Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy Review – Let’s Return To Comfy Crafting

The follow-up to the extremely cozy alchemy-driven Atelier Ryza has arrived. How does it measure up to its predecessor? Let’s dive into the twenty-second entry in the Atelier franchise.

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Review: Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon – A Moon That’ll Never Set

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Pros:
+An outstanding soundtrack as well as solid atmospherics that set the mood
+Graphics have been heavily upgraded from the previous entry offering more depth and artistic value
+Extremely enjoyable cast members that each feel unique and well rounded

Con:
-Combat system feels dulled down due to the limited party sizes
-Time restrictions while playing the game
-Exploring is slightly limited compared to the previous entry


Before games launch, we’re used to seeing a lot of interest being drawn in just before they hit the shelves in order to grow the games publicity, but also to reach a rather large audience. Games like NiohDOOM, and even Wolfenstien II: The New Colossus did this rather well. One such game that hasn’t, just happens to be Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon, a game that carries on the traditional elements we’ve seen from developer Gust in previous years.

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Review: Dark Rose Valkyrie – Let the Petals Dance

Pros:
+Extremely beautiful graphics, character animations, and well written scenario
+Strong soundtrack, score, and combat systems.
+Dual Audio allows for a rather fun and enjoyable time

Cons:
-Areas of the game are blocked off unless required by the games story
-Combat scaling could have used some work.


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Dark Rose Valkyrie is a joint venture with artist and mangaka, Kosuke Fujishima (Ah! My Goddess, Sakura Wars, nearly every Tales Of title), scenario writer, Takumi Miyajima (Tales of Symphonia, Tales of the Abyss, screenplay for Fate/Zero), and Compile Hearts (Hyperdimension Neptunia, Mugen Souls, Record of Agarest War) set in an alternate version of 1920’s Japan, where the world is dealing with a dangerous virus that can turn people into Chimera, thanks to the Black Garnet meteorite that hit the Earth. You assume the role of Asahi Shiramine, the new commander of Special Force Valkyrie and together with your team of anime stereotypes, you fight back against the chimera threat.

You’re squad is comprised of such tropes as the naïve rich girl, the hard core Japanese character, the gun nut, the super shy kid, the super tomboy kid, the horn dog, and a down to Earth son of a wealthy family. During your journey, you’ll uncover each teammate’s quirk/issue, build a stronger team, and fight against the true threat of the game after a twist later in the game, or so I’ve gathered as I was only able to put in roughly 30 hours.

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Sit-Rep: Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book – When Alchemy Decides to Backfire


Pros:
+An astonishing soundtrack that stays true with the games locales and scenery.
+Character designs are top notch bringing Sophie and Plachta to life
+A newly implemented alchemy system that brings both new and old to life
+Outfit changing brings the game to life from being stale and boring
Cons:
Brings forth a lack of story, which is not known in previous entries
The battle system feels weak and troubled since the days of Escha and Logy
New Game+ is absent in this newest title

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Much like any Atelier game, our newest title starts off pretty plain, pretty simple, and with a bit of a trademark design. In the beginning we are introduced to our playable character – Sophie. With her aspirations to become a great alchemist recognized, it’s time for he to take on the works of her grandmother whom has passed. With her family legacy being known as a renowned alchemist of the atelier arts, it’s now Sophie’s turn to try and take to such greatness. With her grandmothers book in her possession, it’s not her time to take over and begin picking up where her legacy begins.
As one would expect, the book is where much of her story will unfold as it is not just any book, but a special one known as Plachta. Working along side Sophie, Plachta will help Sophie unlock the memories hidden within Plachta to find out the memories her grandmother left behind that have since become hidden. While exploring the world in order to unlock a rather tough alchemical formulae and the memories, the two will take on extraordinary tasks as visitors will come and go within her life while they explore new recipes and materials to help create them.
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As one would expect, the Atelier titles do live up to expectations on their graphical standard. With their visuals becoming more consistent across each release; their’s a sense of tradition to the titles as they have taken on their cel-like anime approach with shading. Those of you familiar with the titles on both PlayStation 3 and even the PlayStation Vita – they’ve remained on-par as they upgraded into their 1080p standard. For those of you who visited titles like Night of azure, Dragon Ball Xenoverse or even Digimon Cybersleuth, you’ve come accustomed to what the graphics will be like. The graphics are perhaps one of the most appealing things about the game as players find themselves lulled in by them next to the songs that play throughout the game.
Even with its anime like approach to character designs, anime-like soundtracks, and traditional crafting gameplay, the game has been tweaked a bit to ensure that even the most hardcore of fans won’t get bored. With each character in the series, girl that is, remains lighthearted, loving, ditsy, cute, and even a bit damsel-ish, the games remain fun as players get underway through their tales. Unfortunately, that’s about it for this game as it does find itself a bit troubled when all-else comes into play.
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Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book – PlayStation 4 (Reviewed)
Developer: Gust
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Price: $59.99 USD
Released: Available Now
While this game does offer up a common moniker that the series is renowned for it doesn’t fail to drop the traditional JRPG like mechanics. Combat is straight-forward within the title as players will pick what attack they want to perform, items to use, and what their combat rotation comes out to be. After a good 30-40 hours in, players will find themselves incomplete in ways if they are wanting to finish unlocking their trophies. While New Game+ has been a traditional piece of this franchise, this one falls short of doing so and leaves players with a single playthrough.
As you’d expect – Atelier Sophie is a decent game. Definitely not what was expected especially being the first one for this generation of console. Character design and soundtrack were wonderful as to be expected with the Atelier titles. The new alchemy system felt new yet familiar which was very refreshing. However it doesn’t make up for the lack of good story and feeling like you are getting nowhere fast or even a normal pace. Time management, Battle system, Leveling, and lack of a NG+ among other things kept this game from being better then it was and/or expected to be. However still looking forward to what the next Atelier game will hold for us fans. Hopefully the next time around will try a tidbit harder to bring back the love the series got from previous titles.

Our review is based on a copy provided to us by the games publisher.  For information about our ethics policy please click here.

 Final Score: 5 out of 10


About the Writer:

chris_adeeChris Adee is one of B.A.T.G.R.’s newest writers who seems to love three things. Sleep, games, and MOBA’s when he’s not goofing around on Warframe and SMITE. He also likes games. A lot. Oh and anime. Did we mention anime?