Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 11/29/01 | Genre: RPG
Okay, so you have experienced Dark Cloud and OKAGE: Shadow King but are thirsty for more RPG action on the PS2. I know, I know... Final Fantasy X is now available (and if you are like me, you haven't stopped playing it since it was released). If you need a break and want a quick RPG fix, Atlus has the answer for you with their latest Japanese port--Tsugunai: Atonement. While this Sony of Japan developed title won't completely satisfy your RPG hunger, it has several elements that are worth checking out if you love the genre.
Tsugunai is the story of a young mercenary named Leise, who has inadvertently angered the God of Light by removing the mystical Treasure Orb from its sacred pedestal. As punishment, the God of Light forever separates his soul from his body until he atones for his sins by helping the people of Walondia. However, without a physical body of his own, the only way to change the fates of the people is to possess them. Ultimately, Leise must confront the evil power responsible for the darkness that has befallen Walondia.
The game begins with the player controlling Leise and learning how he became separated from his body. As the combat encounters begin, the player is told how to fight in battles. Unlike a lot of other RPG's out there, Tsugunai requires the player to hit a button before being attacked in order to reduce damage, dodge the blow, or counter-strike the opponent. If you hit the button to early or late, the player will be hit harder and their life will drop dramatically quickly. To help players out, the more successful counter-attacks and blocks a player makes will fill up a meter that can be used to perform a devastating attack. While the combat system is intriguing, you are forced to fight all battles alone. The gameplay definitely could have been improved with the addition of other members in your party.
As the story progresses, you will begin to possess people who are overcome with sadness. Only when you make them happy will you be free to become your "ghostly" self again. Over the course of the game, you will possess around a dozen characters--each with their own unique story and side-quests that you must help complete.
If you are looking for a break from the incredibly deep Final Fantasy X but still want some RPG action, Tsugunai: Atonement is a good purchase to make. However, if you are not a fun of the RPG genre, you may want to rent this one first or just steer clear of this title. It is up to you to help Leise find redemption or will his soul be lost forever.