Taking place in the desolate land of Metafalss, a tiny continent built upon the rim of a tower much like the first game's Ar tonelico, it revolves around two opposed factions: the ruling Grand Bell, which has recently declared war against the Goddess Frelia; and the Sacred Army, who believe that the Goddess enables Metafalss to exist. This ire against the Goddess stems from a failure centuries past at creating Metafalica, a paradise-like land spoken of in legend, which was interrupted by a vicious attack by her defenders. In addition to civil war, Metafalss is ravaged by outbreaks of I.P.D, a Reyvateil-specific disease which causes the victim to execute song magic uncontrollably and do much damage to herself and her surroundings.Protagonist Croix Bartel, a knight of the Grand Bell, is regularly tasked with stopping the harm done by those afflicted. It is while on a mission to contain one such outbreak that Croix, together with his adopted sister Cocona, is put in quite a different situation. The Holy Maiden Cloche, the Reyvateil who leads the Grand Bell in the war, has come under attack by the Sacred Army. He is soon entrusted with protecting her while they escape. While attempting to hide from the Sacred Army, they encounter Luca, another Reyvateil who has known Croix since childhood.Croix is soon to discover that neither the Grand Bell nor the Sacred Army are what they seem- and nor are Cloche or Luca. Unable to trust anyone except each other (and sometimes not even that), he and his companions struggle along their own path to thwart those who would manipulate them, discover the truth about the Goddess Frelia, and achieve the seven hundred year old dream of Metafalica.[From TVTropes]Like its prequel, Ar tonelico II features the Dive System, in which you can enter a Reyvateil's mind to help them with their inner doubts in visual novel-style sequences and by doing so unlock more powerful Song Magic. Diving is now more closely tied to the main storyline, and completing more than half of a Reyvateil's cosmosphere will require you to 'commit' to them and their ending.Other new mechanics include Dualstall, in which the Reyvateils take baths together to increase their power; Bath Talk Topics, which occur during Dualstall and make the various Reyvateils fight more confidently alongside each other; and Infelsphere, a dreamlike realm closely linked to the plot in which the heroines deepen their bond with one another in VN-style sequences.
Ar tonelico 2: Melody of Metafalica, like its predecessor, primarily follows the traditional Japanese role-playing game formula but incorporates a dating simulation and an extensive customizing system to keep you busy for hours. Not only that, but the way the story is presented is even more bizarre than what you'd expect. Its tantalizing opening sequence with colorful anime characters--more specifically, cute girls about to lock lips--will leave you puzzled, or perhaps thirsty for more. We were only able to scratch the surface of this peculiar RPG that is riddled with innuendo, but from what we've seen, there's a lot of content to go through, and dedicated fans will appreciate the new additions.
Ar tonelico 2: Melody of Metaflica will have more than 100 hours of gameplay with four different endings to experience. You'll be able to dive into the darkest corners of these ladies' minds when Ar tonelico 2 is released on January 20, 2009.
In the first Ar tonelico, we were introduced to one floating continent and the tower that rose through it: the tower of Ar tonelico. In this strange world, everything was manipulated through use of waves, and those who held the key to do so were the Reyvateils. A Reyvateil is a magical, but also somewhat cybernetic, being (always female) who can sing songs so powerful that they can heal, destroy, and bring changes to the small chunk of floating land they call home. Their minds are connected to the tower, and it might even be the case that their memories are stored in the tower instead of in the brains of their own bodies. In Ar tonelico II, we are taken to a new tower and a new continent, Metafalss, which apparently exists in the same time as and is relatively near physically to the first location. The developers intentionally chose not to show the physical distance between Ar tonelico and Metafalss, but we do know that some people, through some means, are able to cross the distance. After all, two characters from the previous game (shopkeeper Spica, and another surprise character) made it from one to the other.
Needless to say, the music is beautiful. Though my favorite songs across the series still reside, for the most part, with the first game, a lot of creative risks were taken in composing the music for Ar tonelico II, and I applaud the team for the work they did here.
Ar Tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica, or Ar Tonelico II: Sekai ni Hibiku Shoujo-tachi no Metafalica (The Girls' Metafalica that Resounds throughout the World, with Metafalica meaning \"Song of Creation\"), is, obviously enough, the second game in the Ar tonelico series and the overarching EXA_PICO franchise.
