If you've been waiting patiently for the release of NIS America's Japanese import RPG Mana Khemia: Student Alliance, I feel very badly for you. The game has been delayed and its release date pushed back to spring of 2009. Luckily, however, you can enjoy Japanese RPG action on your PlayStation 2 with the release of Ar Tonelico 2 -- Melody of Metafalica. It is in stores right now! Overall, it's a wash.
Student Alliance is the fourth entry in the Atelier Iris series. It simulates a campus, where you interact with classmates and teachers, and complete academic quests. But this isn't real life. You're not studying hotel and restaurant management at Central Wyoming College. Instead, you're a badass named Vayne Aurelius and you're studying alchemy at Al-Revis Academy.
Ar Tonelico 2 -- Melody of Metafalica is the sequel to Japanese turn-based RPG Ar Tonelico: The Girl Who Continues to Sing at the End of the World, which is the best name for a game ever. The game updates the original in some big ways, mainly by revamping the combat system -- a fact that actions within a Cosmosphere may now directly affect the storyline.