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Atlus USA, Inc.
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 12, 2004   |   Episode 19 (Show Archive)  

   
Who?? Atlus, one of those publishers that flies right under the radar and drops a number of titles that get almost no press. Games like Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, and Choro Q. None of these games are top sellers, and most people probably can't even pronounce a few of those names, but who cares? They're still worth looking at, no?? Well, I think they are, and we need some padding or we're going to run out of websites.

Look and Design: Say what you will about the design, but this Atlus page doesn't look ANYTHING like the other pages we've reviewed. This looks more like a blog, a place where the news and announcements upstage everything else. You have the new releases on the right-hand side, but it's dwarfed when compared to the news feed . which just so happens to be right in the middle of the page, taking up more room than anything else! It's not that it's a bad design; it's just a little hard to get used to.


"I once thought I had mono for an entire year, It turned out I was just really bored."
Accessibility: Everything is on the front page; I'd be lying if I said any different. The news, the announcements, the game releases, the job listings, links to other sites, everything is all on the front page. Oh sure, it gets a little more in depth when you go into a game space or you click on the news links, but generally speaking, everything you could want is on the front page. Whether that's a good thing or not, I don't know, but it makes everything extremely convenient.

Insider Information: Since all the news is on the front page, you'd think I would have nothing to talk about. Haven't I said everything I need to say about the new section in the other two sections? In a word: Yes! So I'm going to spend a few seconds and talk about some of the other things you can find on the site. Like the job listings, which are currently calling for somebody with previous translation experience and strong reading skills. Hmm, that doesn't sound like anybody I know. Looks like they're out of luck.

Atlus did surprise us by having a whole section devoted to FAQs related to their games. Instead of linking to another website or suggesting you buy a strategy guide, Atlus actually provides you with a downloadable PDF that will answer just about any problem you could have with the game. These guides aren't available for all games, but there are enough here to warrant a look.

Parting Thoughts: As I was combing the website for juicy things to talk about, I noticed the quick link section that provides a bevy of useful sites. It has fan sites, popular RPG forums, Japanese sites, web comics, and even a couple of game retailers. But there's one thing that is not on this list . the media! No IGN, no GameSpot, nothing, they're just left out in the cold. But don't worry guys, you aren't alone, Defunct Games doesn't have a link there either, and we just spent a whole page talking about their website. Sheesh, what more does it take?

FINAL GRADE: B-

(Important Note: This review was written in 2004. As is the case with websites things tend to change and get moved around. We've decided to cover major companies who should have a presence on the web for many years to come, but the actual reviews of the layout may not be relevant for more than a month to a year. Having said that, we're hoping this article was still interesting, and if not, at least you go this extra little paragraph of explanation that you wouldn't normally get on the other websites.)
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