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  1. #1
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    Fon's Review: Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel



    Platform(s): PS3(Exclusive)
    Developer: Gust
    ESRB: M


    Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel(Or Ar Tonelico III in Japan) - is the last installment to the Ar Tonelico trilogy. The theme of this game is simple: Find a way to revive the planet back to it's blue and green way and get rid of the poisonous, hazardous environment that humanity ushered upon it hundreds of years ago!.

    The first thing I want to talk about is the visuals which I'll get to the point: It looks outdated for a Playstation 3 title since the characters look like models from the Playstation 2 generation - but in HD. Most of the conversations are carried with a text box and render of each character who are making the same poses but change their facial expression depending on the situation so you can immediately tell that this is a low budget game. Despite that, it still has some interesting background art but with such small towns, it's hardly awe-inspiring. Not much else to talk about in this area so on to the next one.

    One thing that I wasn't too pleased with this title was the battle system. It's an action RPG, much like Star Ocean except that your Vanguards(The attackers), can hardly do much damage against enemies if you're in a weaker level. Instead what Vanguards do is whack the enemies by timing your attacks each time a series of moving red bars lands under the one white one(Think; DDR, Guitar Hero kind of thing but not really). Your purpose of this is to stimulate the Rayvateils who uses song magic which is what's needed to defeat your enemies faster. Stronger song magic can be unlocked by "Diving" into them(I'll get to that in a bit). Once you've tapped into her power further, the Rayvateilic girl will take off a piece of clothing each time her heart meter is in full(Also known as "Purge Ready") - Which in this case, you'll have to hold either; L1, L2, R1 or R2, then shake the controller to take off her clothing(Seriously). There are only four phases to this, the third phase will leave them in their underwear and the fourth unleashes their strongest magic(They don't become fully naked for those who were hopeful). Depending on how much burst you have(Which is accumulated during the entirety of the battle), your magic can deal over 1,000,000 damage which is more then enough to kill just about anyone or anything in the game.

    There are only 3 Rayvateils(which is a race of female-only cyborgs); which you can use in battle. Each one has a story of their own and your main character can romance either one. As you progress through the story, you will be given the option to "Dive" into their soulspace(or mind). It's milt-layered(Up to 9 layers); Each one unlocked as you progress throughout the story and after unlocking a number of "Topics" you can engage in when you rest at inns(They can be found in maps, unlocked during the story or after a synthesis). Each layer will reveal a little bit about their inner self's; Their feelings and the darkness that's eating away at them along with other surprises. Going into their soulspace is optional but it's encouraged in order to unlock stronger song magic and give depth to the character you want to romance which in my opinion, they did a fine job with it.

    Story wise, the game does offer entertainment. The main character, Aoto, has a straightforward personality so you'll grow to like him. Saki and Finnel, which are two of the three Rayvateils' that you encounter are also unique in their own way(The former is kind of annoying for me though). Then you'll have your two Vanguards which you will meet very soon - One of them will be a surprise afterward if you've played past Ar Tonelico games. The story isn't hard to follow and you don't need to play the other two to understand it. I don't want to go too much into the plot to prevent any spoilers but I'll say that it's worth the play-through if you're an RPG fan. Just a warning: you'll notice a lot of sexual inenduo.

    Lastly, the music: It's unique and very well done. This is their main focus for the game because you can feel the effort and passion put into them. These guys created their own language which is referred to as Hymmnos and is used in the vocal songs of the game(Along other uses), a very fascinating and respected feat for a low budget game such as this. Tracks like, EXEC_FLIP_ARPHAGE I and II, EXEC_COSMOFLIPS, and EC Tisia are the center stage. Pan of Age(Piano) and Finnel's themes are also among my favorites. The soundtrack along with images and others can be accessed in the "Extras" tab located in the main menu. Of course you'll need to unlock them first by going through the game first but it's a nice bonus if you want to listen to music, re-visit your favorite Soulspace layers and Topics that you were engaged in.

    Overall, the story is interesting and character development is great(Depending on how you choose to progress. I chose the Finnel route and it was amazing). Combat on the other hand is repetitive as hell and can get stale very fast so brace yourself. Like I said before, the soundtrack is great and it's what helps carry the game forward.







  2. #2
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    Great read mate, + Rep for you

    I've been wondering about this game in the few reviews I have read it got totally slammed and not much got explained. But you did a great job of explaining the combat in detail and its just good to get some decent opinions.

    I've been after this game for a while anyway to see what its like for myself. I haven't seen it in stores for a long time but next time I do I'll snatch it up if its at a reasonable price

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkVincent07 View Post
    Great read mate, + Rep for you

    I've been wondering about this game in the few reviews I have read it got totally slammed and not much got explained. But you did a great job of explaining the combat in detail and its just good to get some decent opinions.

    I've been after this game for a while anyway to see what its like for myself. I haven't seen it in stores for a long time but next time I do I'll snatch it up if its at a reasonable price
    Thank you for the reply. I'm not sure if this game is available in stores since I had to get my copy from Amazon and at $50.

    I will write another review when I have the time.







  4. #4
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    So what's your favourite GUST game? This?

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronSOLDIER View Post
    So what's your favourite GUST game? This?
    I will still go with, Atelier Totori(I've only played 2 Gust games that I know of). I went through 3 play-throughs because of how addicting it got. If Ar tonelico 3 had a better battle system and maps then I would choose it as my favorite Gust game. I will say this though, these two games are better then Final Fantasy XIII, Lol.







  6. #6
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    saw this game on in gamestop the other day i was unsure if i wanted to get it lol nice review man
    Last edited by Kuro; 04-12-2012 at 19:47.

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  7. #7
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    I've never played an Ar Tonelico game and it sounds like I might not enjoy this one with all of the sexual innuendo. Nice review though.
    Thanks to Kwes for the avatar and Sylar for the signature!

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  8. #8
    Master Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by zzKurozz View Post
    saw this game on in gamestop the other day i was unsure if i wanted to get it lol nice review man
    If you like games like Hyperdimention then you'll love this one.


    Quote Originally Posted by Blacksite
    I've never played an Ar Tonelico game and it sounds like I might not enjoy this one with all of the sexual innuendo. Nice review though.
    The game does have quite a lot of that. Especially the part when one of the guys has to put his hand inside one of the girl's "installer" port and.. Well, you get the picture.


    Thank you guys for the feedback!. Now I feel confident to write another review but I'll wait another day or two before posting it.







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  10. #9
    ストライク・ザ・ブラッド
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    I'm sure I would lol stuff like this doesn't really bother me much I'll pick it up next time I get a chance too and no prob man keep it up

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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FonFahbre View Post
    Thank you for the reply. I'm not sure if this game is available in stores since I had to get my copy from Amazon and at $50.

    I will write another review when I have the time.
    I have seen it around but it's pretty hard to come by, I assume it just had a low print run, plus it's not very popular.


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