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Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel Preview

KevinS By:
M Contains Fantasy Violence, Language, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes

What do these ratings mean?

Something pervy this way comes.

Ar Tonelico as a series holds a reputation: act as innocent as possible while saying the most back-handed, filthy things possible without any dirty words. Phrases like “This is the last time I stick something in you” and floods of little girl cleavage are staples, and after playing a bit at an NIS event recently, I’m “happy” to say there’s more to, uh, come in Ar Tonelico Qoga.

click to enlargeAnd what is ATQ? It’s a similar story to earlier versions: Find yourself a lady early on, protect her with your life, and she’ll turn out to be... I dunno, somebody important. She’s a Reyvateil, a magical songstress that can use both offensive and defensive magics to help you in battle. Your main character's job is to protect them at all costs... and you’ll do it all in a gender-neutral haircut and outfit. It’s possibly the most ambiguous series of RPGs I have ever seen... and yes, I’ve played Final Fantasy.

What’s notable in this new Ar Tonelico is the battle system. Instead of the traditional turn-based JRPG system that was so easy to game in the last few games, the battles now are fully a real-time action fight. It’s more difficult to defend a given songstress, but otherwise the tactics are almost identical: let them charge the spell while you beat the crap out of anyone approaching the girl. The stronger the bond between a male character and his given Reyvateil, the more powerful the magic she can cast... and along the way, the more clothing she will lose while casting that magic. (Of course.)

The whole presentation makes me feel like a dirty old man, and on March 15th everyone buying it can feel just a little extra filthy too. Wash your hands before inserting the disc, eh?

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