Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
Buy On
  1. 65
    After combining the "meh" story with the 2D sprites, the passably amateurish voice acting, and the melodramatic localization, Ar tonelico feels like a pretty forgettable RPG. But it does do one thing that needs elaboration, one thing that pushes up a bit higher than "meh" on the RPG scale: It has a freakin' dating sim as a major gameplay component.
  2. AceGamez
    Just as soon as I was ready to sing the praises of the game from my rooftop did the debilitating graphical and gameplay flaws begin to rain down on my happy-go-lucky concert, soaking down my scores.
  3. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    What I like most, though, is the game's brisk pace. Even within the first five hours, I felt like I had lived a virtual lifetime. [Mar 2007, p.92]
  4. Those who have fond memories of the PSone cult classic "Thousand Arms" will definitely enjoy Ar Tonelico's strange blend of action, dialog, and courtship. [Feb. 2007, p.101]
  5. Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia is not a bad game, but just falls short in the execution of some pretty unique and inventive ideas. It's still an okay game, and offers some good laughs and interesting gameplay mechanics, but it looks, sounds and plays a generation behind its platform.
  6. A pretty solid role-playing experience that will be familiar and well received by fans of GUST's other RPG titles. The Dive system is an interesting idea but it would have been nice if it was a little more interactive.
  7. Ar tonelico is built on a solid role-playing foundation, but the lengthy character exchanges and lack of any challenge take a lot of the fun out of the game.
  8. 70
    Whether you'll like Ar tonelico or not is dependent on how much of a sucker you are for a cute damsel in distress. These aren't helpless girls, mind you, and your relationship to them will provide the bulk of enjoyment that Ar tonelico has to offer.
  9. "Final Fantasy" followers might be looking for more. Even so, at times tonelico conveys more energy and thoughtfulness than most big-budget RPGs even attempt. It's primarily for the hardcore audience, though any gamer looking for another fantasy outlet should take a look.
  10. Ar Tonelico certainly wins points for originality but in the end it does very little to get past its boring combat and limited exploration options that drag this game down considerably.
  11. The battle system is a refreshing twist on something that has been done for the same way for many past RPGs, and diving into your Reyvateil makes for reasonable character development.
  12. 74
    It's not even so much that the game can come off as a surprising date sim-lite turn-based adventure. It's that a couple of less defined game features weaken a title that would've otherwise been impressive.
  13. 50
    Further hampering the dungeons is sheer repetitiveness. Most contain only a few combinations of enemies to fight and the battles are such that you can use exactly the same strategy, for exactly the same result, every time.
  14. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    An average RPG that could've been so much more if Gust hadn't ignored their solid ideas and focused on the 'sexy' innuendo. [Apr 2008, p.84]
  15. PSM Magazine
    If you've enjoyed the past two "Altelier Iris" games, tonelico is more of the same. [Mar 2007, p.86]
  16. If you're looking for a light RPG, then Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia definitely fits the bill because it's cheerful, well animated and utterly predictable. Combat is a breeze, even if you're farming for items, and the plot is lackluster at best.

Awards & Rankings

#24 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2007
#48 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2007
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 46
  2. Negative: 6 out of 46
  1. MushaS.
    Feb 11, 2007
    Finally a real 2d turn based RPG. If you like real RPGs this is for you. If you like watching movies then get FF or one of those other 3d Finally a real 2d turn based RPG. If you like real RPGs this is for you. If you like watching movies then get FF or one of those other 3d games with real time battles that only work in theory. Full Review »
  2. Jul 13, 2011
    Ar Tonelico is a difficult game to judge, as fan of Japanese things and story I tend to like these kind of things. However my reviewer self isAr Tonelico is a difficult game to judge, as fan of Japanese things and story I tend to like these kind of things. However my reviewer self is not a kind. This game excels in story, music, and character development. Not going to lie despite all the characters being generic I liked them a lot. I loved the concept of diving into people's minds to know more about them as well as the conversations after making a item. The encounter rate at bottom was a nice and once you killed enough things in a area they would all leave you alone. However the battles themselves are easy and boring. While I don't mind turn based combat this game does not do it well though the song magic was nice twist. However while you acquire new ways to kill foes by singing the you get overburdened with songs most of which you never use. It is quite possible to beat the game using the default beginners magic for the entire game. However I liked the concept of Ar Tonelico and while the combat isn't at all great a lot of detail went into the creation of it's world. While it's all done in sprite based artwork and doesn't look all Final Fantasy fantastic I enjoyed the look of it. Not to mention you can switch over the god awful English voices for the Japanese ones. While it's a nice treat for us fans of Japanese things it's easy to see why someone would get bored of it. Full Review »
  3. jessicom.
    May 7, 2007
    Very boring at first but it gets addictive/enjoyable to play spcially when you get a new song/technique for your reyvateil.