By Cathryn 7 Comments
Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland
I dropped Atelier Totori last night after about 13 hours of play time. While I wasn't totally hating it, I was having a lot of trouble finding the motivation to keep playing since the game is, in my opinion, pretty thin on story. I had never played one of the Atelier games before, and when I saw that Totori had come out last winter, I figured it was a good chance, since I could add it to my Christmas wish list. Critics had generally nice things to say about it, I like turn-based RPG combat, and the art seemed cute. I figured Totori and I would get along quite well.
And, I guess, in some respects we did. Atelier Totori's combat mechanics are perfectly serviceable -- same with the crafting mechanics (though I feel like the system relies more on the sheer volume of items you can create, rather than any meaningful depth or complexity). The problem is, I found little motivation to quest and craft when there was so little story to chase. Yes, I know that Totori is becoming an adventurer so that eventually she can search for her mother, but like Fate/Extra, the road to solving the mystery is incredibly repetitive. Go out, fight monsters, collect alchemy ingredients, return to City, claim quest rewards, go to Atelier, make stuff, go out to fight monsters again. I don't mind some routine in gameplay (I am, after all, a huge Persona fan), but in the case of Atelier Totori, I didn't find enough about any of it interesting enough to continue with the tedium.
I did appreciate having the ability to play the game in Japanese with English subtitles -- I wish this was something game companies who license and distribute Japanese games in the US would do more often. I also thought the art style was absolutely gorgeous, though while I love my cute things, the game was a little too moe in tone, even for me.
In one long play session, I was able to complete several small items on the bucket list I created last time, and I made some decent progress on some of the larger goals. Here's what I got done:
- Completed "A Night To Remember"
- Completed requirements to buy properties in Riften and Solitude (waiting until I get 100k gold to buy them)
- Reached just over 50k gold
- Obtained Explorer achievement
- Completed 1 side quest (The White Phial)
- Completed 1 main story quest (Diplomatic Immunity)
It's a decent amount of progress, I guess, for one play session. I have a major written assessment to do this weekend for a job I've applied for, so I'm thinking that next week while I'm waiting to hear back about whether or not I made the next round of selection would be a great time to fall back in to the Skyrim k-hole for a few days. I'm hoping in my next session to complete Act 2 of the main storyline, but we'll see.
I realized the other day that it is going to be impossible for me to ignore Xenoblade Chronicles. This is more than a little frustrating for me since the game is on the Wii. I bought the Wii when I was still figuring out the types of games I'd like to be playing as an adult, fuelled primarily by my childhood nostalgia for Mario and Kirby. The thing is, the adult me really doesn't care about platformers or cart racers, and I have been pretty content to allow my Wii to sit in a corner and gather dust since I realized that.
And then came Xenoblade Chronicles.
Since it's being lauded as one of the best JRPGs ever, there's no way I can leave it alone. The Wii must be dusted off, the batteries in the Wii-mote replaced. The real problem is that after I accomplished all this, I realized that I'd never connected my Wii to my HDTV and the composites make everything look terrible. Looks like in addition to the game, I'm going to need to pick up some Wii component cables and, likely, a classic controller pro.
The things we do for video games.
Anyone have any opinions on off-brand Wii Component cables? They run about $35 here and I wouldn't mind saving a bit of money and buying some weird brand, but I don't want to waste money on something that doesn't work.