Mana Khemia for PS2, PSP this spring

Spiritual successor to Atelier Iris.

Nippon Ichi Software Europe plans to release Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis on PS2 and Mana Khemia: Student Alliance on PSP here this spring.

Both are spiritual successors to the popular Atelier Iris series, and their arrival heralds a new level of support for Europe from Nippon Ichi Software, according to the press release. NIS titles had previously been handled here by KOEI in the main.

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis has been around since June 2007 in Japan, and from March 2008 in the US. Metacritic averages score the game at 68 per cent, with critical opinion divided; some call the PS2 game archaic, while others enjoyed a fresh take on RPG conventions.

Mana Khemia: Student Alliance for PSP sounds more interesting: the game only launched last September in Japan, and is not due for the US until 17th February.

And, being a much newer game, there are improvements: co-op mode for friends and the option to partially install the game to Memory Stick for faster loading times.

Mana Khemia is set in and around an alchemy school where classmates go about their education, interacting with students and professors while uncovering the secrets of their craft. Making this stand out are inventive crafting systems and no random battles. Hooray.

Head over to our Mana Khemia: Student Alliance gallery for some screenshots.

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