Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny

The mythical, floating realm of Eden is breaking away and vanishing into nothingness. A deep-voiced sword-in-the-stone chooses an unlikely boy as the world's savior and whisks him to another dimension to search for answers. Can Felt and his kinda-sister Viese restore balance to this magical universe? Will there ever be a new idea in RPG storylines?

True, the plot of Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny isn't going to shred your scalp off, but its old-school, hand-drawn visuals and general light-hearted environment work wonders. Just like 2005's Eternal Mana. You’re gonna spend a lot of time battling monsters in random encounters and talking to appallingly unhelpful and one-lined villagers, but that's what you get with these traditional RPGs.

Iris 2 diverts from the role-playing norm, however, with its alchemy-based magic system. As you explore the beautifully drawn environments, you'll see rocks, plants and all kinds of goods you can break down into base parts. Now that you have a stock of ingredients, you can reassemble them into bombs, food and a bevy of new, more powerful items. But only Viese can do this, and she's stuck on the quickly departing land of Eden.

Through sheer clichéd circumstance, Viese and Felt have a Share Ring that lets them ... share items regardless of where they are. While Felt slashes up the bad guys in the other world (which, of course, is overrun by a greedy empire), he can send raw materials back to Viese for alchemic alterations. The character swap can be done at any time from any save point, but we had a lot more fun fighting knights than mixing potions.

Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.