Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk
Good Game, but too similar to Rorona
I loved Atelier Rorona, Totori, and Meruru. So when I heard this game was coming out, I was very excited. But when I got it and started playing, I had a lot mixed feelings about this game.
-The soundtrack is amazing. To be honest, I think Atelier Ayesha has the best soundtrack in all of the Atelier Series (that I have played), beating Rorona, Iris, and Violet. But that is a matter of personal preference.
-The graphic is beautiful. The character designs and environment have a very pretty and clean look to them.
-This game is VERY similar to Atelier Rorona. The levels look the same, the way you move throughout the world map, the battle system, the synthesis/alchemy system, a lot of things were pretty much like Atelier Rorona. The story of Ayesha even takes place over a course of 3 years, just like Atelier Rorona.
-The voices of the characters. English Dub is the only option for this game. Personally, I don't mind English Dub too much, but there were many times where I think the English cast sounded too dull or emotionless.
If you have not played Atelier Rorona, then I would highly suggest you buy Rorona instead of Ayesha. They are very similar, but in terms of gameplay and character development, Rorona does everything better. But if you have played Atelier Rorona but wanted something different, then I would suggest you pass on Atelier Ayesha.
To be fair I am only about three hours into the game and so far I'm feeling a little disconnected from it. It's visuals and sound are as expected from GUST (meaning beautiful) but as far as narrative and game play it feels unbalanced. Several things have been tinkered with some good (stacking of items) and some bad (you have to push X how many times to make an item?) and some that are neither good nor bad (neat, instant world map) Meruru was a bit of an energetic girly girl, where as Ayesha (so far) is more of a bubble head, or Sarah from Star Ocean Last hope. Three hours in its not a bad game, but whether or not it's a good game the jury is still out for me. I would recommend this game to both new comers and those new the series. Those who adored Meruru are in for a bit of a shock so be warned it as it isn't alike in terms of cute, bold pastles and over the top girly sugar jpop. Perhaps there is the problem? Meh.
I love the Atelier series and having no time restrictions sounds like it will make the game a lot more relaxing and fun!!! I can't wait to play it!
Fans of the series MAY want to reconsider
As a fan of this series since Rorona, I was stoked to hear that this was coming out in March. But days after hearing a definitive release date, I've heard that there will be NO dual audio option, a feature that has been in the Atelier series since coming to the west. And to put more salt in the fans' wounds, the game will be PARTIALLY dubbed in English. So no Japanese voices, in which the game is fully voiced, and just a partial English dub to make up for no option for JP voices. ALSO, no LE or preorder bonuses because Tecmo Koei is distributing this game instead of NIS America. Regardless, I am still getting this game because I know for sure that this will be hard to find in retail stores and will go up in price online after it's been released, but still, a really bad business move by Tecmo Koei not staying true to the game's roots and betraying the fans as well.
I am stocked!
I love the Atelier series, upon playing Atelier Rorona. For this game not having time restriction is a breathe of fresh air. XD I am pre-ordering this.