Atelier Rorona:The Alchemists of Arland
Atelier Rorona The Alchemist of Arland is a darn good RPG with an admitted emphasis on item creation, which won’t be alien to those familiar with the Mana Khemia or past Atelier titles. The graphics really are surprisingly clean and pleasant, the voices aren’t anywhere near as annoying as they can often be in this genre, and there’s great balance and a significant challenge. I still wish more emphasis would’ve been placed on the traditional role-playing aspects – and I despise being hurried – but the whole production is very appealing to the targeted niche audience. As usual, that’s the final caveat: if this is your bag, you’ll like it. If not, there’s nothing here that will suddenly turn you onto quirky JRPGs. That’s the best way I can describe it.
To be honest when I first saw glimpses of this game back in July, I was skeptical. The idea of running an Alchemy Shop under imposed time constraints felt like work. I decided to pre-order it anyway, and in the very least give it a chance. I wasn't sure how hard to difficult the game mechanics would be, but after 12 straight hours of playing this game. I have this to say.
I am delighted to find that the alchemy system is very easy to understand and is pretty fun to use. I had worried that it would be too complex, and would involve too much guesswork. I was surprised to find that there isn't any guesswork involved, and everything you need to make is all in recipe format. The items that you need to make other items are broken up into categories or types such as supplement, liquid, gunpowder, spice, etc. Many items fall under specific but different categories and some have many different types of categories attached to them. A beehive, for instance, has three categories attached to it. Food, supplement, and gunpowder. You can use a beehive in any of the recipes that require an item that has one of these categories with varying results, depending on the quality. You can find a lot of the items you need while out adventuring in the world.
Also with the Alchemy system you do use up time when making items, which means that there is some time budgeting involved. Though much of it is common sense, and isn't as hard to manage as it sounds. You are always given a good amount of time to finish assignments and tasks. Of all the assignments I've had to do so far. I've managed to complete them well in advance. Which means more time to go wandering around, fighting monsters, collecting reagents and treasure chests. In preparation for the next assignment. It's actually pretty easy to do once you understand the basics.
The battle system I find to be pretty easy to use as well. With much of the variety in skills and skill points that you unlock with each level. You can hire friends to help you fight enemies that get between you and your treasures. The costs are pretty reasonable too. The overall battle design is a bit more simplistic that I had hoped, but to be honest I am fine with this.
You can buy armor from the store or create the equipment you need (later in the game armor and weapon synthesis opens up, and it is fairly quick in doing so). The stuff that you have to start is sufficient for the first half of the year, so don't worry about this right away.
There is more to this game than what I have written here, and I feel that it is worth the money I spent on it. There are a few minor gripes I have with it, but I think these can be overlooked. Anyway, I'm back to playing Atelier Rorona. Thanks for reading.
Wow I was planning to buy this game when I go to Japan this Winter Break but I don't have to now. I'm actually really surprised that they are releasing this game here in the US. I guess I can expect the 2nd one to come out as well
JRPG of the year
Atelier Rorona is by no means a perfect experience, but it's pretty darn close. The game continues the addictive alchemy-focused gameplay of Annie, while the charm and atmosphere really make the game come alive. Rorona can be completed in less than twenty hours, though in order to see and do everything that the game has to offer, multiple playthroughs will be a must. It's not possible to do everything in one playthrough, and considering how much content there is to discover, why would you want to? Rorona continues the grand tradition of creating an RPG experience that is all about the simplicities of life, coupled with the usual great cast of characters, and is a complete must for fans of the series.
Might please the "Atelier" fans
I won't write a whole lot of text but I'll go strait forward to the Pros and Cons.
- Has double Audio Language. English and Japanese voice. Though, I recommend the Japanese voice if you really want the characters come to life.
- Beautiful cell-shaded 3D models
- The Select button which acts as a quick move between maps in town.
- There is no "Game Over" after you lost a battle, instead you'll just lose Assignment Days.
- Too many events in one play through, and one play through is too short.
- Has the most disappointing battle system ever.
- If somehow you're just trying to get the assignment done, don't forget to level up your characters. Because the story progresses so fast, you won't even have time to level them up.
- I really, really recommend a guide or walkthrough. If you don't have a game guide, the game will get tough because of some hard to get items for completing your task. The guide can be found on the net by various authors.
- If you failed the Main Assignment, you'll get an instant Game Over. There's no 2nd or 3rd chance.
Thank you Gamestop, for this exclusive import!
Sweet! I just picked up my copy of this exclusive JRPG at a local Gamestop yesterday!
The limited addition is just beautiful! It has a special package with an awesome hard cover art book inside!
As for gameplay, you get to pick the original Japanese language or the English version which is awesome because people like me LOVE the original voice acting.
Anyways, this offer is just amazing! I hope Gamestop bring us more Japanese games in the future. Thank you! ^^
Atelier Rorona is a must own for anyone with a PS3. It’s charming, serene, and although it is a very laid back JRPG without any angst or world-threatening dilemmas, it has one of the deepest and most dynamic stories I’ve ever encountered in a RPG, Eastern or Western. The characters will capture your heart and you’ll be blown away by all the game has to do and how seamless the game combines JRPG turn based gaming with simulation aspects ala Age of Wonders or Civilization. Atelier Rorona is definitely one of the best games of 2010. Pick it up and see why.
Good work Nisa!!!
Awesome Game AND Bonus^^
Great game, I agree that is my seem like a girls game for some people, but really it's all about YOUR preference about the game itself, I enjoyed this game very much, mainly because it is pretty close to the prefect turn based games that i enjoyed when I was a child. The alchemy system was one of the best parts of the game because of all the original items with alchemy used in the game. The music in the game was very pleasing because it just totally went well with the gameplay itself. The graphics may not be up to date but, it's enough to enjoy the game itself. The only part of find a bother is the date system ,it makes the game a lot more different then most other JRPG games, but it is still a nice part of the game to show its different gameplay then most other RPGs. ^^
a surprisingly addicting JRPG.
when you first start this you feel a heavy sense of MEH, but after the game gets going it turns addicting pretty fast, my only complaint is having to manage time and seeing as i suck at time management it was a pain.
the battle system is honestly just there for the sake of having a battle system, but add in the time management aspect and you have no time to grind out levels as you MUST finish ur assignments or face game over, and the battle system is overly simplistic aswell, you cant even get a game over from dying, you just go back to the workshop and lose days off ur assignment.
the story is basically non existent apart from the 12 endings (1 for each character, the millionaire ending, the adventurer ending, the good/true endings and the bad end), it revolves around completing assignments by making items listed taking quality and item traits into effect. with many random events that are (or not) story related in between.
-Funny dialogue and lol moments
-Many different endings means many playthroughs.
-addicting item creation system (that IS the focus of the game after all)
-a nice kick back and relax JRPG without a million level grinds.
-dual audio support
-nice and clean translation, so far iv seen no errors
-Game wants you to keep ur adventure level up yet gives you little free time to actualy level yourself.
-bad battle system (but to be fair that's not really a focus)
-skills use HP to cast and that can leave you severely crippled when trying to use high level skills (as HP raises at a snail pace)
-some things at the start are not explained well at all forcing you to stumble into it or resort to the internet
so in closing if you want a good JRPG that isn't all about grinding out levels, don't 2nd guess this.
I'm buying it for sure
I was overjoyed to find out that this game will have an US release. I already pre-ordered it, and I sincerely hope the second one will also be released in NA.