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Parts to tell Your Friends About
Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny still has the fun, engaging, and interesting and satisfying element of alchemy which entertained me last time and still entranced me. The concept of synthesizing through alchemy is less challenging, if you've got the materials, the item is obtainable, and I promise you won't have to baby sit.
The developers did a good job of tightening familiar systems and game play elements from the first title to make this adventure come together as a compelling and entertaining jaunt. This time the present condition of your Mana no longer affects your alchemy, which reduces one factor of challenge.
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The Bad Parts
Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny certainly plays like the cartoon-like video game with very minimal depth we remember, but they went even farther with this title, totally taking out any depth in the story line that might have existed.
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The Graphical Story
The color palette is nice, produces bright and colorful hi-resolution sprites and simple characters that look pretty good for cartoon-like characters, but the characters are all screaming for some extra frames of animation to spruce up the flow of the action.
The character animations are simple, certainly they're smooth enough to keep the energy and action moving, but they lack any real power or ability to impress, good enough for humourous and often funny cartoon.
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Sounds in the Game
The character voices were actually pretty good, they were all distinctive and the actors did a good job of putting emotion and personality into the voices.
The sound track was pretty basic uptempo and simple tunes designed more to entertain the younger mind, and keep the pace of the game up, than provide entertainment or keep you involved in the action occurring on screen.
The sound effects were also appropriately simple, yet funny to hear as you play the game, with their poppy sounds and electronic beeps.
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As the young fighter called Felt, you will explore the bounds of a terrestrial Kingdom in turmoil while your girl friend to be Viese keeps things together and running smoothly on the floating island. You can switch between the two characters but it would be a stretch to say they're story lines are different. Almost all of the action occurs on the ground, but Viese will occasionally synthesize and go on quests to retrieve things in the sky. The story line unfolds without any real fireworks but you do encounter all of the characters from the book.
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The original interface worked pretty good, it had its problems at times, and while the new interface works much better for making the adventure and game play more entertaining, it complicated the game play needlessly by using the D-pad and analog stick combination.
It took me about 14 hours to play through Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny using both characters, but then I took my time and looked everywhere, the explorer spirit, and things like that.
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The Bottom Line
Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny is a more accessible game for the player this is for sure, but the complications that arise in the game play and the slowing of the game pace because of this complication actually take away from other aspects of Atelier Iris 2. The game feels shallow and dull when playing now, its story line has lost the emotional content of the first title, and if it wasn't for the alchemy I wouldn't recommend you try it.