Ar Nosurge


Gameplay Trailer :


Name       Ar Nosurge
Released : March 2014
Platform : PS3, PS VITA
Genre       : RPG


Ar nosurge, full name Surge Concerto: Ar nosurge ~A Song that Prays for a Planet Being Born~  is a role-playing video game for the PlayStation 3 developed by Gust released on March 6, 2014. It is a continuation of Ciel nosurge released in 2012, and also a prequel to the Ar tonelico series. The game was released in North America on September 23, 2014 and in Europe on September 26, 2014, under the title Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star. A PlayStation Vita version was released on October 2, 2014, titled Ar nosurge Plus.


Gameplay





Field Exploration

In the fields, the players can explore the areas and collect items in a way akin to that of Gust's Atelier series, as well as talking with other characters, interacting with some elements of the scenery and activating events. They can also talk with the other characters that form their party in order to get their viewpoints on the current area or the objective they have to accomplish. If there is more than one character accompanying the main party, they can be switched for conversation with the L1 and R1 buttons. The player will have a bar that constantly changes colors, alerting them to the possibility of entering a battle the closer it gets to a red color and the faster it flashes.


Battles

During battles, the player will control two characters: the protagonist and his corresponding heroine, while they battle multiple enemy waves, so once an enemy group is defeated, other group will take their place until the player defeats them all, they run away, are defeated, or the turn limit is reached. The protagonist has the purpose of actively attacking the enemies and protecting the heroine, while the heroine stands behind the protagonist singing a Song Magic chosen by the player. Turns are divided in Player's Turn and Enemy's Turn, of which the Player's Turn is used for the protagonist to attack the enemies a set number of times while the heroine charges up her Song Magic. For attacking, the player can use four attacks that are mapped to the four face buttons in the PlayStation 3's controller, as well as also being able to bring up a menu where they can use items, activate Friend Skills, run away from the battle or activate the Heroine's Song Magic whenever they wish to. The better the player battles, the faster their Harmo Level will rise, which in turn will speed up the Burst Gauge, which is the representation of the strength for the heroine's Song Magic. However, received attacks as well as the usage of the bonus actions triggered with the L1 and R1 buttons can reduce the Harmo Level, so the player must be careful. Additionally, the heroine may use weaker Song Magic blasts of variable intensity against the enemies to support the protagonist during the Player's Turn, which also depend on how high the player has the Harmo Level and the type of Song Magic she is charging. Once the player has used up all the attacks the protagonist can use during that turn, the battle will move over to the Enemy's Turn, during which the player will have to watch for the timing of the enemies' attacks and press the Circle button in order to block them and protect the heroine. Successful guards reduce damage taken and increase the Burst Gauge, while failed guards result in a loss of Burst and greater damage to the Heroine. It must be mentioned that the protagonist can't die, as he doesn't even have an HP bar, but the heroine does have an HP bar at the side of her portrait, and if she falls during battle, the game will count it as a defeat and it'll be a Game Over for the player.

Battles have a time limit, as if they aren't finished in a certain number of turns, the game will consider the battle as finished and send the player to the results screen, where they will receive experience, Dive Points, money and dropped items depending on the types and number of enemies defeated. After this, they will be taken back to the field and the encounter gauge will be reduced depending on the number of encounters for the area and the number of waves the player managed to defeat. However, if the player manages to defeat all the waves before the turn limit expires, the encounter gauge will be emptied upon returning to the field, allowing the player to explore the field without worrying about enemies. This gives more importance to Song Magic due to the fact that once it has reached a certain Burst threshold, it can deal damage to all of the enemy waves currently present in battle at once, allowing the player to clear the area of enemies with a single attack. This is denoted in the wave indicator at the top of the screen by marking in red the waves that the currently charged Burst level can destroy at the moment, as well as indicating the percentage of damage the current Burst charge will deal to the wave that follows the leftmost one highlighted in red with a small notice below the wave indicator: when the percentage reaches a 100% and begins blinking, that means that the Song Magic can annihilate all enemies in the field. Additionally, the player can gain additional turns by attacking the enemies marked with a ! enough to fill a yellow bar below their HP, which when it gets filled, it will Break that enemy and leave it stunned; as well as killing enemies that don't have the previously mentioned mark. Additionally, event and boss battles are exempt from the turn limit, so the player doesn't have to worry about it for particularly hard battles.


HarmoBurst

When the player has reached the max Harmo Level (Lv. 4) and completed the Heroine's Genometrics up to the point of the Completion Ceremony, the option for activating the Song Magic is replaced by other called the HarmoBurst, in which the protagonist will be able to attack enemies continuously until the Harmo Level gauge gets completely emptied. Additionally, this will allow the protagonist and heroine to activate a more powerful attack, in which the protagonist launches a super move followed by the Song Magic of the Heroine with amplified power, after a while of using the HarmoBurst, though it should be mentioned that using the super move or letting the Harmo Level gauge run out will result in the automatic activation of the Song Magic and the end of the battle.

