Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland
A Grand Finale
Although the game remains a relatively niche title, those who are looking for a traditional JRPG or are fans of the series will love it. With its fine-tuned battle and synthesis systems, nice soundtrack and fun characters, the game is a definitive conclusion to the Arland series.
The end of the Arland trilogy
Rorona was my first take on the Arland trilogy and while the gameplay was rather dull, it was the character interaction and art that made me into a fan. Then came Totori, which vastly improved over Rorona and I enjoyed it very much. Then comes Meruru, which looks to end the series on a high note. If you're looking for a simple JRPG with characters that you'll like and nice looking art, look no further than the Atelier Arland trilogy. It may not cater to any of the "hardcore" gamers out there, but if you're an anime fan or someone who wants a break from the usual JRPG formula, I'd recommend this. For those starting out with the series, I'd recommend playing Rorona to get to know the characters, but if you want improved gameplay and better graphics, start off with Totori.
The Apprentice of Arland
With a host of improvements which both streamline and simplify gameplay elements, Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland is a game ordained to please both franchise veterans as well as casual JRPG fans. Featuring an onslaught of opportunities for gathering, synthesizing, fighting, and building, the game’s stirred sense of urgency and engaging mechanics are capable of cultivating marathon sessions. Much like the protagonist of each series entry, Apprentice of Arland exhibits the kind of development able to nurture feelings of nostalgia as one reflects on the progress of Rorona, Totori and Meruru.
I do appreciate how the person writing the description for the game managed to replace many of the "t"s with the number 2. That being said this game may be interesting. I found Ateleir Rorona to be rather dull though. Both of these games seem to focus on time management and alchemy unlike the Atelier Iris series or the Mana Khemia series which focus more on combat.
That wouldn't make this game bad per se, but it may not be my cup of tea.
Good for RPG and Atelier fans
If you liked the previous two games, then you will like this one. In terms of gameplay, quests, alchemy synthesis, everything is pretty much the same. The whole thing about expanding your kingdom is very similar to earning points as an Adventurer in Atelier Totori. Now, if you are playing this game for its story and character development (like I am), then you will not be disappointed. I think the story is pretty good, but that is a matter of personal opinion. As for the characters, they are heavily focused upon, a good part of this game will be you listening to their interactions and dialogues with one another. There are a lot of returning characters from the first two games, with a good amount of new characters as well. Personally, the character scenes are my favorite parts of the game. They are enjoyable to watch and pretty darn funny at times. As for the battle system, it is nice to have, but like the previous games, it is not what this game is about...if that makes sense. If I were to give a percentage on the different aspects of this game, I would give it the following: 15% Battles with enemy, 35% character interactions (talking, scenes, etc), 40% Alchemy (gathering, doing requests,etc), 10% exploring areas. I give exploring 10% because in this game, the locations that you go to only has one screen. For example, say you enter a forest on the world map, that forest only has one "room" to them, again its complicated to put into words, but I hope you know what I mean. But overall, this game is great if you are a fan of the series or are into other games like "Rune Factory" or "Harvest Moon". If you are new to these types of game, then it could take a little time to get used to it. Bottom line, a very good and highly underrated game.
This game is "OK"
When I started playing this game. I thought it would be entertaining. It was, for the first 3 hours. The next day, I was less entertained. This game is a kids game. It is not worth your money if you are a teen, like me.