So after being lost and frustrated in the forest I eventually found my way out of there and arrived at the White House. This is a place where an evil man has been experimenting with children and turning them into monsters. There’s a political joke around here somewhere but I’m going to gracefully walk away.

The cool thing about Ark II is how it mixes traditional and strategy RPG’s. There’s a lot of walking around and talking to characters which is familiar to me from typical Japanese RPG’s. But there are no random battles at all. Instead you enter an area and hit a trigger which starts a battle. These are similar to strategy RPG’s but also quite different from something like Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics. The battles really remind me of the Shining Force games, and that’s a good thing because they were some of my early experiences with console RPG’s. There’s a grid, you move into position and execute attacks or use special abilities each turn while the enemies do the same. Unlike more current strategy RPG’s, Ark II’s battles take place fairly quickly. They usually take 5-6 minutes I’d guess.

It’s a nice system and makes it easy to want to keep playing. I’m about 10 hours in now.

After making our way through the White House we came upon an interesting boss battle – Gunhed.

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This guy was a lot of fun to fight. He had around 8 different parts to him and all had to be destroyed to defeat him. Once he was removed we found the poor children who were being held captive in the White House, just like Elc once was. The bad thing is the current evil guy du jour Gallarno turned them into vicious creatures so we had to kill them all. In the process, Elc was wounded and the whole group was rescued by Arc and his airship.

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I’m kind of at a loss as I gave up on Ark I so I really don’t know what Arc and his gang are up to. However, the second game is so much better than the first that I really couldn’t see finishing it just to see what happens in the story.

A couple of other things. Lieza has an ability that lets her capture monsters. We started out with a monster in our group and I had her capture a kobold several hours back and that’s it. Maybe I should be capturing more monsters but I like the two I have right now. Also I have the Ark the Lad Monster Arena which apparently lets you build your characters or captured monsters further. I haven’t touched it.

These may be fatal mistakes that come back to haunt me but so far the game has given me no indication that I should be doing something else. It’s certainly not been a difficult game up to this point.

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