Cynopsis: Ar Nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star (PS3)
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Cynopsis: Ar Nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star (PS3)


Ar Nosurge, a game created by Japanese developer
Gust and published by Koei Tecmo arrives in the United States and Europe this week. While
I’ve never played the Ar Tonelico series, this game is said to be a prequel for it,
and a continuation of the Japanese only release of Ciel Nosurge. The story is told through two pairs of characters,
Casty and Delta, along with Earthes and Ion. You begin the game as Delta in the city of
Felion, mankind’s last safe haven against the Sharl. These are life forms that appeared
suddenly and began attacking humans. Along with an immense barrier, the city is protected
by PLASMA, an elite special unit which Cass is a part of. Delta was also once a part of
this group, however a recent incident caused him to be suspended when he lowered the barrier,
allowing the Sharl to attack the city. Delta has since lost his memory, and with it, the
reasons for this action. He does however continue to work alongside Cass as a mercenary. They’re
tasked with infiltrating a group called the Genomirai Church, humans who worship the Sharl. Ion on the other hand is trapped, sealed in
an unknown world. It is here where she constructs Earthes, the humanoid robot that you play
as. Ion, remembering who she is and what her mission is, decides to escape, attempting
to uncover the truth of the outside world. Traversing the world is quite simple. You
have a map with every area you’ve been to. All you have to do is select where you’d like
to go. Cities work the same way. You have a menu
with every area you currently have access to. Once you chose a section of the city you
are free to explore the area. You’ll be able to grab some quests this way, as well as view
side conversations with people you know. At the various shops you can buy items and
materials as you’d expect. You use these materials for Synthesis, creating items that will then
be in stock to purchase. The Synthesis process is also… rather unique? See for yourself. As a side note, you only get the lyrics when
you set the language to Japanese for some reason, otherwise you just get music. Once you leave town it’s into the fields.
There are various items to collect and whatever objectives you have to complete. At the bottom
right of the screen you can cycle through your current party members to see if they
have anything to say about the current situation. At the top of the screen is the encounter
bar. This will constantly be changing colors, the closer to red increases the chance of
a battle occurring. At the start of battle, you choose which Song
Magic you want to use. Both Delta’s and Earthes’ roles are to protect their partner until the
Song is ready. Using the D-pad, you choose which enemy lane
you wish to attack. Attached to each of the controllers face buttons are different attacks.
Each one has a limited number of uses on each turn. Once they’re all used up, it’s the enemies
turn and you go on the defensive. Pressing circle puts up a shield, reducing
the damage you’ll take, these are also limited in use and are only active for a short time,
so timing is key. Your barrier only has four stages, located in the top right. Once they’re
all destroyed, it’s game over. Every action you take will also raise your
Synchro rate with your partner, raising your Harmonics Level at the bottom right. As the
level rises you gain benefits such as faster Synhchro rate and the ability to use your
Song Magic. At level 2 your partner will start to support you, helping to defeat the enemy. At the top of the screen is the number of
waves left in battle. Each time you clear out all of the enemies, a new wave will enter.
Every wave that can be destroyed if you activate your Song Magic will be in red. If they’re
all red, activate and end the fight. Attacking an enemy also has a chance to Break
them. Broken enemies cannot attack next turn. Any enemy with a red ! mark is preparing to
attack. An enemy with SKILL over their health bar will be using a skill next turn. Focus
your attacks on these targets is key to prevent taking damage. In the top right corner is our Burst Charge.
This determines how powerful our song magic will be. Every action you do, such as breaking
an enemy will add to this Percentage. Breaking every enemy that will attack next turn in
the fewest amount of moves is the most effective way to win the battle. At specific shops in town, you can Dive into
your partners heart. The system is called Genometrics. Here the gameplay changes into
a visual novel style. You spend DP which is gained from battle, to explore your partners
heart. The ultimate goal here is to chose the right options to deepen your partners
trust, unlocking new Song Magic. As you chose dialog options you can also gain Crystals
to enhance your characters in battle through a process called Purification. During purification, two partners take a bath
in a hot spring together. Here you can have conversations with one another to deepen your
trust further. Depending how deep this trust is, you can insert Genometrica Crystals gained
from diving, into each other. You start with only a couple slots available, with a maximum
of five. With the basics out of the way, do they make
for an enjoyable game? I really enjoy the combat system. The puzzle
like nature of using a move to knock an enemy back so you can attack a whole row or strategically
picking your targets to prevent them from attacking is very rewarding. The combat is
however extremely easy on Normal. I highly recommend raising it, which you can even do
without starting the game over. The story and characters are also rather intriguing.
I’m curious to learn more about Deltas past and what the future holds for everyone. They’re
all well voiced too with the option to use the original Japanese voices if you prefer.
Only the major story bits seem to have most of voice overs however which is a shame. The game also looks and sounds great. Gust
have done a great job with the visuals this generation between this and the Atelier games.
The music is equally amazing, I’m always curious what the next area will sound like. The game does lack a bit of polish in some
areas though. I’ve already noticed a few typos and some of the animations are a bit jerky
in places. Some may be put off with the visual novel
segments and fan service as well, though I haven’t found them intrusive. Overall I think the game is great. It’s definitely
one of the better RPGs I’ve played this year.

