Hands-on Preview - Atelier Iris ~Eternal Mana~
Peviewed on 5/15/05
Alchemy Can Be Deadly
Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana, the next game to be
released by Nippon Ichi Software, is a traditional RPG
done up in a distinct anime style. The backgrounds are
three dimensional, but they have a hand-painted style to
them. The characters are all two dimensional sprites and
have nice animation. There is only one real flaw in the
graphics, and that is the slight blurring that occurs as
the background pans.
The music and sound is basically simple, standard fare and
the sound effects work for what they are. The story
starts with Klein, who is after any objects related to
alchemy. He's one of few alchemists left in the world.
There was apparently another civilization hundreds of
years ago where alchemists were commonplace, but some
great disaster occurred and most of their ancient secrets
were forgotten. Alchemists work with Mana, which are
spirits representing the forces of nature. Using the Mana
and elements extracted from their environment, alchemists
can form different items and attacks to be used in battle.
The voice acting in Atlier is a very mixed bag in
the English version. Most of the main characters seem to
have decent acting, but every once in a while you'll get
this character that'll just make your ears bleed. Just
like most other Nippon Ichi games, though, the Japanese
voice acting is still an option for those who detest the
The battle system occurs on a 2-D field, with the
characters positioned on a 9x9 grid. The entire look of
ths system is very reminiscent of Valkyrie Profile.
Battle runs off a standard turn-based system, with
attacks and skills being traded back and forth. You gain
experience for your battles, and at level up you get skill
points which you can distribute among various skills that
you currently have to level them up.
Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana looks to be a very
promising release. Look forward to it on May 27th, and also watch out for RPG Land's full review