Taking place in the desolate land of Metafalss, a tiny continent built upon the rim of a tower much like the first game's Ar tonelico, it revolves around two opposed factions: the ruling Grand Bell, which has recently declared war against the Goddess Frelia; and the Sacred Army, who believe that the Goddess enables Metafalss to exist. This ire against the Goddess stems from a failure centuries past at creating Metafalica, a paradise-like land spoken of in legend, which was interrupted by a vicious attack by her defenders. In addition to civil war, Metafalss is ravaged by outbreaks of IPD, a Reyvateil-specific disease which causes the victim to execute song magic uncontrollably and do much damage to herself and her surroundings.
Writing a review of a sequel is always an interesting endeavor. Not only must you realize what changes from one game to the next, you have to realize if fans of the original will actually enjoy the changes. Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica is quite possibly one of the hardest games I have had to review in quite some time. Mainly because I had never played the original and secondly because this is easily one of the most obscure and deceptively engaging titles I have come across in recent memory. When a game combines busty heroines, bathing, psyche diving, song attacks and boatloads of sexual innuendo you have to step back and realize that if there were a definition of niche, this would certainly be it. Underneath it all though is one of the most finely tuned turn-based RPGs I have ever encountered, and extremely rewarding for those willing to dedicate enough time to learn all it has to offer.
Trust me swallowing all of this info is enough to make your brain expand and hurt, but it really does speak volumes for the amount of depth the creators have poured into the game. The rest of the story is unfolded through hours of dialogue as you develop relationships with some of the most interesting characters I have come across. It is also worth noting that Ar tonelico dives into the dating-sim aspect and allows you to progress a relationship with characters of the opposite sex and will even change the outcome of the ending, of which there are a total of four. Needless to say Melody of Metafalica has enough to keep fans of the genre busy for many months to come.
The battle system in Ar tonelico II works as sort of a hybrid between traditional turn-based affairs with a mix of its own personal panache. Your combatants are setup in a two line row with aggressors in the front and the Reyvateils in the back. This will feel familiar to fans of the original game, but for newcomers it will take some time to adjust. The idea is that the frontline is meant for attacking the enemy, but also to defend the singers in the back row. You can have two fighters out in front and by tapping a specific button during an incoming assault soften or even nullify the damage delivered to your backup. Success is not only rewarded with keeping your party alive, but also with song bonuses that boost the effects of the magic for your Reyvatiels.
Much like all of Gust's PS2 games, a few debug options remain in this game as well. All codes to access them are for the USA version only.If you want to fully play around with these debug features check out the Ar tonelico II Debug Build
Developer(s): GustPublisher(s): Banpresto (JP), Namco Bandai Games (JP), NIS America (US, EU)Genre: RPGWikipedia: LinkGame review links: IGN: 8.4/10, Metacritic: 71/100Game description: A mysterious epidemic called Infa Pira Dependency (IPD) has been driving Reyvateils insane and killing them at the floating island of Metafalss. Croix, a young knight from the Church of Pastalia, is sent to contain the epidemic. However, many more challenges await, which lead him to unravelling the mysteries of the planet Ar Ciel and seek the legend handed down by the people of Metafalss: the lost Song of Metafalica.The game has been developed by Gust for the Sony PlayStation 2 which was released in Japan on October 25, 2007 and takes place roughly one and a half years after that game's canonical ending. Though superficially similar to Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia in both aesthetics and style, the core game play mechanics of Ar tonelico II have undergone huge changes from those of its predecessor, most notably in regards to the battle system and the fact that actions within an Infelsphere may now directly affect the storyline.
Sequel to Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia, which takes place in a different region 2 years after its conclusion. The region of Metafalss, dominated by the Second Tower of Ar tonelico, is being ravaged by a Reyvateil-exclusive epidemic known as IPD that makes those infected with it go berserk and destroy everything around themselves with their Song Magic, while the two factions that dispute hegemony over the region, the Grand Bell and the Sacred Army, have started a civil war due to ideological and theological differences. 59ce067264