Well, the verbosity and easy/repetitive nature of the battle system were my two biggest criticisms of the Ar Nosurge. Shop conversations in particular I felt were as time consuming as any Atelier game, except in most of the Atelier games I find it more forgivable since there usually isn't much urgent happening. Here I would literally spend hours in a shop crafting stuff and listening to conversations when there were supposed to be pressing things happening storywise. Part of me just wanted to get on with it because I was
interested in the main story, but the obsessive completionist in me would say not until I've crafted everything I can craft at that point in the game...
For what it's worth while the dive segments still have that other wordly quality to them at the same time they're probably a big more directly relevant to the events that are unfolding than in most AT games. At least I thought so.
As far as the battle system goes maybe you should just read this
. Lots of neat ideas, but I felt it was poorly implemented.
Thanks for all the insights sir. My primary concern here was being lost without the narrative background of Ciel and Quoga ultimately. All shortcomings otherwise seem pretty forgivable. I'm going to reiterate my earlier statement that AT2 was a GOOD game. Good enough to have me highly interested in Ar Nosurge. It just wasn't a stellar experience for me or quite as good as the first.
As I re-read I realized this was beginning to really sound like I didn't like the series. The only leg I will say I blatantly thought was garbage was Quoga, which was a shame because visually and auditorially I was pretty enticed with that one.