The games that were maybe too innovative to stand out in an industry increasingly devoted to predictable franchise-building. The games that were deemed too weird, or were sunk by poor marketing. This, then, is not a list of the greatest PS2 games ever made, even though several here certainly deserve that praise. All are recommended for adventurous souls with a taste for the eclectic. Developed by the people who brought us Guitar Hero, Amplitude is - you guessed it - a music game, not entirely dissimilar to that fret-mashing smash hit. In what has since become a familiar sight, notes glide down the screen towards your "beat blaster" and you capture them by hitting the corresponding button.
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The games that were maybe too innovative to stand out in an industry increasingly devoted to predictable franchise-building. The games that were deemed too weird, or were sunk by poor marketing. This, then, is not a list of the greatest PS2 games ever made, even though several here certainly deserve that praise.
All are recommended for adventurous souls with a taste for the eclectic. Developed by the people who brought us Guitar Hero, Amplitude is - you guessed it - a music game, not entirely dissimilar to that fret-mashing smash hit. In what has since become a familiar sight, notes glide down the screen towards your "beat blaster" and you capture them by hitting the corresponding button.
There are separate tracks for bass, drums, vocals and so on. While this happens you flip over to another song track and try to add that to the mix, eventually building up a complete rendition of the song. The 26 tunes on offer seem stingy by modern standards, especially since several are composed for the game by the developer, while the presence of David Bowie, Blink , Slipknot and Run DMC lend the game a musically schizophrenic air.
At its heart is Klein, a young alchemist whose ability to extract mana from objects in the gameworld and combine it into new items is central to the slightly obsessive gameplay. Viewed in isometric 3D, with a delightful platform game feel to the way you scamper around the quaint towns and leafy forests, Atelier Iris is a throwback to a gentler role-playing age.
That it spawned two sequels which failed to capitalise on this sweet foundation just makes Eternal Mana all the more special. An evil magical army has enslaved a peaceful world, and the only hope is a plucky young chap with enormous hair, his expanding group of allies and their quests through randomly generated dungeons.
For one thing, you level up your weapons, not your characters. This leads you to Georama mode, where you put the pieces back together, talking with NPCs to figure out what needs to go where. The sequel, Dark Chronicle, offers an even more flexible town designer and is also well worth seeking out. At least, not without sounding like Borat talking about "this guy here".
Disgaea is the sort of game that even RPGphobics should be able to enjoy though, blessed as it is with a devilish sense of humour and a storyline that casts you as a lazy demon hell-bent on claiming dominion over the Netherworld. Those who balk at turn-based games should be pleased to learn that in Disgaea all your characters move at the same time, eliminating the annoyance of having your strategy muffed up by enemy interruption.
Even the levelling system manages to be fun, allowing you to smush enemies together to create stronger foes for higher rewards, and the game happily lets you build up your forces to silly levels of power. In a genre with an often deserved reputation for melodramatic seriousness, Disgaea is a breath of fresh air that could well be to your taste.
Put aside your prejudice and give it a try.
Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny – Guides and FAQs
The challenge that this part of the guide outlines is far more difficult than whacking enemies or dungeon crawling. It is, in fact, the ultimate challenge that Regallzine or any other world has to offer: commerce. What is so challenging about Shop Synthesis is that missing any one event with a particular shop owner can effectively lock off an entire chain of events, depriving you of tons of goodies. You can miss events by advancing the plot too quickly, not being friendly enough with shop owners, or failing to have the right items. Atelier Iris allows you 12 save slots on any given memory card, so use them wisely.
Cult Classics: PlayStation 2
Developed by the somewhat obscure Japanese production house known as Gust , Atelier Iris pronounced "At-ill-yay Eye-riss" is actually the sixth in a long line of role-playing games dating back to Never available outside of Japan until now, the franchise has already been released for the original PlayStation, the Saturn, Dreamcast, various Game Boys, and even the Wonderswan Color in the eight years since. Prior to this, the Atelier franchise focused pretty heavily on an alchemy system that required players to seek out ingredients and item recipes for sale in user-owned shops. Now treated as an important mini-game from within the main quest, the alchemic ingredient hunt is still a big part of what makes the game what it is. There are almost different objects in all split between conventional items and equipment , and collecting them not only gives your party the ability to use their effects in battle, but also unlocks a ton of bonus content in the menu screen. So while you may indeed run across spoiled meat or a swimsuit during one of your many encounters, the only way to get the more advanced pieces is to take those ingredients to a synthesis shop and combine them to form something infinitely more interesting.
Review: Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana (PS2)
Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana – Guides and FAQs