Ar Tonelico 2: Melody of the Metafalica - PS2

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Ar Tonelico 2: Melody of the Metafalica (PS2)
Viewed: 2.5D Isometric, Scrolling Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: NIS America Soft. Co.: NIS America
Publishers: Koei (GB)
Released: 5 Jun 2009 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+
No Accessories: No accessories


Ar Tonelico 2: Melody of the Metafalica is, like its predecessor, a curious beast. It's basically an old-school role playing game of the sort that was the bread and butter of the genre's fans in the PSOne era, but with a hefty slice of dating game play thrown in.

The story, which is complex while managing to not be overwhelming, basically revolves around a conflict between the Grand Bell and the Sacred Army. They've both got the same problem - the oppressive goddess that controls their world, Metafalss, won't grant them the land they need to prosper, known as Metafalica. For the Grand Bell, the solution is to destroy the Goddess and build it themselves from the power of their Reyvateil maiden, Lady Cloche. The Sacred Army, however, reckons that this approach will bring on the end of the world. It's against this backdrop that players must battle to save the world.

The turn-based battle system, which feels more action-focussed than most of its RPG brethren, is divided into attack and defence. The vanguard are basically the tanks of the system, while the Reyvateils protect against attack using song magic charged up by their vanguard allies.

What really sets Ar Tonelico 2 apart, however, is the 'getting to know you' element, which has overtones of a dating simulation. A Reyvateil's magic gets stronger based on how closely she's bonded to her partner. You get closer to them by diving into your partner's mind - literally entering into it thanks to a manifestation of her psyche called the Cosmosphere. By getting to know her on these trips you'll strengthen the bond, enabling you to become more powerful.

If you're looking for an RPG that's a bit different (and laced with cheeky innuendo) Ar Tonelico 2 will hit the spot.