The overall structure of Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey is rather interesting — because for the most part it allows you to focus on the aspects of the game that you find most appealing.
Of course, in order to successfully prove Firis’ worth in the alchemy examination, you’ll need to display at least basic competence in all the main areas of gameplay, but once that’s done — and indeed for a hefty length of time in the run-up to the exam — you can approach the game as you see fit.
Unusually for a role-playing game, this actually means that you can get away without doing very much fighting at all if you so desire. But, as the Atelier series as a whole has repeatedly demonstrated up until this point, the best alchemists out there are the ones who know how to defend themselves. So it’s this aspect of Atelier Firis we’ll be looking at today!
One of the interesting things about the Warriors Orochi series is quite how many playable characters each installment has had on the roster. And, of course, this is a number that has only expanded over time.
In fact, the most recent installment at the time of writing, Warriors Orochi 4, scored itself a fairly meaningless Guinness World Record for “most playable characters in a hack-and-slash video game” thanks to its 170 cast members. Warriors Orochi 3 isn’t far behind, though, with a full 145 peeps to take charge of in the Ultimate release of the game.
But when presented with that many playable characters, what exactly do you do with all of them? Are you expected to level them all up? Where do you start? Let’s talk progression!
There are an awful lot of Warriors games on the market today. And while many may superficially seem quite similar to one another, delving into each of them reveals their unique qualities.
In many cases, the people who brand all Warriors games as being “the same” are likely just looking at the most well-known component: the real-time, hack-and-slash, large-scale brawler action that has been the series’ hallmark since its second installment (well, first if we’re being really picky here — but that’s a tale for another time). Even there, though, each Warriors game provides its own twist on the two-button combat thanks to its selection of characters, and numerous mechanics laid atop that.
Where Warriors games truly distinguish themselves, however, is in their progression systems. Powering up your characters is where the longevity in Warriors games come from — and Warriors Orochi 2 has plenty of ways in which you can do just that. So let’s take a closer look.
For most people, a “good” RPG consists of some combination of a compelling story, solid combat mechanics and satisfying progression.
Many RPGs have stuck with the conventional “experience and levels” system over the years, simply because that is a proven progression mechanic that works well, offers continual rewards for continued play and tangible improvements in your characters over time.
Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis did something a little different, where character combat effectiveness was directly tied to your engagement with the game’s core alchemy system. And its sequel Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy follows suit — but rather than simply rehashing the previous game’s mechanics, it adds an interesting new twist. Let’s take a closer look!
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.
Well, after an inordinately long wait — about eight years, to be exact — Phantasy Star Online 2 has finally arrived, for both Xbox One and PC players… and possibly with other platforms to follow.
To say that English speakers have been eagerly awaiting this game is something of an understatement. The Dreamcast original, being one of the original breakout successes in online gaming — and many players’ first experience with cooperative, social online gaming — is a widely beloved game, so in the eight years since Phantasy Star Online 2 released in Japan, people have been finding increasingly creative ways to get their fix, with particularly dedicated fans even going so far as to provide translation patches.
Now, none of those workarounds and fiddly tweaks are needed; everyone can just play Phantasy Star Online 2 as they please. So I thought it would probably be a good idea to jump in on the PC launch day and have a go. Read on to find out how that all went.
As we’ve seen so far, each game in the Atelier Iris series reinvents its core mechanics quite significantly from its predecessor; this was a rather experimental period for Gust.
In this article, we’re going to take a specific look at the combat and progression mechanics in Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm, including the elements carried across from prior installments and some all-new considerations for this specific title.
Strap on your Mushroom Armour, rev up your Pyre Blade and get ready to fight — we’re going in. Watch out for the Punis!
One of the issues people have with Final Fantasy II is that its progression system can make it a little tricky to determine what “level” you are.
This means it can be quite easy to go into a new situation either woefully underpowered or vastly overpowered — though let’s be honest about this, the latter option has always been part of the fun of role-playing games, hasn’t it?
At this point, an encounter in Leviathan’s stomach on the way to track down the Ultima Tome would seem to confirm that yes, indeed, we have taken the latter option. Oh well. No turning back now!
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.
Four-figure magic damage against Rank 2 enemies? It’s more likely than you think!
Yes, after suffering an embarrassing defeat in Kashuan Keep, I decide to take a bit of time to train up Maria as a specialised black mage. The results are very pleasing indeed. Very pleasing, indeed. I think we’ve established a suitable progression strategy for the rest of the game now…
We may not make a ton of story progress in today’s episode, but it’s a solid exploration of how Final Fantasy II’s much-maligned progression systems work. And a reminder that anyone interested in the SaGa series should check this one out — since Final Fantasy II is essentially the proto-SaGa.
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