Tag Archives: JRPG

Waifu Wednesday: Ulrika Mulberry

With Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis done and dusted, this week we’re turning our attention to its direct sequel, Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy.

And where better to begin taking a look at this game than with an appreciation of the main female protagonist, one Ulrika Mulberry? After all, we’ve had four Atelier games in a row with a male lead, so it’s about time we let the ladies take the spotlight once again.

Okay, yes, Mana Khemia 2 also has male protagonist Raze, but we’re all about Ulrika today. Hit the jump to find out more!

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Final Fantasy Marathon: Climb Every Mountain – Final Fantasy III #3

The adventure continues, and now everyone has a capital-J Job!

Yes, having defeated the dread djinn in the previous episode and proven themselves as worthy Warrior of Light candidates, our group of four plucky heroes sets out on their journey proper. Along the way, they have plenty of things to deal with: a big rock, a crying woman, a mountain full of scary beasties… and a big ol’ dragon!

Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Final Fantasy Marathon: Freelancin’ Ain’t Easy – Final Fantasy III #2

As yet bereft of the iconic Jobs that would go on to define this particular installment in the Final Fantasy series, our heroes are tasked with seeking out a naughty old Djinn.

It’s not a quest they can really walk away from, either; a significant number of people in the vicinity have been turned into ghosts by this malevolent dark power — and of course, no-one but a bunch of freelancin’ kids could possibly go and sort out the whole problem.

While it’s a daunting challenge at first, it doesn’t take long for our heroes to build up their confidence at fighting — and before you know it they’re toppling their first significant challenge, proving themselves worthy of the title “Warriors of Light”.

Enjoyed the video? Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis – A Learning Experience

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Turn-based, menu-driven RPGs for computer and console — particularly the latter — are, for the most part, well past being simple adaptations of tabletop gaming rules.

The freedom afforded them by the digital medium means that they can get highly creative and abstract with all of their core mechanics without being limited by physical components, complexity of calculations or even any sort of rational plausibility. This not only applies to combat mechanics, as we saw in the previous part of this feature, but also to character progression.

While past Atelier games kept things relatively conventional in this regard, following the “experience points and levels” system, Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis features a very distinct way of powering up your characters that fits in very well with its core themes and other mechanics. So let’s take a closer look at that today.

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Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis – School of Hard Knocks

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At first glance, Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis might appear to be very mechanically similar to its immediate predecessor in the Atelier series, Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm.

But it doesn’t take long for it to distinguish itself in a variety of different ways. We’ve already seen how the alchemy mechanics are quite a bit different from anything we’ve seen in the series before — and we’ll subsequently see how they form the foundation of the Arland series’ alchemy systems — so today we’ll be taking a closer look at combat.

Although Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis arguably places a stronger emphasis on the alchemy side of things than its predecessors in the Atelier Iris series, it has an immensely satisfying and enjoyable combat system that is a ton of fun to engage with. So let’s explore it further!

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Final Fantasy Marathon: The Great Escape – Final Fantasy II #22

Did you know that the Teleport spell does not work in the Unknown Palace? I did not.

As such, I took Minwu and company deep into said dungeon “just to see how far we could get” and then decided that we’d turn back when I ran out of Ethers. Unfortunately things turned out to not be quite that simple. At all.

Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Sega Ages Phantasy Star – Classic Dungeon Crawling, Modern Conveniences

Although at the time of writing a lot of people are super-excited for the impending PC release of Phantasy Star Online 2, the series as a whole isn’t anywhere near as well-known as the heavy-hitting classics of the RPG genre.

Indeed, Phantasy Star as a whole has always been something of a niche interest series — perhaps in part due to the majority of its “golden age” being released on platforms that were not typically renowned for their role-playing games.

The first game in particular is very interesting to return to, especially when you consider its original release date as a contemporary of the first Final Fantasy and the second Dragon Quest. And the Sega Ages version for Nintendo Switch is the definitive way to experience it — so let’s explore that now!

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The Music of Atelier, Vol. 3: Atelier Iris 3 – Grand Phantasm

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It’s time to once again return to the wonderful world of Atelier music, this time with a look at Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm’s soundtrack.

Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm was a noteworthy installment in the series from a musical perspective, because it marked the point where Gust’s sound team switched from using synthesised, sequenced music to streamed prerecorded music. This allowed them considerably more flexibility to put together more elaborate compositions and make use of more realistic sounds.

So turn up the volume and let’s have a good listen to find out exactly what that means!

Continue reading The Music of Atelier, Vol. 3: Atelier Iris 3 – Grand Phantasm

Final Fantasy Marathon: High-Intensity Stat Training – Final Fantasy II #21

Sometimes, you know you’re just not up to the job. And you know that you have two choices at that point: give up, or work hard to overcome the obstacles in your path.

Minwu and company decide to take the latter path. Interestingly enough, they manage to take down Ultima Weapon with relatively little difficulty, but as soon as they set foot in the strange inverted form of Pandaemonium, they get their arses kicked again.

Clearly some training is in order. And in Final Fantasy II land, I’m sure you know what that means. Let’s get it over with!

Final Fantasy Marathon: Give Me Strength – Final Fantasy II #20

It isn’t easy being dead, as Minwu, Scott, Josef and Ricard have been discovering in their afterlife adventures.

I’d heard before starting that the Soul of Rebirth postgame scenario could be a bit grindy if you hadn’t prepared the characters beforehand in the main game… but, well, I didn’t prepare the characters beforehand in the main game, so guess what we have to get cracking with?

Still, it’s interesting to be challenged by this game again — particularly with a new lineup of characters that I’m having to figure out the best way to make use of.