tonelico 3 coming to the PS3 January 2010 on: January 18, 2011, 01:22:31 PM
Y'know with all these franchises running themselves into the ground perhaps one day someone will come in and cherry pick the best bits from all these has-been series and make something amazing out of them. I've mentioned before that the IP Battle System from Grandia needs to be salvaged; so with Ar Tonelico I would say the one thing that needs to survive from this series to be reincarnated is the Dive System.

Well...sort of. Not the Dive System as is (basically a giggle-fest for low brow jokes about sex without saying sex); but rather the Dive System as a concept. Getting to form a close, personal bond with a character by exploring the many different layers of their sub-conscious and finding out things you would never ordinarily discover about them (without it being forced) while unlocking new powers and abilities for doing so.

What kills it from reaching full potential is how AT takes this rather unique and potentially deep system and instead of treating it like a mature, adult platform for character exploration they dress it up in a cross-dressing clown suit and have it sing 90's pop songs instead.

Now imagine if you fused some of the loving care and detail given to Sakura Wars: So Long My Love's dialog options/events and applied it to Ar Tonelico's Dive System. Toss in Grandia's IP Battle and there's your recipe for most mechanically sound game of the year for 2011.
1161  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ar tonelico 3 coming to the PS3 January 2010 on: January 17, 2011, 12:25:10 PM
I don't think the Lunar artist is even capable of erotic.  He's always seemed so... rated G for me.  Unless there's some work I'm unaware of.

Complain about trilogies, but Hollywood action movies are no less ridiculous in the portrayal of women.  Except the dividing line of J and W.

W tends to be more sexy for the sake of sexy
J tends to be more cute, innocent and bashful for the sake of perversion haha

You've forgotten about the back side of the Lunar case haven't you? XD

I'm not less critical of the west than I am of the east. There's a reason I avoid most modern genres like the plague. Well...multiple reasons. Excessive, pointless, over used fan service perhaps only being the mid-range on the strike chart.
1162  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ar tonelico 3 coming to the PS3 January 2010 on: January 16, 2011, 08:12:46 PM

Geez, this is reminding me why I've ignored the Ar Tonelico series despite some early interest; it comes off as too pandering or otherwise embarrassing to play.

You should still play the first one at the very least. AT was pretty good, practically flawless if you go the Misha route over the Aurica route because you miss a particularly infamous scene that way. AT 2...suffered a bit because of the overdone fanservice, a bit from game breaking glitches, and a bit from sloppy conversion. While I wouldn't really recommend it outright I would say it's at least worth a glance.

But this...yeah, I'm not even going to watch the video. The summary of the ESRB rating was more than enough for me. Sheesh, first The Third Birthday, then AT3...any other trilogies you want to ruin with your repressed sexual issues expressed through artistic expression Japan? Hmm? :-/

Heh, imagine if Lunar 3 gets announced. Imagine how badly that would be mangled by this treatment.
1163  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FFIV Complete Collection for PSP on: December 13, 2010, 04:22:27 AM
Huh, so is this a confirmed English release or a Japanese-only thing?

I'm rather glad they're doing this though. FFIV was one of the few cases where I thought the update to a newer generation platform actually made the game look AND sound worse. 2D Sprites are a plus; now if they can actually make a proper remix or emulation of the music that'll pretty much sell me completely.
1164  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Valkyria Chronicles 3 Confirmed for The PSP on: December 02, 2010, 06:42:49 AM
Very nice. Gotta admit that opening does a good job selling the game. I'll have to keep an eye on this and see what people say about the story once it comes out.
1165  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The 3rd Birthday on: December 02, 2010, 05:12:52 AM
Random thought: Kinda doubtful but I wonder if SE will have the foresight to have an On/Off option in the Settings for the Clothes Tearing mechanic; kinda like how several games have an On/Off option for blood and gore.

That's about the only thing that'll convince me to buy the game presently.
1166  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Which Final Fantasy Has The Best Story and Why? on: November 26, 2010, 10:18:31 PM
Oh my god.

Someone needs to tell Square Enix to release Final Fantasy XI as a series of iPhone apps for each storyline.  Figure out the details, but sell the storylines individually.

FF4 had the best story because it was pure.  The giant of Babel wasn't megatron, or some JRPG stereotypical mech, it was just a monster... who happened to be a robot.

Final Fantasy IV is the story that all other stories are based on.  I'm sorry I can't justify this argument.  It's a simple story, but unnecessarily great ideas were put into the simple plot devices, such as Cecil's class change.

I call that "fairy tale" charm.  It's typical, tells an adventure with a knight, pure woman/princess, tragedy, mytic-ness, and good times.  It's nothing complex, just a good tale

Doesn't hurt it either to have a spell-casting Dr. Wily beating bishonens over the head with sticks whilst screaming "You spoony bard!".
1167  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Which Final Fantasy Has The Best Story and Why? on: November 24, 2010, 02:16:25 AM
Ack, it's been so very long since I played the older FFs that I can't recall their stories in major detail (heck it's been quite some time since I touched the PSOne titles as well). It's a tough call. In terms of how I felt at the time of originally playing the game I would say that IV and VIII left the best impressions on me. In hindsight VI and Tactics stand out as the more solid tales Final Fantasy has spun.

In all honesty though I'd say Final Fantasy Mystic Quest deserves an honorable mention. The plot flows relatively smoothly with decent amounts of seriousness and comedy mixed in for a relatively satisfying conclusion. For an "Intro" RPG. Before you throw flaming spears for me saying that realize lashing on FFMQ's plot for lack of complexity is equivalent to barking about a children's story lacking twists. XD It's a simple story for a introductory audience. At 6 years old I thought it was fantastic.
1168  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs for beginners on: November 22, 2010, 03:01:10 AM
Eh, it kinda depends if you're looking for a rather melodramatic story or not. FFVI is pretty good on all counts but there's no denying the game can be a bit of a downer at times. Heck even the ending at it's "best" has some bittersweet moments.

Personally I'm going to be the vocal minority here and say that if you have to play an FF game again to go for V. Honestly I think the class system in V trumps the Magicite system in VI. That and typically I prefer light-hearted adventure/comedy > drama.
1169  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mega Man Legends 3 on: November 11, 2010, 11:25:33 PM
I hope Mega man Legends 3 is still gonna happen now :(

What? Because Inafune left? It's still happening if you'll go look over the blog. Honestly I think it's the best thing that could happen for the game.

Um, MML1 and 2 were fantastic partially BECAUSE Inafune was so heavily involved with their development.  I fail to see how removing him makes the games better?

Call it a hunch as I have no solid proof to back it up. But I'm pretty sure Inafune is no longer the man he was over 10 years ago. Between video I've seen of him recently and some of the things he's said along with the timing of his departure (along with having dealt with artistic-creative types from constantly working with artists & writers and extensive work in the Theater Department for 5 years) he's striking me as having become a slightly bitter director-type who's having a "I quit!" drama fit/creative crisis (albeit a rather quiet and modest one compared to some of the stinkers lesser men have thrown).

Someone undergoing that phase will only drag a project down. Regardless of if they're a fresh face or the veritable honored grandfather of the project's inception. Inafune removing himself from the project is sparing MML3 from being locked into that fate.
1170  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mega Man Legends 3 on: November 11, 2010, 07:30:59 PM
Strike that, I forgot they were a Southwest company only. Otherwise I'd have suggestions for where to get MML1 & 2 cheap and in good shape.
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