カレーまみれ勇者の冒険 Curry Chronicles


Yoru no Nai Kuni

they are just friends

I forgot to publish this and kind of missed the timing to strike so might as well do it now.

Yoru no Nai Kuni is Gust’s action RPG about lesbians two girls who are very good friends and hold hands and sleep with each other in the same bed.

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New Rorona VS Original

Since Tecmo Koei’s localization of Shin Rorona was news to me, I went and bought the JP version of the game a month before the English version came out. Welp. As far as the game goes, the story is largely the same as the original’s, and even some aspects that I expected them to change (like having to pay your friends for them to accompany you) remained. For a “review,” it’d be faster to just list the changes and new content added.

Despite being called Atelier Rorona Plus in English, the added content is much more than what they did with Totori’s and Meruru’s Vita ports.

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Ar nosurge clear! – thoughts

I’m at 98% trophy (missing the one you get at the beginning of Ion’s side in Phase 1 -_-) and just cleared the game with the true ending so might as well write down my thoughts while the iron is hot.

Ar Tonelico 3 was a turn for the worse after AT2, so I was initially hesitating on Ar nosurge. Thankfully, it turned out much better than expected, and brought back everything I liked about the Ar Tonelico series. Anyone who enjoyed Ar Tonelico 2 would like Ar nosurge, since the latter feels like an evolved version of the former. The problem is that to feel the full impact of many events in Ar nosurge, reading Ciel nosurge beforehand is necessary. While the former is good game on its own, it’s because I read Ciel up to chapter 10 beforehand that made Ar’s scenes and characters leave such a strong impression. There are small things that mean a lot to those who played Ciel, as well as characters that played an important role there but show up later here.

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Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel

Officially Ar Tonelico 3, NISA gave the final installment of the series a different name, likely to encourage those who have not played the first two games to pick this up. Unfortunately, I’d say that Qoga is the game that only an Ar Tonelico fan who has played the previous games and gotten invested in the world-building and concepts can enjoy, and it is probably the worst entry point into the series. Deciding to forgo the improvements from Ar Tonelico 2, Qoga (which I shall refer to as AT3 from this point on) tried to return to the atmosphere and character dynamics of the first game, but did so in a half-hearted way that relied too much on distracting gimmicks rather than improving the core aspects that made the series memorable compared to other RPGs.

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Ar Tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica

This is the sequel to the first Ar Tonelico and improves upon it in almost every way possible. Although it does tell a standalone story, playing the games in order is still recommended because the worldview in the series is very intricate and terms and locations are expanded on from AT1. Either way, the fantasy sci-fi setting is highly detailed and the dynamics between the heroines are better.

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Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia

Waifus and music: the RPG, from Gust. Since it’s Gust, expect some sort of unconventional customization system (even if it’s not hardcore alchemy). As soon as I finished this game, I went out and bought the second and third game online, so that in itself is pretty clear indication of how I feel about the game.

While being from the company most well-known for their alchemy RPGs starring female protagonists, Ar Tonelico plays more like a standard RPG centered around a guy’s journey to save the world. The progression is like a normal RPG with none of the Atelier games’ time-based system, but there is still an item-crafting system and flexible equipment and magic customization. The battle system is also worth noting in that while it is not as fast-paced and exciting as the Mana Khemia series, it has its own distinct take on magic that differs from the more standard turn-based battle systems other Atelier games have.

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Nora to Toki no Koubou – Kiri no Mori no Majo


System: Nintendo DS

Developer: Atlus

Official Site

Back in 2011, Atlus made an RPG that was basically an Atelier game in everything but name. There are slight differences due to not being constraint by series traditions, but the music, game system, and atmosphere around the characters is highly reminiscent of older Ateliers. I also find it more satisfying than the one DS Atelier game I’ve played (Atelier Annie). The game doesn’t seem to have sold very well, but it does have a good degree of polish, addictiveness, and replayability, along with the charm of the lighthearted fantasy atmosphere.

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Ayesha is fun, but the Arland series have a better atmosphere

Alchemy is fine and just as complex when you get down to it, and battles take a more strategic turn as you can now position your party members around the enemy, affecting what support skills they can use. Through good usage of the battle system, a certain boss fight that is supposed to be “unwinnable” becomes winnable even on the first playthrough. The time constraints have become so lenient, even the quests from townspeople give you over a year to complete (even if it’s as simple as “get me 3 baguettes”), and hand out a lot of cash in comparison to the requests in the Arland series.  There are no deadlines, Ayesha just has to save her little sister by the end of the game (3 years) and that’s it. Levelling up is also a lot faster, and reaching level 50 in both alchemy and adventurer levels is quite easy. Boss fights don’t really happen until late game, where a bunch of optional bosses pop up in large numbers. Character models look great, English voice acting is bearable but disappointing in that only around half the game is dubbed (please, if you’re not gonna pay for the JP voices, put that cash into giving a full dub!). Soundtrack is wonderful as well.

