Should you learn my assessment for Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists And The Mysterious Work, you then may recall that it was the Arland trilogy that broke me. I couldn’t get previous the truth that Gust might make a collection so endearing and enjoyable, however hamper every thing with time constraints.
Truthfully, it felt like a imply joke; one made all of the extra merciless by the truth that these very time constraints have been the one elements of the unique trilogy — Atelier Rorona, Totori and Meruru — that I took actual difficulty with. The characters? Beloved them. Primary Gameplay? Considerably normal, however no complaints. Alchemy? Superior. Time constraints? Move. So I did — for 5 lengthy, Atelier-less years.
So the furthest factor from my thoughts again when Koei Tecmo confirmed the Arland Trilogy can be coming to trendy platforms was the potential of a continuation. “Time for a brand new trilogy,” I assumed. “We’re getting an anniversary title quickly, so now’s the right alternative for Gust to take all the things it’s discovered all through Atelier’s expansive historical past and begin recent.”
And it seems I used to be lifeless incorrect: we’re again in Arland. However you realize what? I’m glad we’re, as a result of my return in Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland has been a joyous one.
Very similar to its predecessors, from the soundtrack to the general aesthetic, Atelier Lulua bubbles with allure. In contrast to its predecessors although, this recreation is designed so that everybody can truly expertise it.
Briefly: Lulua is very accessible.
Need to go on a synthesis bender? Don’t fear, there’s no time restrict. Having hassle understanding a selected mechanic? There’s a collection of guides within the pause menu. Have to go someplace quick? Use the quick journey perform on the town. Nervous about your merchandise expenditure? You’ll quickly end up bathing in them as soon as sure options are unlocked.
There isn’t any half on this recreation that hasn’t been designed to be extra approachable when in comparison with previous entries. There’s nonetheless loads of complexity, in fact, simply that newcomers aren’t going to really feel compelled to tug their hair out earlier than they attain these elements.
Nevertheless, whereas the gameplay was designed with newcomers in thoughts, the identical can’t be stated for the general narrative — it’s for knowledgeable gamers solely.
Truly, let me make clear: anybody can perceive Atelier Lulua’s narrative, however solely a portion of them will have the ability to absolutely recognize it.
This recreation takes place roughly seven years after the conclusion of the unique trilogy, so whereas most of the characters protagonist Elmerulia “Lulua” Frixell meets in the course of the course of the sport can be first-time encounters for newcomers, these conferences might be reunions for everybody else.
Piana may simply be Lulua’s instructor to newcomers, however everybody else will keep in mind her because the 13-year-old woman who they saved from being eaten in Totori. In the meantime, Keina Swaya would solely come off to newcomers because the beloved Guild Receptionist in Arls, however skilled gamers will know she’s truly Meruru’s greatest good friend. Even the importance of Rorona Frixell, Lulua’s mom, will go over a newcomer’s head.
As an alternative, such gamers should accept the brand new forged members to develop an attachment to. They aren’t dangerous by any means, and I shortly discovered myself enamored with the lovable Lulua whose solely dream is to turn out to be an alchemist and stay as much as her mom’s popularity, together with the caring Eva Armster who might be as candy as sweet at one second and as scary as a demon within the subsequent, however they characterize a minority of the forged in a recreation that leans closely on nostalgia.
None of that is to say that newcomers need to play the unique trilogy although — they will, they usually’ll make it although simply nice. And fortuitously, the narrative is the one space the place newcomers will discover themselves at a real drawback. Comparatively, when coping with Atelier Lulua’s core gameplay, they’ll get alongside simply wonderful.
Lulua’s journey to match the alchemical prowess of her mom will take her from one finish of the continent to the opposite, visiting three main hubs and a plethora of places akin to a dilapidated fort and technologically superior ruins.
Truthfully, none of those areas are value writing residence about within the graphics division (they’re enhancing!), however they’re well-designed and different sufficient to stave off the monotony that may inevitably come as Lulua repeatedly bleeds their assets dry.
And there are many methods she will go about doing this, however the quickest technique is just by hand or smacking one thing together with her rod. Nevertheless, as soon as her quests and recipes name for rarer supplies, she’ll have to make use of particular instruments, corresponding to bombs, fishing rods, bug nets and pickaxes, to get what she needs.
Nevertheless, there are numerous supplies that not even the almighty bomb can purchase, so Lulua might want to battle for them as an alternative.
Fight in Atelier Lulua isn’t notably good or dangerous — it simply exists. This isn’t essentially a nasty factor, simply that battles aren’t all that memorable or something you’ll ever be enthusiastic about. There are some nuances that serve to differentiate it from different turn-based JRPGs at the least, resembling utilizing synthesized gadgets to deal injury and inflict standing illnesses, however that’s principally it.
In comparison with different Atelier titles although, I might say Lulua is a little more technical.
As an example, as an alternative of the previous format the place three frontline characters are paired with one every from the again, your celebration now consists of three frontline characters and two within the rear. This new format supplies the setup for 2 of the sport’s mechanics: follow-up assaults and Primal Arts.
Comply with-up assaults work the identical approach as earlier than, permitting a backrow character to leap in and do an assault of their very own if the right circumstances are met, however now two characters can fulfill these circumstances as an alternative of the standard one; and Primal Arts present bonuses to sure get together members based mostly on their present formation.
