Friday, April 27, 2007

Atlus games to obsess over this year

If you've never heard of Atlus, a videogame publisher notorious for their unique and usually hard-to-find games, don't worry. You'll most probably be hearing a lot about them this year, as they will be coming out with 4 RPGs: Etrian Odyssey (DS), Luminous Arc (DS), Odin Sphere (PS2), and Persona 3 (PS2).

Etrian Odyssey seems to be your typical turn-based RPG, but instead of having your map filled in as you explore, you have to draw it yourself. Map icons are available for you to mark off items such as treasure chests, stairs, doors, etc.

In the screenshots you can see how well the handdrawn backgrounds look in the game, and you can also see the 3D-rendered environments looking a bit pixelly but still gorgeously done and interesting.

Then there are the character classes. The characters for this game look so bad ass and yet so cute at the same time. This girl to the left for example. She has a blank look on her face that says, "I can do nothing wrong!" yet you know she wouldn't hesitate to kill you. There are also quite a few male characters in the game who look like psychotic killers (especially the black-haired Alchemist with the twin-blade looking weapon) and those are always fun.

Top reason to get this game: Dominatrixes (known as Female Dark Hunters in the game.) Coming May 15.

Luminous Arc is a strategy RPG, much like Disgaea and Final Fantasy Tactics. The character art is beautiful, with clothing styles similar to those of Ragnarok Online and the .hack series. The game uses highly detailed sprites and unique animations for each team-up attack, which vary depending on the character.

Top reason to get this game: Didn't get enough of Final Fantasy Tactics and don't own a PSP (yet anyway). Coming out, according to Gamestop, August 14.

Odin Sphere. The graphics, the animation...amazing. Even Tycho of Penny Arcade fame says so. While this game still has that cute factor similar to that of Etrian Odyssey, there is also sexiness.

This witch garbed in red? Hot. Yes, draw them (whoever they are - probably huge robots with tentacles attached) away with your chain and red lights. Do you see those stockings and high heels? Top reason to get this game right there. Coming out May 22.

Persona 3. I've never played the Persona series before, but it's a good time to start. With a description of "an occult-themed RPG set in a Japanese high school" how can any anime fan resist?

And resisting will be hard to do, as this game is filled with anime-style art and animation. Persona 3 uses a turn-based battle system and although you do all of your fighting at night against bloblike ghouls (like No-Face from Spirited Away) and other monsters, the mood doesn't seem to be too horrific. Upbeat music starts playing once you get into battle and nothing is scary when you're dancing! Although you have to shoot yourself in the head during the game, multiple times even, it isn't suicide at all because this releases a "persona" or a summon that will help you in battle.

Top reason to get this game: Looks really fun if you love anime and have a morbid sense of humor. Coming out Q3 2007.


CorranThorn said...

Squeee, What systems did they come out for?

Mercy1.0 said...

The Persona series? For the first Playstation.