Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia

released on Jan 26, 2006

Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia is a role-playing video game developed by Gust Corporation for the PlayStation 2 and originally published by Banpresto in 2006.

Journey throughout the world of Ar tonelico to find the key to destroying the viruses once and for all. Partner up with a Reyvateil, a girl who can create magic through songs, and fight your way back up the tower to save your home. Explore a Reyvateil's inner world with the revolutionary new Dive System, which allows you to go on "Virtual Dates" to increase their magical power.

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Bastante más decente de lo que podría esperarse. Hay alma en algunos momentos, especialmente mientras vas conociendo poco a poco a los personajes y profundizando en su mente y recuerdos, y tanto el arte de los escenarios y trajes como, especialmente, el apartado musical, se notan inspirados. El diseño de mazmorras, por otro lado, sí es algo cutre y hay por ahí un espíritu general un poco heterobásico que no me termina de quedar redondo.

Ar Tonelico is kinda good. It's pretty neat. It's like really nice.
It's a genuinely incredible artistic and musical direction put into a fairly fun gameplay system, with somewhat annoying dungeon design and borderline nonexistent difficulty.
The plot itself is nice and conveys its general themes of understanding and harmony between people fairly well, but the highlight of the writing comes in the form of both main girls' cosmospheres, and the general handling of the struggles, development and relationship with the main protagonist.
One fairly pervasive issue with the game is its insistence on making you backtrack through previously visited areas fairly often, especially in Phase 2 and a little 3, but it's more of a light blemish than an all-encompassing problem to me.
All in all, I'm glad to have played it, it's a lovely little game that might not break any new ground but I know I'll cherish it in some small part of me.

Definitely has some flaws. The combat is fun but is a little too simple. Needs some more meat on the bones. Also a little too easy, enemy encounters are harder than a lot of the bosses.
A pretty damn large amount of backtracking also can make certain parts of the game drags on for quite a while.
Absolutely incredible soundtrack, the final boss theme and the end of phase 1 boss theme are the peak of it. Along with an incredible credits theme.
Pretty funny writing at times, can definitely tell the Mana Khemia influence with how mean-spirited but still friendly some of the banter is. A few pretty good emotional moments here and there, makes for a pretty likable cast.

in terms of praise a lot of cool ideas here such as the battle system and the way encounters can be skipped, the aesthetics are also good but that goes without saying. ar1 is stupidly easy and the dungeons have 0 complexity so its basically a walking sim disguised as a jrpg. also has a sub par cast and a ton of backtracking because why the hell not, i love going down the same 5 hall way dungeon 3 times in a row just to watch the most anime cutscene for 10 mins just to repeat it again