Metascore
74

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
Buy On
  1. 93
    One of the most enjoyable RPGs I’ve ever played. It’s got a leisurely feel and pace to it unlike anything else I’ve seen.
  2. 90
    You may not like it as much as I did, but in the end, you will have enjoyed this game more than a lot of other PS2 games out there.
  3. If you are looking for a good RPG to sink into for a while, buy this. For RPG and Anime fans, it's not to be missed.
  4. AceGamez
    90
    One the best RPG experiences to grace the PS2 in a while, ranking up there with Final Fantasy X and Disgaea. Every aspect from story to gameplay to audiovisual appeal is well executed, making it a fresh, unique experience.
  5. The biggest complaint is that some of the English voices are really lacking, especially comparing them to how the Japanese voice actors sound doing the same (or similar) lines, and the entire jumping mess. Outside of that, this is a very solid title, and quite possibly a contender for 2005 RPG of the year.
  6. Atelier Iris isn’t without its faults, and it will not appeal to everyone – the humor is consistently tongue-in-cheek which will drive some people away. In all, though, this game is a rare treat for the traditional RPG enthusiast.
  7. A wonderful game and recommend it for any RPG fan who needs a game to spend 40-80 hours on.
  8. 85
    Characters may seem clichéd and the plot itself may feel repeated, but the game offers up a gameplay experience that is simply fantastic.
  9. Like an old shoe: you know it so well, and it's made so sturdily, that every time you slip back into it, it feels like it belongs there. It's a comfortable, deeply satisfying game, the type of game that you'll find yourself taking more from than just a fun story, despite yourself.
  10. Game Informer
    83
    The icing on this cake of RPG happiness is the clever and relatively gaffe-free localization. [June 2005, p.128]
  11. For those who pine the 16-bit days, Atelier Iris is a wonderful bit of nostalgia that's good fun to play.
  12. netjak
    83
    If you like RPGs and games that have a sense of humor you should get this now. You'll be happy that you did.
  13. A more-than-solid RPG throwback that does much more right than it does wrong.
  14. Play UK
    81
    With over 400 items to be discovered or created in the game, Eternal Mana is a micro-manager's dream. [Apr 2006, p.103]
  15. PSM Magazine
    80
    A decent localization, really likeable characters (despite the bland main quest), some rather funny dialogue, and the meaty synthesizing feature are simply too satisfying to pass up. [July 2005, p.84]
  16. This is a quintessentially Japanese videogame reminiscent of classic 16-bit titles such as Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger, albeit married to a Nippon Ichi-style fanaticism for detail and Pokemon's kleptomaniacal Gotta Catch ‘Em All mechanic.
  17. 80
    Atelier Iris Eternal Mana may not be as polished as other similar titles but does provide a fun and addictive RPG that should appease old school RPG gamers.
  18. While this is very much a linear experience, the pacing is relaxed and gamers could enjoy the puzzles and the diversity of the crafting experience.
  19. Stylistically, the game borrows heavily from many predecessors, including Lunar, Grandia and all entries of Squaresoft’s Secret of Mana franchise. But with just the right amount of borrowing and combining of different elements into something new, alchemy becomes wholeheartedly amusing, entertaining and rewarding.
  20. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    75
    A potent concoction that should appeal to any RPG fan. [July 2005, p.112]
  21. Play Magazine
    75
    As a lighthearted, beautifully drawn RPG, Atelier Iris delivers exactly as promised, a deep, non-violent, involving, at times engaging fantastical quest, which is surely more than suitable for its niche. [June 2005, p.52]
  22. A purely traditional -- some might say dated -- role-playing game that's so engrossing and charming that its lack of innovation is forgiven.
  23. With its unique sense of humor and style, Atelier Iris will more than likely appeal to fans of previous Nippon Ichi titles.
  24. 75
    The innovation is there, and what’s expressed is done well. But Atelier Iris suffers from some really stupid mistakes. In a genre that relies heavily on keeping gamers interested, the backtracking, silly errand missions and slow progressing story don’t help at all.
  25. With its simple, turn-based battles, storybook universe, and saccharine characters, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana feels like a throwback to the glory days of the SNES role-playing games--which is the best thing that can be said for a game like this.
  26. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    70
    While at times a throwback to the last generation of RPGs, it's surprisingly full-featured and charming; fans of the item crafting in "Star Ocean" will be in heaven. [July 2005, p.75]
  27. Atelier Iris Eternal Mana relives the glory days of 16-bit RPGs with a fine polish to it. Although, many RPG gamers are into the genre for the story, which is Atelier Iris Eternal Mana's weakness.
  28. 70
    It's a visual treat; it has extremely solid gameplay and an enjoyable story. While there's nothing new here, everything is crafted with care and the polish shines through.
  29. Edge Magazine
    70
    The game’s inimitable character bursts at the seams of what was clearly a limited budget. There is none of SquareSoft’s dull-eyed cinematic waste here, which will no doubt alienate swarms of both genre fans and critics. But the charm of the title coupled with its breathtaking breadth and depth will win over more discerning gamers. [Aug 2005, p.91]
  30. The use of alchemy and the ability to turn almost anything in the environment into base ingredients for your magic is a fun and unique take on the RPG genre.
  31. games(TM)
    70
    Patience with Atelier Iris, however, comes with its own rewards as the game manages to open up in more creative ways (besides the mastery of the simple but solid fighting system) once you begin amassing Mana and mana. [Sept 2005, p.106]
  32. Unfortunately complex systems and a light atmosphere can’t replace the features it needs to be a solid RPG.
  33. GamePro
    60
    You'd have to be a die-hard devotee of the art of the Japanese RPG to find delight in [Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana]; the rank-and-file gamer will find it as slow as mud and about as thrilling. [July 2005, p.98]
  34. 60
    Even when padded with so many routine elements, RPG players will probably enjoy Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana, and why not? What seems routine to a non-fan is just genre convention to an insider.
  35. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    60
    A cookie-cutter RPG lifted by characterization and sustained exploration vibe, but hurt by sub-PSone visuals. [Feb 2006, p.92]
  36. Computer Games Magazine
    50
    The dullness of the story, the combat, and the character development ultimately overshadow the game's main draw. [Sept 2005, p.88]
  37. 50
    As an RPG, Atelier Iris undoubtedly fails. As competently constructed as it is, as bright its script and characterisation may be, its principal design elements simply do not offer enough to consistently provide much beyond a standard role playing experience.
  38. The game is still plagued by most amateurish of design blunders, being less than adequate in every aspect save for its "depth" (and even that is put to shame by most of the stat-based Nippon Ichi titles released in the past few years).