There’s one mechanic I actually favored although: Interrupt — it’s sort of busted. Because the battle progresses, a meter within the bottom-right part of the display fills, and an alchemist in your celebration will be capable of immediately get a free flip and use a pre-set merchandise as soon as stated meter is full. What’s so nice about that? First off, these things don’t run out. Second, every alchemist has an Interrupt Talent, like Lulua having an opportunity to re-activate her Interrupt command, additional enhancing the power of your gadgets if the correct circumstances are met.
In fact, whether or not it’s preventing or gathering, every thing is completed for a single objective: Alchemy.
I can’t overstate how a lot I really like the alchemy function within the Atelier collection. There aren’t many video games on the market that permit the participant to make virtually something they need, and even much less that permit these gadgets to have a plethora of potential outcomes relying on which supplies are used. Did you employ a special materials to make your magic sword? Watch as your new creation achieve the power to leech MP, on the expense of a piece of the consumer’s well being.
In the long run, the one factor you might be positive of is that this: low-quality supplies will all the time yield low-quality gadgets, whereas high-quality ones can result in devastatingly efficient outcomes in case you play your playing cards proper.
In comparison with Lydie & Suelle, the alchemy in Lulua is way extra streamlined and easy. Gone are the grids and esoteric symbols from the previous, now changed by as much as 4 distinct bars denoted by a selected colour. Your goal: fill every bar through the use of the right supplies. The extra they’re crammed, the stronger their results grow to be.
It sounds straightforward sufficient, however it’s not so simple as you’d assume.
Apart from the truth that filling one bar can unfavorable impression your progress on one other, the system itself is extremely restrictive. There’s a cap on the utmost high quality your synthesized gadgets can attain for a lot of the recreation, whereas TP, the useful resource used to switch traits from supplies to the completed product, is briefly provide early on. And even if you do have a wholesome provide of TP, most of the stronger traits are locked behind fusion traits which might be arduous to return by till the sport’s later levels.
Luckily, there’s a brand new function, Woke up Results, to assist gamers out. Merely put, they’re additional traits that synthesized gadgets can inherit from their elements with none additional TP value. Even the essential ones, corresponding to growing how a lot of a selected bar an merchandise fills, are helpful, however issues get completely ludicrous when results comparable to enhanced injury, distinctive stat bonuses and particular standing illnesses come into play. There’s even an impact that allows you to change an merchandise’s classification, permitting them for use in a wider vary of recipes and permit for much more potential mixtures.
Even with its many sides, alchemy continues to be very approachable because of the Alchemyriddle, the mysterious ebook that Lulua “finds” at first of the sport. The e-book is separated into pages that correspond to a selected story chapter, every containing a set of required and elective riddles that grant Lulua new recipes, talents and even zones to discover if she solves them.
Admittedly, there’s the difficulty of story development being impeded sometimes on account of sure missions requiring Lulua to finish tedious aims like battling or synthesizing a sure variety of occasions, however this draw back is offset by the truth that all the rewards are correctly tuned relative to their location within the guide. In case you unlock a recipe in Chapter 2, then you definitely could be positive the elements essential to make them can be found at that time too. Equally, a brand new zone unlocked in Chapter four will most assuredly home enemies roughly on par with different enemies encountered throughout that chapter.
In the long run, synthesis in Atelier Lulua may throw some for a loop at first, however those that persevere will probably be tremendously rewarded. Stronger gear; simpler gadgets; higher quest rewards — they’re well worth the effort.
Lastly, I ought to point out that when once more there isn’t any dub. I can definitely stay with out it, however I’d be mendacity if I stated I wouldn’t miss the voices of English VAs like Christine Marie Cabanos, Liam O’Brien and Brianne Brozey.
One factor I undoubtedly wouldn’t miss although, is the ridiculous DLC.
I don’t know why Koei Tecmo out of the blue determined to develop into EA, however I’d be extremely appreciative if it stopped. I beforehand mentioned its DLC practices in Dynasty Warriors 9 and once more throughout my assessment of Lifeless or Alive 6, so none of that is new to me. However there’s simply one thing about an Atelier getting three separate Season Passes (if the Japanese model is any indication) that sends me up the wall.
And truthfully, even that in all probability wouldn’t hassle me an excessive amount of have been it not for the truth that each Totori and Meruru are poised to turn into DLC characters featured in separate passes. This is identical state of affairs that performed out with Lucia within the final recreation the place you’ve gotten characters who ought to be capable of be a part of you at a given level however don’t for some cause. There might have been a cool late/post-game mission to unlock them, however I assume paying actual cash works too.
Critically, please cease.
Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland proved me fallacious twice. Not solely did Gust truly make a follow-up to a accomplished trilogy, however I truly performed and finally loved it after I swore I wouldn’t. Although between the addictive synthesis, endearing characters and enjoyable story, I in all probability ought to have anticipated as a lot.
In the long run, it actually says lots that probably the most I can genuinely fault the sport for is that its narrative is considerably antithetical to its intent. Lulua needs to be a strong entry level for newcomers, and although it’s principally profitable, it’s those self same newcomers who are sometimes unnoticed within the chilly resulting from all the nostalgia and Atelier-branded fanservice featured all through.
Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland
- Out there On: PlayStation four, Nintendo Change, PC
- Revealed By: Koei Tecmo
- Developed By: Gust
- Style: RPG
- US Launch Date: Might 21st, 2019
- Reviewed On: PlayStation four
- Quote: “Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland, is each a strong continuation and entry within the collection, boasting a mixture of addictive alchemy and endearing characters that may attraction to present followers and newcomers alike. That stated, the latter would definitely get extra out of the return in the event that they play the unique trilogy first.”