Ar Nosurge Plus Review
Ar Nosurge was originally released last September for the PS3 and admittedly was not given as much notice as I believe it deserved. The game had a great story, good game play, a very unique and captivating soundtrack, and more. But with the PS4 and Xbox One taking the majority of the attention a lot of games like Ar Nosurge went sadly mostly unnoticed. Well now we have Ar Nosurge Plus, a reincarnated version of the game with bonus content on the PS Vita. Lets dive right into this JRPG.
At first you step into the shoes of Cass and Delta as you are quickly submerged in some deepTe plot between two warring factions on a gigantic planet ship (your all survivors of a dead planet). The story pits a religious cult and its alien allies known as the Sharl who believe that humanity needs to embrace its ways and work with the sharl to advance, against the opposing faction ruled by a very protective queen who is simply trying to do whats right and protect what remains of the human race. Delta and Cass start on the Empress’s side working for an organization called Plasma as they are investigating the plots and schemes the sharl and church are up to. Sounds relatively straight forward but the story quickly advances and takes plenty of twists and turns, and will even introduce a second set of main protagonists in the form of Earthes (a robot that is intelligent) and his human creator Ion.
The story is surprisingly deep despite its on the surface appearances as you start playing the game. Seemingly unimportant or senseless details from earlier interactions and dialogue will resurface later in mind blowing ways that I often found myself simply pausing the game and having to digest for a minute before moving on. Often enough these moments would come through during the Purification Ceremonies you must perform in order to power up your characters. A huge part of the game revolves around these ceremonies and what they entail. You must dive into the sub conscience “heart” of your partner and work out issues within them. These session can be somewhat confusing but are often deep and really give the player another level of connection with the in game characters. As you do this you unlock these crystals which are used during the ceremony. The ceremony itself is a bit of fan service that is handled very tastefully. You go into a hot springs type bath with your partner and must implant these crystals into there arms, legs, head, chest, etc. But in order to do so you first must engage in conversation to ease your partners mind. These talks will lead you to discover lots about the characters all through the game. (the plus version of the game includes multiple new partners to “bathe” with, thus alot more story and dialogue as well)
The battle system is one of the shining traits for Ar Nosurge and its plus counterpart. You take control of Delta or Earthes depending on your current team and your main job is to protect either Cass or Ion as they sing. Yes that’s right, as they sing. These heroines use Song Magic to battle and that takes time. So you hack and slash and shoot the enemies that come at you (literally) in waves before they can act and try to take out your songstress. You must develop a rhythm of sorts for this as combat is all about timing. If you can “break” or stun an enemy before they move you gain higher amounts of points that help you sync to your songstress. As these accumulate she will automatically start assisting you launching magic attacks at the enemies. If you harmonize well enough you can select the option to use her song magic and obliterate any remaining enemies on the field at once.
If your playing the plus version on the Vita your sure to notice my one real problem with this title. There is often a bad frame rate issue as your traversing the towns that will cause some minor lag. Although not a huge deal this was a rather annoying take away from the amazing story and battle systems that make this game great. The dialogue is good but often I found there was maybe just a bit to much of it for my tastes. Other than those the game was very satisfying and provides many hours of awesome story that will hook you more and more as you play. Highly recommend to any JRPG fans or someone looking to add another great title to their Vita library. 7 out of 10. Happy Gaming.