First off, let me say this: I disliked the orignal To S
. While I liked the characters, the rest of the game just didn't connect with me.
That said, it's cool they show up in this game, but I like the main characters (and overall game) much better. Is it for newcomers? No. Is it humorous and fun? To me it is.
The main characters? I realize Emil could come off as annoying, but I have an immunity to that kind of thing. And once Emil gets his superpowered side, he and his other side start growing a pair as the game goes on (with a surprising reveal on who this other side really
is). Marta is a down-to-earth girl, which I enjoyed, and I could understand her crush on Emil, even as it didn't start out right. Still, she grows over the game as well, learning to really love Emil for who he is, both sides of him. Tenebrae? A funny snarker that I enjoyed every word of from him.
And along with the original cast, I enjoyed Richter, Decus and Alice (as well as our lesser-known rival commanders). Alice was a 'witch', I knew that right away, so I enjoyed her villany, because that's who she was. Decus is a bit delusional, but he's so funny at being, well, DECUS. Richter... well, he's awesome, thinks he's doing the right thing, and isn't afraid to speak his mind.
The gameplay is awesome, to me. It's simple enough for casual gamers, but it has depth too, allowing just the right amount of awesomeness you could want. From Mystic Artes to the widely different fighting styles of Emil and Marta, there might be something for everyone. The monster catching system I've seen before, for sure, but I enjoyed this game's version of how you catch the monsters. A wide variety of elemental artes and powers helps tremendously with that. It's also a joy to see them evolve from cute (or not-so-cute) forms to widely different forms, all with powerful or unique attacks or spells. And with 232 monsters you can collect, there's a monster for everyone's tastes.
The story is a bit convoluted, that is true, but it's not too hard to keep track of, though first timers won't get everything on a first playthrough. Still, it's enjoyable with it's twists and turns.
Not everyone will enjoy this game, for sure. Those who played the original and loved it, it's either love it or hate it for the sequel. Still, it's worth a shot, you might enjoy it after all.