-A lovely and enjoyable Story
-Great Continuation of the Original Alchemy System
-Time Management Returns from previous titles
-New Game+ Returns offering post-game extensiveness.
-Smooth Battle and Party System
-Unique ways to Finish Main Game
-Outfits and Atelier Decor
To begin Atelier Firis and the Great Journey is a great game. It’s one that definitely gives of the vibes of the last gen games from the same series and ones close to it. Atelier Firis goes back to the smooth-opening moments and compliments such with a good start to what turns into a magnificent story.
With Atelier Firis you start out as a shut in girl who just wants to experience the world. This isn’t just metaphorically, she and her entire village are located inside a mountain and aren’t allowed to leave. One major difference between this game and other Atelier games is alchemy was unknown to the village. After a traveling alchemist visits, the game sets in motion the events for her to take this journey to become an Alchemist herself. This lets you experience two things that make this a great quite early into its gameplay time.
First is the alchemy system which come as no surprise. It’s a trademark system for Firis and is mostly a continuation of the one introduced in Atelier Sophie. The controls and navigation for it seem to be much smoother. Something very useful is that beside each recipe is a symbol that indicates if you are able to craft the item. If you are not there are different symbols as to say why. If its only cause you missing a component that you can craft its a triangle. This is where the second part of usefulness comes into play. Going into the recipe you want that is missing the component you need it will quick link you to the recipe to make the piece your missing.
Now unlike Sophie and even the last two Atelier games on PS3. Firis, fortunately, has brought back the age old Time Management System. This is a definite must to consider having in the game. This mechanic influences how players will play and approach everything they do. This even includes the games core mechanic – alchemy. A lot of your time can get sucked up real fast doing alchemy, specifically with the quick link to missing components. The time system is split up in 2 sections of the game. First is you have 30 in game days to finish your tasks in your village where you begin or you don’t get to leave. The second and major part is once you leave the village you get 365 days to complete your main quest and get to the end game city.
This can seem like a lot but it can disappear without a trace in no time. If this happens its game end with the not so happy ending for our Ms. Firis. This sadly happened to me, but it introduced one of the most fun aspects to return to the series that was absent from the previous one, New Game +.
For fans who missed this in Atelier Sophie this a great thing to have reestablished within the franchise. Especially with the implementation of the Time system. With New Game+ whenever you do beat the game you get a clear data save. If you load this save file you can start you next play through with all gear, gold, and Alchemy proficiency for items you have crafted. The only things that wont carry over are level, items, and any adventure quest items. This will give you a nice early start in the next playthrough and even make it easier to play at higher difficulty if so desired.
The battle system for Atelier Firis is very smooth and extremely reminisce of old systems. Characters can equip 2 weapons except for Firis herself. While in combat you have you action bar on right for attack order and a chain meter on left. Great thing about this is you can plan out your combos with ease. Enemies can also be knocked back to extend the turns for your characters. With the chain gauge you can get your other party members to shield Firis against attacks. Or once its full you go into essentially combo mode. As long as your character are in line to attack after each other you can chain attack items and skills for each. After reaching a certain level two different times you get to unlock chain breaks and chain finishers.
With Finishers if chain multiplier is high enough you get to choose who you want to use there ultimate attack. Know you can only choose 1 of the 4 in your party for that combat. But, your allowed to have up to five total in party including Firis. This means you can be strategic with party comp depending on your enemies. Even with your party full there are at least 2 others you can switch in and out of your travel party. Post game you get another two after you meet some requirements.
There have been a ton of Atelier games made going back to the era of PlayStation 2. With that being said this Atelier game has one of the most unique and interactive endings. If you are able to make it to the final city of the game within the time limit you get to take and Exam. Provided you have met your requirements. Now this isn’t just a standard u get there you pass. Oh you did what you needed and you made it your good, no. You the player actually get to take the exam. If your score high enough with a combined total for the 3 parts of the exam you pass. Even if you do pass the ending game exam there is still a lot you can do post game
When it comes to post game content, this one has a heck of a lot. If you choose to play post game you start back at your town and get to go explore the world again. Experience places and people you didn’t get to or couldn’t at first. You can also get new quests and alchemy recipes that you couldn’t your first time through. There is just so much waiting to be done after you finish the main story that it’s truly unbelievable. As was mentioned before if you do some requirements post game you get 2 more people for your party making choices and battle more fun. Some things can only be accessed post game, most useful is a doll for your atelier.
Atelier Firis and the Mysterious Journey – PlayStation 4
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Release Date: Available Now
The doll you get you can give a certain item to to fill its inventory. It will then refill the uses on your equipped items as long as they have at least one use left. In order to use the doll you have to set it up inside your Atelier via the Atelier decoration system. This system is one of two that makes the game more fun and interactive With the decoration system you can expand inventory, get better perks for alchemy, or just deck out the atelier. The other system is the ability to change Firis’s outfit to one that has been unlocked in game. Each outfit can give different perks such as faster movement or being able to do more stuff before having to rest up.
Atelier Firis is definitely a remembrance of what the Atelier games are all about. The alchemy system, re-introduction of time management, and the return of NG+ are all wonderful to experience. If you want to enjoy the story or just explore the world and see what you can find on the journey of a lifetime Atelier Firis is a must play. All of this is thanks to the gaming bringing back what made the series great to begin with.
Our review is based upon a retail version of the game given to us by the games publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 10 out of 10
About the Writer:
Chris Adee is one of B.A.T.G.R.’s JRPG writers who seems to love three things. Sleep, games, and MOBA’s. He also likes games. A lot. Oh and anime. Did we mention anime?