Atelier Iris 2 CompleteSeptember 24, 2006
I finished Atelier Iris 2 tonight, finally. The last dungeon and final boss took a lot of leveling up and backtracking to collect better items.
The story of Felt and Viese, exchanging letters between two different worlds, and finally reuniting, is heartwarming. They did a great job of telling that story. Viese is one of my favorite game characters of all time.
This series is a legendary story in which you actually get to see the legends. Many stories make reference to legendary people, events, and artifacts from the distant past; if they were so great, why is the game about some people who lived way after them? In AI2 you actually go back and meet the people, experience the events, and create the artifacts that were legendary in AI1.
The combat system felt quite fun, trying to balance Break attacks (which can delay the enemy’s turn and earn you chains for big experience bonuses) and Charge attacks (which can set you up for special moves). The encounter bar, which I liked from Ar tonelico, made random battles way less annoying than in AI1.
- As I posted before, the localization was not ideal. It was better than AI1, but it still had a lot of mistakes. The worst was the way they localized the name エラスムス. It’s obviously supposed to be “Erasmus”, a real name belonging to historical figures such as Erasmus Darwin, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and Saint Erasmus. They spelled it “Elusmus” for some reason. Likewise, a tablet became a “doublet”, even though in the dialogue someone says “what’s this tablet?”
- The game has some bugs. Like in AI1, character’s voices sometimes skip or get cut off. Many localized strings don’t fit in their boxes, so they dangle outside the boxes or just get chopped. Likewise, some boxes are too tall for their contents, so you end up with an empty line at the bottom of a speech bubble. This is all stuff I probably would have let go back before I became a part of the QA process at a software company.
- A few times in the story, when “Elusmus” is speaking (and it’s obvious because his voice has some digital effects on it), the dialogue label says “Felt”. If I wasn’t paying close enough attention that could have gotten confusing, especially because almost everyone speaks with the same dialect whether they’re an easygoing teenaged swordfighter or a centuries-old alchemist’s soul trapped in a gem.