Friend Skills

The player can also call upon the characters that have established a friendship with the party in order to attack the enemies or provide support to the pair after certain conditions are met. However, only one of these skills can be used per battle. Both pairs have each four possible Friend Skills, all different from each other.

Synthesis

At shops, the player has the option of using the items and recipes they have collected to make newer items, always with the assistance of the shopkeeper of the place they are at. Aside of this allowing the player to gain items they wouldn't be able to in any other way, this also triggers scenes in which the characters involved in the creation of the item discuss it and give it a name the first time a specific item is made, as well as also having humorous sequences of dancing and singing at the end of the synthesis process. It's in this way that the items for strengthening specific parts of equipment of the party can be made: TxBIOS increase the power of Song Magic, Cathodes increase the power of weapons, and RNAs increase the power of armors.

To acquire new recipes, the player must trigger events at the synthesis shops, which is done by talking to the shopkeeper and leaving the shop menu.


Genometrics

Carrying over the Dive system from the Ar tonelico series, the player can also Dive into the Soulspace (mental world) of the characters, which receives the name Genometrics here, and have adventures through them. During this time, the gameplay changes to be more like that of a visual novel, where the player only has to read through the events taking place, move the protagonist through the Genometrics map and take decisions when prompted. Entering each point in the map requires the player to spend a set amount of the DP they have gained from battles, as well as taking some of the decisions in the events, so if the player doesn't have enough DP, they will fail to complete the events and get expelled from the Genometrics they are exploring. Unlike the Ar tonelico series, however, this isn't limited to the heroines: the player can instead Dive into the Genometrics of several of the characters they meet, and the decisions taken in each individual Genometrics will have some impact in the other, by changing the friendly disposition of these characters towards the current party as well as their introverted, extroverted, masochistic and sadistic tendencies. This is also the only way in which the Heroines can gain new Song Magic for use in battle.

Each of the events of the Genometrics can be repeated after they have been completed in order to make different choices, as obtaining Genometrica Crystals and CGs is entirely dependent on the choices the player makes, being possible to miss out on obtaining several of them if the appropriate options aren't chosen while advancing.


Purification

This gameplay element consists of the heroines and the protagonists taking a bath in a hot spring together. During this, they will change from their normal clothes to swimsuits and have conversations to know each other more in-deeply. Additionally, during the Purification, the player can Install Genometrica Crystals they have received from the Genometrics in order to increase their powers. It's possible to Install them into anyone of the playable party members (Earthes, Ion, Cas and Delta), and while there are five possible spots where the crystals can be Installed (legs, torso, abdomen, arms and head), not all of these will be available from the beginning: the player will be allowed to Install on them when both the protagonist and the heroine have gotten a deep enough relationship.


SekaiLink

Players that have a PlayStation Vita and a copy of Ciel nosurge or Ciel nosurge RE:incarnation can connect them to Ar nosurge on the PS3 to unlock the following features:

  • Exchange GP they have obtained through surveys in the official site or other ways for Experience, CT (money) and DP.
  • Send mag to the Micro Quasar in order to unlock new bosses, which will give unique rewards upon being defeated.
  • Send to Ar nosurge the Plugins the player and Ion have crafted in Ciel nosurge, allowing the party to gain extra power from the beginning.
Additionally, this will change the conversations with Ion in Ar nosurge, making her talk about the events from Ciel nosurge depending on how many of its chapters the player has cleared, and the responses the player gave to Ion's questions.

Setting



The themes of the game are "human bonds" and "the inner surface of the heart".[9] On a fictional planet named Ra Ciela, humans and a spiritual lifeform known as Genoms previously co-existed, however as the planet fell into decline, humans began to travel in search of other planets to inhabit. Following contact with a hostile life-form known as the Sharl, the people of Orei were abducted; humankind was technologically incapable of fighting against the Sharl, who utilize a power known as "song magic". Thousands of years later, the Felion Wall opens, and from inside emerge the Ancient Ones, people with the ability to use the same song magic powers.

Story


The story of the game is told through the viewpoints of two character pairs: Cas and Delta, and Earthes and Ion. Initially, Cas and Delta are tasked to find out a song called Ciel N Protecta that their friend Sarly developed, but it was stolen and it supposedly has begun causing the machines in Felion to go haywire. During their searches for it, they are captured by the Genomirai Church led by Zir, and as they try to escape from them, they discover Zir is planning to set up and sing a very dangerous kind of Song Magic. On the other hand, Ion is trapped in the sealed world through which the player interacted with her in Ciel nosurge, and having Earthes as her helper, she decides to escape from it. After escaping from the sealed world, they both reach the city of Tenryosara, where they meet with Tattoria and Kanon. And from there, both pairs continue their journey in search of the truth about this world.

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