Save Point

Money can buy everything except “love”, “friendship” and “exp points”.

If You Die In A Cut Scene, You Die In Real Life January 23, 2009

Filed under: Game tropes,Genres,Specific games — haounomiko @ 10:34 am
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One of my favourite things about the Ar tonelico series is that you can’t dodge the consequences of your actions simply by being the protagonist. You are held accountable to the same moral standards as the enemy, and you can’t just get away with the end justifying the means. Sometimes both sides look like the bad guy, and the game doesn’t try to excuse your side just because you’re on it.

The first game has a little of this, but it was downplayed because the story doesn’t revolve around political factions as much as the second game’s does. AT1 hints at it in the beginning, but you don’t see it really blossom until the end of the game. I think in AT2, the story’s genuine acceptance that both sides have a sincere point, and neither is pure evil but neither is perfect, has finally come into the spotlight.

I’m a big fan of that approach. When I was a kid I didn’t really notice, but nowadays I can’t help being critical of games that oversimplify and let the heroes get away with being as callously destructive as the enemy. Most RPGs tend to let that fly (other than the Suikoden series, which as far as I’m concerned is in a class of its own w.r.t. understanding of politics, morals, and the human heart), and I’m used to putting up with it, but it’s truly refreshing to see a game that applies a consistent set of standards to everyone in the story.

 

Jakuri Pod January 21, 2009

Filed under: Specific games,Translations — haounomiko @ 12:08 pm
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A mini-update, since I know a few of you are big Ar tonelico fans.

Apparently there was some concern that “Musume Power” was going to be translated as “Hymn Code”, which would be weird, completely irrelevant, and misleading since 3rd gens don’t have Hymn Codes. Worry not– it’s actually been translated as “Girl Power”, after all.

Some other translated names: Luca Trulyworth (which I hear is an error, as “waath” is “rebirth” in Hymmnos), Cloche (probably correct), and Jacqli (don’t worry, Ayulsa will brainwash you out of it). Sadly, everyone’s favourite snack is called Funboons.

 

Project A.T.2 begins January 19, 2009

Filed under: Specific games — haounomiko @ 2:14 pm
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The reason I’ve blogged so little this month is that I’ve been spending my gaming time on Second Life, which is a lot of fun but mostly doesn’t spark gaming-related thoughts (unless you count thoughts about its user interface for 3-D modelling). My home internet is currently down, though, and my pre-ordered copy of Ar tonelico 2 just arrived. This suggests a certain obvious activity to keep me busy while I can’t get into Lindenworld.

I’ve only played an hour or so into the game, and most of my comments have already been observed by fandom: the dialogue could use less innuendo, the main character is considerably more sensible than Lyner (although perhaps a little too cool to seem honestly comfortable), and so on. The opening is rather fanservicey, but it can also be read as cooperative and nurturing: two Reyvateils working together, not in competition for the dating sim protagonist. As for the opening plus the game beginning, I’m already curious about a few matters and a few flashes of things I’ve briefly seen. If AT1 is any indication, the briefer the glimpse of something, the more important it’ll be in the end.