Awards & Rankings

#72 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2005
#48 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2005
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 37 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. MartR.
    Jun 30, 2005
    5
    The bright anime slideshow keeps up the pace and the moronic alchemy keeps you entertained for the major part of this ordeal, however, only a The bright anime slideshow keeps up the pace and the moronic alchemy keeps you entertained for the major part of this ordeal, however, only a tired mind will keep going after the initial burst of energy is spent. Fighting gets pushed back, making headway for endless trading, synthesizing and chat missions. Which is a shame, because fighting is so much fun in this game. The utterly atrocious translation kills another three points off the score. Full Review »
  2. Dec 11, 2012
    8
    Among the many creators or RPGs, Gust is one of my favorite after Atlus (and for the western side, Bethesda). For what I recall, this was oneAmong the many creators or RPGs, Gust is one of my favorite after Atlus (and for the western side, Bethesda). For what I recall, this was one of their first games that was released outside Japan (infact, it's one of the fewest Atelier games where the main character is a male because of the habit of having male characters in here), and I was hooked immediately by the game's charm: it has a sloppy but cute graphic, a roster of simple yet interesting characters, and a (small) world to explore and play, without mentioning that you can also interact with the enviroment (you can jump, for starters, and you'll have spells to help you clear the way or pass over obstacles). The Atelier series (and almost all Gust games) is clearly known for the synthesizing feature, and unlike many games where this is hard and manytimes useless, it's actually rewarded and it's "rarely" a chore. It plays like a turn based RPGs, a simple yet good system, and you're also able to change characters between turns if needed, because characters are strongly unique in both their attacks range (one can attack in a vertical line, some can attack in a wider, etc) and spells (Klein, the main character, is the only one who can create strong spells with alchemy, and Lita is the fastest character and can sometimes attack twice in a row). Of course, being a Gust game, it has plenty of flaws (and few bugs). First of all, the prospective used in the game is sometimes very hard to follow. The locations are all set in a isometrical prospective but unfortunely it can become hard to see where to go: some ledges might be lower than you think and at times you think you can jump somewhere close, but it's higher than your jump: this can be extremely frustrating because you'll never understand how the places are designed. Also, the graphics are definitely not high quality and the animations are very minimalistic and even though I don't bother bad graphics and such, some people might not be able to get over it. Same goes for the battle system: it's actually well thought and kinda deep: you are in a small invisible grid and depending on which position you are, you can avoid area, and you won't be able to target all enemies at once because of their divisions. Each character has also their skills (about 8 in total: passive and active included), each one upgradeable by using different manas and at every level up, with also few skills to obtain with some extra missions. Again, this might discourage some players because it's kinda deep, but not completely necessary, and unless you really want to maximize your characters you won't be really bothering that much, since a good grinding will do the trick anyways. The world map also, which is small but a nice addition (this is one of the fewest game I've played on the PS2 where there's an actual world map), but it's terribly done and, once again, if you cannot pass the bad graphics, you will NOT endure this. The story also isn't bad but it's also that great, for two reasons: 1) you'll focus your time doing synthesizing in order to make more items (which, by the way, trigger more sub-events that explains the background characters, which are very remarkable) 2) the main villain is very forgettable and while the story itself is interesting, you'll never remember why you're doing all this. Also, some characters with you aren't very good (two of them) because one will be hindered by an event in the game, while the other...has a very bad skill list, and so you'll focus on three or four max (luckily, all characters share exp, just halved). All in all, I can say this: it's a fun game to play and has its own style, but the game and graphical flaws might discourage people to play it. If you're a nostalgic and don't mind bad graphics, but a different JRPG from the usual Final Fantasy, I highly recommend to give this game a try. On the other hand, if you cannot play a game that's not as high in quality as Final Fantasy, don't even look at this game. Or else you will faint from just seeing the graphics and bad translations bits (some dialogues are ok though)! Full Review »
  3. Jul 19, 2012
    6
    Very interesting RPG with an easy to use battle system.
    Some of the dialogue can be cheesy, but overall a good story with good voice actors
    Very interesting RPG with an easy to use battle system.
    Some of the dialogue can be cheesy, but overall a good story with good voice actors (Japanese anyway, I couldnt really stand the dub).
    The battle system is fairly straightforward and allows you to swap out team members while in combat, which can really come in handy during certain fights (or if a team member dies).
    The Synthesize system, which although very interesting, can also be very tedious. Getting new recipes can sometimes require you to check back into a shop several times before a new one pops up. Some recipes require rare monster drops and thus need to be farmed. And of course, you will get new recipes which require ingredients from recipes that you do not have yet (and need to keep checking back in or synthesizing new items).
    I would rate the game overall a 7/10, but the ending felt very lackluster and short.
    Full Review »