Tag Archives: gameplay

Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana – The Craft of Combat

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Now we’ve explored how Atelier Iris handles the series’ core concept of using alchemy and other crafting techniques to create items, it’s time to look at the other aspects of the game.

While all of the previous Atelier games featured strong RPG-style elements such as combat and exploration, for the most part — fourth game Atelier Judie was an exception to a certain extent — these were expressed in the abstract, with the emphasis being placed firmly on the main character and their workshop. That’s where the name came from, after all.

Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana seemingly saw the series take a bit of a sidestep into more traditional RPG territory. But there are a lot of things about it that make it stand out from what you might traditionally think of as a turn-based, menu-driven console RPG. So that’s what we’re going to look at in the next couple of articles.

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Final Fantasy Marathon: Oooooh, Mysidian Girl – Final Fantasy II #8

Most people with a passing awareness of Final Fantasy will know about the series’ recurring elements: chocobos, Cid, the various summons. However, there are a couple of things that crop up slightly less frequently, but still more than once.

One of those things is a location called Mysidia, which, on the few occasions it puts in an appearance in the series — starting with this installment — is inevitably a small settlement populated exclusively by mages. It’s typically the centre of mysterious happenings or magical doodahs, and in this case marks an important stop on the way to retrieve the Ultima Tome.

Today Firion and crew reach Mysidia, go for a little wander, then come back again because, as it turns out, they forgot something. Whoops!

Atari ST A to Z: Ultima 2

Today’s game hails from the relatively early days of what would go on to become an incredibly popular genre worldwide: the RPG.

Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress is often regarded as the “black sheep” of the Ultima series, but it nicely demonstrates how things worked for this type of game back in the Good Old Days… as well as makes me realise that I really had no need to feel intimidated by the supposed complexity of RPGs back when I was a kid!

The ST version perhaps isn’t the most visually impressive game you’ll see on the platform, but it does make good use of the GEM interface, and provides some solid, enjoyable adventuring action!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

DEPA★PAKU: Department Store Munching

Japanese artist ryokuchamichi, also known as Green Tea Area, leads a double life.

Not only do they draw rather lovely ecchi art with a particular focus on squishy plump girls and silky sheer hosiery (see their somewhat NSFW Twitter), they also have a talent for paying homage to the classic 8-bit home console era with their own original games.

At the time of writing, we’ve already seen the SameGame-inspired endless puzzler Dig Dig Minenow, get ready for DEPA★PAKU, a platformer that feels even more like a lost NES title.

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Warriors Wednesday: Finale? – Warriors All-Stars #18

And so, we reach the conclusion of our Warriors All-Stars adventure. Or, well, the first conclusion, anyway; this is a game with multiple endings, and a variety of paths through its overall narrative.

The ending we achieve today is not the “true” ending, but it forms a suitable conclusion to the narrative path we’ve been following. Plus you get to see some absolutely disastrous attempts at a “one-hit kill” mission; things get real messy for poor old Honoka for a while there.

This may be the end of our first playthrough of Warriors All-Stars but we’re far from done yet! There are more characters to unlock and play as, more narrative paths to explore and more hot furries to lust over. Fight. I meant fight.

Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana – It’s an Alchemy Thing

cropped-atelier-megafeature-header-1.pngThis post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
<< First< Prev. | Next > | Next Game >> | Last >>


Despite being the sixth game in the series, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana was the first to come West.

The exact reasoning behind this isn’t entirely clear, but it may be something to do with the fact that the early Atelier games were primarily abstract management simulations with RPG elements, while Atelier Iris unfolds in a manner much more like what the Western audience would have understood “an RPG” to be in 2005.

Perhaps it was assumed the West wasn’t ready for that sort of thing. Perhaps the amount of text in the earlier games made them impractical to localise at the time. Or perhaps they just sort of fell through the cracks. Whatever the reasoning, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana was the West’s first Atelier game, so that’s where we begin our journey.

Continue reading Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana – It’s an Alchemy Thing

Final Fantasy Marathon: The Search for the Black Mask – Final Fantasy II #7

With Fynn safely back under the control of the Wild Rose forces, the time has come to take the fight to the Empire. To do that, we’ll need some firepower.

Minwu set off for Mysidia a while back in an attempt to track down the Ultima tome, but no-one’s heard from him for a while. Firion and company decide to set off in search of him… but not before they stop by the Tropical Island to track down the Black Mask they’ll need to find what they’re searching for. Which, of course, begs the question why Minwu didn’t take it with him… but we’re not supposed to think about that.

Today’s episode is a bit shorter than previous ones; we’ll probably go back to about this length from hereon, as it’s a little more practical for me to record. It’ll mean the series as a whole takes a bit longer to get through… but these games aren’t going anywhere!