Ar tonelico review

  • Unique battle system
  • Diving into crazy minds
  • Excellent music
  • A bit too much talk
  • Hackneyed setups
  • Excessive customization

All this talking and diving comes across as one giant sexual reference. The girls are all mopey, hesitant and worried before their "first time" with a dude, so get ready for a lot of suggestive lines. One of the best refers to you inserting a Grathnode Crystal into her access port - "To be honest, I'm a little scared, since I've heard that it hurts when you put it in."

What's a Grathnode? It's one of a billion little trinkets you'll find lying around the tonelico world. Each has an attribute assigned to it (like "Kinda Defensive" or "Tingling") that can affect your weapons, armor and Reyva Teils. There are so many of these damn things you can spend a huge chunk of time trying them all out, just to see what's the best fit. We said it once in our preview, but it bears repeating that this system works a lot like the materia setup in Final Fantasy VII. If you want to get lost in it, you can, but if you want to press on and just go with obvious choices, that works too.

Most new equipment is bought in stores, but much of your inventory will come from Grathmelding, or as we know it, alchemy. If you played the Atelier Iris games (and if you're reading this, you likely did), you know what to expect - craploads of recipe cards that have a list of ingredients needed to create that item. Better materials yield better items and so on. Crafted items can also be broken down into their crystal beginnings, which occasionally rewards you with better base ingredients.

As for the main plot, it's alright. There are a lot of clichéd setups at work ("Who are you? Prove yourself in battle and we'll talk!") and the rise-above-your-perceived-mediocrity motif surrounding the Teils gets annoying. Tales of the class struggle between the Teils and their cruel masters occasionally impress, and damn, they sure lay it on thick. But even with all the talking, talking and more talking, we couldn't help getting sucked into Aurica's crazy, emotional little world.

More Info

Release date: Feb 06 2007 - PS2 (US)
Feb 06 2007 - PS2 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS2
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: NIS America
Developed by: Banpresto
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Language, Suggestive Themes


  • didou221 - June 15, 2009 10:59 a.m.

    Heh, heh. Innuendo.
  • Corsair89 - March 8, 2009 7:53 a.m.

    I like this game. I got it after I played and loved the sequel, Ar Tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica. And I like the huge amount of character development. But, I gotta say, this gameplay is solid (it's WAY better in AT2) but the diving is easily the best part of the game (also much better in AT2).

Showing 1-2 of 2 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000