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Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm

RPG fans knew it was coming, but today we can officially announce Gust's next adventure, Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm is headed for PS2 this May. This is great news for steady PS2 players, as Ar Tonelico just hit shelves mere weeks ago. Old-school gamers definitely have their time spoken for, thanks to Gust and publisher NIS.

Iris 3 plays a bit different from the previous two - instead of running through a traditional series of plot points, you're taking on jobs from a bulletin board as an up-and-coming bounty hunter. Edge and Iris will run through each task, complete it, then collect points for a job well done. Eventually, you'll climb the Raider hierarchy and become a better known, more desirable hunter. Not all quests are required, but there are several game-moving missions you'll have to take on to advance.

The first quest we hit was extremely simple (it is the first, after all) - go into some creepy woods and recover a magical staff. Once hired, we cut a path through the forest and found the staff carefully hiding in plain sight. There were some monsters guarding it, but nothing special. In this case, the biggest challenge was finding the staff before time ran out - if you take too long, a fog will come along and whisk you back to town, staff or no staff, and it's back to square one. If you finish early, you can either keep exploring or select the "To Town" option inside the game's menu.

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