Original Post: I knew there was an NIS America event going on yesterday, and I suspected, in the back of my mind, that there would be an announcement about bringing the PS3-exclusive RPG Ar Tonelico 3 to Western regions. I’m ecstatic that I was right in my predictions! However, it will be coming to these shores under a slightly different name. They’ve dropped the “3” off the end. The Western version will be called Ar Tonelico Qoga and will be hitting stores early next year in January. We’ll keep you updated if any new information arises on this title in the inevitable press release they will send out.
Update: A few more details have been released about this title. The full name for the game in North America will be Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel. It will be the last game in the Ar Tonelico franchise and will have many of the same conventions as previous titles did, such as teaming up with Reyvateils and using their song magic during battle.
The story involves a bunch of bad guys who want to enslave the human race, and they’re using Reyvateils and the power of song magic to do it. But, not all Reyvateils. Two of them join our hero Aoto to fight back.
The Cosmosphere system is back, which is a way you can dive into a Reyvateil’s subconscious mind and learn more about them, helping them through problems that come up and, basically, establishing a closer bond to them. By doing this, you unlock new skills for the girls and make their song magic more powerful in battle.
A completely new system was designed for this game, since it is also the first time the franchise has gone into the realm of 3D. Players will be able to customize many things about the characters, including the weapons, items and a character’s personality, skills and appearance. Instead of a turn-based battle system, this will be an action battle system that, through various screens I’ve seen of the Japanese version, looks a lot like a typical Tales battle set-up.
As we reported on before, part of making the girls stronger involves somehow removing their clothing. I have to reiterate that this is the best battle mechanic I’ve ever seen in an RPG and I do hope other developers take note. Wouldn’t you agree? (Note, the same goes for the guys, apparently.)
There is also some decent replay value built into the title, with multiple story paths and several endings. It is looking like the game could be out as early as late January 2011, but I wouldn’t bet on it until Spring.