In honor of Calvert Games ninth birthday weekend, I thought I would offer a blast from the past, and make an attempt at the original Recycle Bin grand tradition of stylistic prose, ripping piss poor reviews from mega-sites. Longtime readers will get this right away; others will wonder why is that joker going after IGN.
Do I have to be Captain Obvious to point out that IGN typically rates games high? As a super-major-mega-media outlet that is what is expected out of their reviews; however you know something is amiss when IGN gives Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland a subpar score (5.0 out of 10), compared to the baseline at metacritic. Atelier is currently carrying a metascore of 72 based on 12 critic reviews, so what pray tell is wrong with IGN’s review of Atelier?
The review’s tagline says it all and sets the tone for the rest of the review: “Child molestation jokes are always funny, right?”
So Mr. Reviewer, how is the story?
It’s almost worth picking up Atelier Rorona for the story. Almost. This is one of those boundary pushing, dances the line between funny and creepy, RPGs. Whether it’s Rorona’s master that makes jokes about molesting her while she sleeps, or the nice shopkeeper who gets drunk and actually does molest her, everyone wants a piece of Rorona. The American version changed the character’s ages, making Rorona 17 instead of 14, but that only barely makes things better.
WTF? Of all the current reviews, IGN’s is the only one that zeros in on molestation as a focal point of the game. Seriously?
I can understand someone not being comfortable with the references mentioned in the review; however the dialog referencing this sort of innuendo does not actually comprise the entire story.
I digress. What about the gameplay?
The problem with the game is that it’s just plain tedious.
A review is just an opinion, so I can actually respect that point of view. To each their own, right? Next up is the meat and potatoes of the review.
The challenge in the game comes from the time limits set for each Assignment. Each assignment has to be completed in a set number of days. Everything Rorona does in Atelier takes time. Adventuring, alchemy, or sleeping all spend days, bringing you closer to the deadline. I can’t sit there and level grind until my characters are all powerful because each zone takes a certain number of days to travel to, and there is a finite number of monsters each time I went to it. So leveling up is a very deliberate process, and it can bite players in the ass if they aren’t on top of their game.
Good grief. The time limit, race against the clock gameplay aspect, and your ability to manage the path you pick is the entire point of Atelier.
In other words, this reviewer sucks at this sort of game, and does not like the challenge of a “pick your path against the clock” adventure. So there you have it.
If the reviewer is completely uncomfortable with this sort of game, why take the assignment? If the game is offensive, why not tell the editor that after uncovering the lesbian overtones [I actually enjoyed this review], “I decline” to proceed any further with this trash?
Honestly, Atelier has typical JRPG all over it. Just do a google image search for “anime” and see what you uncover, which should not have been that shocking to the reviewer who opened up the review with this revealing ditty …
I love an inappropriate, flirtatious RPG starring underage girls with huge racks as much as the next guy.
I can only conclude that in general the reviewer actually likes this sort of game, but something about this one went too far? [Content Warning – Seriously – Sankaku Complex]
I would have a lot more respect for the reviewer and IGN if the review started off with a note from the editor along the lines of “… some readers may be offended by the dialog … the reviewer original assigned to Atelier had deep reservations about the story’s content …” and then give the game to a reviewer that can actually provide an opinion of the game’s content with more than a casual treatment of Atelier’s gameplay.