Awesome but not as awesome

User Rating: 7.5 | Mana Khemia 2: Ochita Gakuen to Renkinjutsushi Tachi PS2
In 2007 I was turned onto the Atelier Iris franchise with the first Mana Khemia. I had been a fan of NIS since the first Disgaea in 2005 but had never played the Atelier games and I'm glad I started with Mana Khemia. Mana Khemia blew Disgaea out of the water with it's hilarious and deep gameplay (and an addicting item creation system). And I bought Mana Khemia 2 as soon as it came back because I've been looking for an rpg to fill the gap the first one left when I beat it two years ago. And I have to say I've been let down. But it's not in the gameplay for the addictive gameplay is still the same although I think the game looks worst than the first one. The Grow Book was nicer looking and as was the menu, but item creation is still just as addicting as ever. The environments are still just as beautiful as are the battles.

It's the humor aspect of Mana Khemia 2 (which was most of the charm of the first one) that is the let down. To say I was in tears I laughed so hard would not be that far of an over-statement dealing with the first Mana Khemia. Flay and Muppy were so funny I couldn't wait until Free Time so I could play their stories like I was watching my favorite show. And all the other characters were interesting if not funny. And the twist ending of the first one was a kicker that really showed the subtelty and brilliance of the story telling. I'd categorize Mana Khemia 2 as "light hearted", more than funny.

I think this one falls short of the expectation that the first one set. The characters aren't as interesting or even cool, but the story is still good as well as the two character threads you can play through that was added. I still think this a good rpg on it's own and can be enjoyed by anyone, but I almost wish I played this one before I played the first one.