When all seems lost, and a game's localization seems impossible, Atlus saves the day. Such is the case with Tsugunai: Atonement. Developed and published by Sony Japan in February 2001, Atlus has taken the task of localization and will release the game in North America on November 27, 2001.
Tsugunai: Atonement revolves around the story of Leise, a mercenary who invoked the wrath of God when he removed a Treasure Orb from its pedestal. As retribution for his sins, his soul is separated from his body, and the only way he'll ever regain his original body is to travel around the world of Walondia, helping its inhabitants. The only way to help these suffering souls is to possess their bodies and change their ill fates. He must possess over a dozen characters who range from children to soldiers to fishermen and merchants. Each character will have their own items, weapons and statistics. When he finally restores light to the troubled world, Leise will uncover, and destroy, the evil that has invaded the land.
Tsugunai: Atonement's battle system is turn-based, and incorporates a number of innovative features. Abilities, spells, and summons are derived from gem stones. Each gem adds a unique ability that will help the player progress through the game's battles. When a character sustains damage in battle, it is possible to decrease the damage inflicted by the blow by hitting a button just as the attack lands. This technique will also allow a character to counter attack. Each time Leise possesses a character, he will be able to utilize their strengths and items, and will learn how to work with their weaknesses. This creates an in-depth battle system wherein the player will have a new experience every time a character is possessed.
Tsugunai: Atonement is also impressive in the audio/visual department. Landscapes and characters are smooth and clear. Sony obviously put their all into this game's graphics. There was also no mistake in picking a musician for this game; Yasunori Mitsuda of Chrono and Xeno fame scored this game. His Celtic themes are present in the game and will certainly impress any Mitsuda fan.
Up to this point in time, the PlayStation 2 has been rather limited in the number of quality RPGs available for it. Tsugunai: Atonement will be the first to usher in the wave of PS2 RPGs yet to come; and it looks to be quite a competitor in the upcoming clash.