How bout that PlayStation 2, eh. The console may be eight years old, but that doesn’t mean developers are going to stop making good-looking RPGs for it anytime soon. Such is the case with Ar tonelico II: The Girls’ Song of Creation that Echoes to the World, which is being brought to North America this December by publisher NIS America — the folks who brought (and keep bringing) us Disgaea — hopefully sans the unnecessarily long subtitle.
Ar tonelico II sees a young knight from the Church of Pastalia named Croix sent to contain a mysterious epidemic called Infel Pira Dependency. IPD is a disease that only affects Reyvateils: an artificial race. His investigation eventually leads him on a search for a legendary song called the lost Song of Metafalica.
Music seems to play a large part in the world of Ar Ciel, as the Reyvateils in your party are able to utilize song magic during battle. Another interesting feature centered on the Reyvateils is the way they gain new songs. Croix will need to dive into their minds (referred to as “Cosmospheres”) and explore their subconscious to help them develop their abilities. That certainly sounds a bit more involving than just selecting options at a level up screen!
NIS America released the first game in the Ar tonelico series, Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia, early last year. The game has recently seen a reprint, and can be picked up for around $20.