18 Comments

  • Eisenhorn Overlip

    congratulations on have the first and only review of this game so far on youtube. I have been looking everywhere for a review or a overview of this game. Great job

  • Minyaw

    I'm almost done with the game – this maybe a small spoiler so (really small, stop reading if you don't want anything at all spoiled.. I warned you): You can almost call this Breaking the 4th wall – The game.

  • N-GAME ARTS

    Thanks a LOT for this review!

    this games looks EVERYTHING I was hoping to be

    if you like this one
    look up
    Ar Tonelico 2
    on the PS2 it pretty much the same this game

    thank you again
    I''m going to make order for it! ^^

  • RKToasty

    I really enjoyed this game from start to end. The story was really good. Personally, the only gripe i had with the game was the weak tie in to the Ar Tonelico series. I was excited to see Shurelia (anyone who says this is a spoiler didn't watch the trailer), but they could have done more to connect it. Good review though.

  • SailorN

    If you are interested in Ar Tonelico then I strongly recommend starting from the first one because the sequels have returning characters and references and while its true that you don't necessarily need to play them in order I feel its much more satisfying if you do. though regardless where you start prepare yourself to read and see some interesting… things… >.>'

  • Nigredo

    Great review! You got me quite interested in the game. I didn't like the last Ar Tonelico all that much but this looks pretty good. I might just give it a shot.

  • AminhaContaDoUtube

    I'm a huge Gust/Ar tonelico/Atelier Series fan but for me, this game was a HUGE disappointment. At first glance the game is beautiful, the graphics are really nice done and the OST is really good but the character movements are kinda sloppy, each has only a few movements that are constantly repeated when they're speaking which seems they're always doing the same movements. The explorable areas are really nice done, but they are really small and you're constantly going to the same places over and over and over. The story is kinda messy at times and sometimes confusing, but still, you can see the effort.

  • Hecate338

    "while not a full review…."
    nah, not really.

    at least you've explained the gameplay system quite deeply. even IGN or Gamespot reviews rarely do that.

    nicely done d_(^.^)

  • JevousGaming

    So little info on these games. This just came out for Vita so I was curious about it. Thanks for taking the time to make this video, it's been really informative.

  • HYPE WARRIOR!!

    not a fan of turn based games but this one looks visually amazing and most of all very fast paced compared to any turn based game final fantasy or paper mario.

  • J R

    its fine and good but this battle system is a far cry to what Ar tonelico 1 and 2 had which is far better than what persona 5 has right now and people are going crazy on how good P5's turn based system is

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