The problem is, the game feels lonely. Kinda like Atelier Marie, except with more character events. Yeah, all the characters have plenty of events with Ayesha, but there is a lack of group events or interactions between party members. Remember back in Rorona where bringing different combinations of party members to the world map triggered different conversations between them? Doesn’t happen here. I liked the Regina and Juris events, but the other party members don’t have many events with each other. Plus, the amount of party members feels kinda few. Or maybe that’s just compared to Meruru, which had loads of characters and group interactions. Anyway, Ayesha’s fellow party members not interacting with each other just left a big gap in my heart. It was like in Atelier Marie, where the adventurers only interacted with Marie, and not with each other. Even the bath event was Ayesha & Tanya only.

Well, ’tis the beginning of a new (hopefully) trilogy, so some things gotta go back to square one. A15 has been announced to take place in the same land as Ayesha, this time with a twintail protagonist! Yeah, take my money, Gust! I hope it builds up to the same liveliness as the Arland games, with returning characters and group events. I’m not done with Ayesha seeing as how I’ve got more endings to get (only acquired the endings for party members other than Keith), so maybe it’ll be livelier in some of the other endings. I’ve got no complaints about the characters themselves. Wilbell is a fabulous loli and Linca is moe. Please return in the next game! The lack of Sterk is saddening though, hopefully we get someone who can cut the moon again. Extremely badass specials is the best kind of MANservice.

All in all, it’s a fun game, but not as good as Meruru/Totori. I liked Kishida’s art better, but the new artist is not bad at all. It’s sad to see cutscenes be in full 3D instead of visual novel style with portraits, as good the 3D models are.


Review: Atelier Marie – The Alchemist of Salburg

Let’s make a trip back to the PS1 era, shall we? It was a fun time of testing things out, after all, and a time when an experimental low-budget game made by a nobody could still be well-received on a console stuffed full of polished RPGs with better budget. Atelier Marie is the first Atelier game–the game that started it all and made Gust have an iconic series. It was back when Gust had a rather…lacking budget, and it shows. Nonetheless, it is a fun game centered around item-making, and has the peaceful slice-of-life tone that carried on to the Arland games.

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Atelier Meruru – 1st playthrough complete!

The Arland games get more lenient with time-management each installment. I managed to get the Normal end, Good end, both endings involving Rorona, and one of the Strong Meruru ends (lost terribly to Masked G). I also reached level 50, but that isn’t so hard this time around with enemies that are over level 50. You can even get to lvl 99 if you build the statue. Boss fights got harder, they actually feel like legit boss battles where you have to craft good equipment and bring lots of healing items and utilize buffs/debuffs. I kind of miss the old days where I could just make a Terabomb with Explosion Damage and Narrow Range, register it, and wipe the floor with it. The strongest boss in Rorona went down in 2 Terabombs lol. Attacking items in Meruru feel severely nerfed, although it was going down that path since Totori.

For those too intimidated by deadlines to play the Atelier series, rejoice as Meruru has one mandatory deadline that is pretty much impossible to miss unless you do absolutely jack shit for 3 years. I found it to be the easiest of the Arland trilogy for the first playthrough. It’s also got the most polished gameplay, and not surprisngly, the nicest graphics. Man, Gust has come a long way since Rorona. I remember playing that and not caring for the music, but I’ve grown to like the soundtrack since Totori. The main disappointment with Meruru is the fact that there are no character endings. You’ve got the friendship events and a CG event at 80 friendship, but you don’t get actual endings with anyone bar 2 Rorona-based endings. The 10 endings are the general “what happened to the kingdom/Meruru’s life” ones. Ever played Atelier Annie? Yeah, the endings are like the ones in that.

As for characters, Meruru is awesome. Moreso in some endings than others. I find her to be the most awesome Arland alchemist, although Totori wins for hnnnnnnng level. Rorona is now a loli because Japan don’t want 30-year-old Rorona, despite the fact that Kishida Mel’s 40-year-olds still look 20 so I don’t see why anyone complains about it. He could have just palette-swapped 22-year-old Rorona’s outfit and voila! If 2ch is anything to go by, people actually prefer older Rorona. Gust, Japan might like lolis, but they also like tits!

Sterk is badass as usual, with an awesome special move where he cuts the moon. Mimi has grown since the last game and is even more delicious now with higher grade zettai ryouiki. Esty is awesome, with high speed and AoE normal attack. エスティさん意外と萌え!Totori returns looking just as flat-chested as ever, with a calmer voice. Gino clearly looks older, but keeps his shota voice which isn’t very fitting. Also, apparently Peter has a wife!? So in Arland, it’s only playable characters who are forever alone. Seems legit. Oh yeah, and those composer comments are freaking hilarious.

The True ending and Popular ending are only available on New Game+. Since it’s summer and all, time to do another playthrough!