Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia ReviewJason Leyanna
In the world of Sol Ciel, where only one tower and two floating islands are left, there exists a rare type of people called the Reyvateil. They are always female and have a tremendous amount of power. As the protagonist Lyner, the player will get to dive into the minds of a B-Type (Misha) and a Third Generation (Aurica) Reyvateil to craft more magic. Diving sounds like fun, doesn’t it? The better you get to know your Reyvateil, the more powerful the magic that is created.
Though his father urges him to go into politics, Lyner refuses and has a leading role as a Knight of Elemia. A mysterious series of viruses has been found in the tower. Lyner takes an airship on a mission to search for the Hymn Crystal Purger, which would help defeat this new strain of the viruses. The ship crashes. So you are left on an adventure and cross paths with various enemies and make friends and acquaintances.
The Tenba are supposed to protect the city, but they treat the Reyvateil as a tool rather than as a people. They use their power until they can do no more and find another Reyvateil. Bourd Rade is second in command and initially offers Lyner a chance to join the Temba forces. But when Lyner declines the invitation, Bourd becomes a bitter enemy that will stop at nothing to get in the way of Lyner.
A colored bar at the bottom indicates when a battle is imminent. This happens when the color changes to flashing red. Once this occurs, you will go to a battle screen where you and your party will fight against whatever enemies await…
A normal weapon attack, such as a sword slash by Lyner, can be used to ward off some enemies. In some circumstances, you may also want to use an item such as a bomb, that is acquired or Grathmelded. Grathmelding is just a way to take two items and create another and can be done only in places such as inns or camps. An additional option is to protect your friends from attack, especially when the vulnerable Reyvateil is targeted. The triangle button is used to control the singing done by the Reyvateil. This adds tremendous amounts of power to your side.
Green magic can be used during the action part of the game but not during battle sequences. The choices are lightning, ice, sound, wind, and fire. Just use the square button once you have learned one of these types of magic.
There are cards to collect. Some tell about enemies, others about how to make new items, etc. Don’t get addicted to the card collecting, because it can be expensive when buying from sellers.
Ar tonelico is primarily a 2-dimentional turn-based Role Playing Game (RPG) that has an anime-like style. With the majority of games coming out in 3-dimensions, you’ll probably either love this nostalgic style or hate it. I happen to like how it is done, even though it seems to be a bit dated graphically for a PS2 game. Building relationships with your Reyvateil and diving into them is enjoyable. The gameplay, story, and character interaction make Ar tonelico an entertaining experience for the classic RPG fan.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.