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Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm review

Another day, another underwhelming anime RPG

Quests you get from the Guild will often require you to revisit an alterworld you've previously fully explored. For the truly masochistic, you can revisit alterworlds endlessly on your own, accruing points by completing goals to earn special treasures. By completing missions you'll increase your guild rank, allowing you to take on yet more fetch quests in the same alterworlds. It's even less fun than it sounds.

Like previous games, countless game systems try to keep it interesting. By rescuing Mana - elemental spirits - you can change the forms of two of your adventurers and unlock new abilities for them, not unlike a limited form of the Final Fantasy job system. Alchemy, of course, lets you make items and customize your various equipment. Battles, too, are fast-paced and fun, and encounters aren't random, either, which is a great combination. These systems could be fantastic in a game with better content, but they're mostly wasted here.

Graphically, the game is a step back from previous iterations, too. The game's few environments are all built from the same building blocks, quickly giving the game a stale look. There are unique, stand-out pieces of art, but they're few and far between. The monsters are mostly taken from the previous two games, too, and it doesn't help that the game's art style is showing its age, either. The peppy music is still solid, but the voices are as dull as the story they're voicing, using the same three voice actors you hear in every low budget game and anime these days. Fortunately Japanese voices are an option, which are a bit better.

More Info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionDespite a few interesting gameplay systems, Atelier Iris 3 is a cookie-cutter anime RPG with little going for it.
PlatformPS2
US censor ratingTeen
UK censor rating12+
Release date30 May 2007 (US), 3 August 2007 (UK)
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