Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm (PS2) – Initial Impressions

Haven’t gotten too far into this (have yet to hit on alchemy, which I’m hoping is closer to the first installment than the second, in that you can experiment a bit more with the alchemy recipes), but they seem to have taken at least some concepts from FFXII; while I’m sure there’s an overarcing plot, your characters are acting this out through performing quests and missions posted at a guild, and you can’t take some quests until you’ve reached a level at that guild.  This hopefully will make the game feel less linear than a typical RPG.

“Dungeon” fields are a bit more interesting; you warp to them from a special point near the town, and you can only stay in the field for a limited amount of time before you’re pulled back.  And just like FFXII, there’s a map of the areas within the field that indicates where your destination is to help you plan your travels better.   Each field also has a set of mini-goals unrelated to the mission (such as killing a number of a certain foe) to gain additional rewards.

Combat is much the same as before, though now the initiative bar is represented by a stack of cards; when you make a move with a character, their card is pushed back so many spaces in the deck.  As with the other Atelier Iris games, it’s possible to perform moves to time your next initiative better either to get an attack in before an enemy, or to have an attack work in conjunction with a teammate.  There’s a new overlimit-type mode, though based on how many consecutive attacks you do on foes and how much damage you take, but when full and activated, basically stuns your foes, gives you full mana power, and allows you to create long chains and damage cycles that lead to post-combat bonuses.

I’m finding a lot of similarities between this and FFXII, though it simply may be coincidence.  Otherwise, the game looks the same (the use of 2D sprites via a 3D engine, reusing numerous sprites and creatures from past games in the series), and definitely familiar.   Once I hit the alchemy section, that’s where I hope to see some interesting changes.

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3 Responses

  1. if you are a new gamer you it will be hard to quest because your only a lvl 1-where can i find the key in the library warp

  2. guys how can i make the fire sword

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