Atelier games have progressed a long way since their humble origins so here's a wonderful collection of 3 of the more modern titles.
Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DX PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆
Atelier Sophie is one of my favourite games in the franchise. I originally played it after taking a long break from the series and it was actually the first Atelier game that I reviewed. What makes it such a special game is that it incorporates all of the elements that the franchise is known for while also offering a fine-tuned experience that's set in a vibrant and memorable world. Plus, its cast of characters is just awesome complete with the jovial Oskar, the sophisticated Monika, and who could forget the book-come-to-life Plachta? Its gameplay is supremely rewarding and streamlined, its music is incredible, and it's genuinely funny at times. What's not to love?
So, what's new in this DX version? Well, let me just say right off the bat that each of these games looks and performs basically the same as the original versions and the only deluxe things about them is content-oriented. In Atelier Sophie DX's case, you get a slightly more robust alchemy system with 3 extra cauldrons and a brand new costume for Sophie. You also have access to all of the previously available DLC which includes goodies such as costumes, items, music tracks, an extra gathering area, another difficulty setting, and an episode that ties in with Atelier Firis. That's a substantial amount of additional content, especially if you don't already have the DLC.Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book Review
Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey DX PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆
Next up is Atelier Firis which I personally find to be the most underrated entry in the series. Many gamers felt that its open-world setup took away from the classic formula. However, I found that this premise worked together beautifully with Firis' tale of moving away from her cave-based town in order to become an alchemist after travelling to the big city to take a prestigious alchemy test. This story also ties in with the time limit because you'll have to explore the world as much as possible while perfecting alchemy as best you can in order to ace the test at the end of your journey. Overall, I find it to be quite an inspiring tale of independence and determination.
The most substantial addition to Atelier Firis DX is its new vehicles including a plane shaped like a barrel, an adorable item-collecting dozer, and a yellow submarine. There's also a Puni drone that provides various benefits and generally makes exploration easier. If you're up for a challenge, you can take on 7 new quest monsters then face Palmyra in battle if you manage to beat the lot of them. Of course, you get DLC such as a couple exploration areas and characters (Shanon and Heintz), a bunch of costumes, and more background music, too.Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey Review
Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings DX PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆
Last but not least, we have Atelier Lydie & Suelle which ties the trilogy together beautifully as it features many familiar characters. It also has a cool premise where you explore worlds within paintings. Because of this, there's a fantastic amount of variety in its world as you'll get to explore many colourful and distinct environments throughout. I also like the fact that it stars 2 delightful characters who are very different twins as Lydie is intelligent and careful while Suelle is far less serious. One aspect that's quite rewarding about its gameplay is the Ambitions Journal which determines your atelier's reputation thus making every step of progress all the more fulfilling.
Atelier Lydie & Suelle DX includes a brand new painting that actually allows you to explore a bit of the world from Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists which contains its own boss quests. It's awesome when they tie games together like this, isn't it? Anyway, you also get DLC with content that includes the characters Lucia and Ilmeria, items, costumes, music, an extra area, recipes, quests, and features.
Now that I've discussed the included games, I just wanted to mention that I'm a bit disappointed that you can't transfer your saves over from the original games which would have been a great feature, especially considering the fact that these DX versions are basically the same games albeit with a bit more content. Naturally, if you haven't played the originals then this obviously won't be an issue.Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings Review
Digital Art Books
As a fun bonus, Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack contains a Digital Art Book for each of the 3 games so I figured I'd include those in my review, too. Each book consists of 45 pages that may have multiple images and these pages are broken up into 3 categories: gallery (lovely character art), design works (character concepts and such), and world material (art for the in-game environments). As you browse these galleries, you can swap between 10 unique music tracks for each game which is a nice touch and you can also zoom images if you'd like them to take up the whole screen. There's so much artwork that these books make a fantastic addition to this collection.
If you'd like to make your own gallery, each included game also features an adorable Photo Mode where you can apply various filters and frames as well as change the time of day and toggle NPCs and enemies on and off. Oh, and you can fast-forward battles if you want.
Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack is a wonderful collection of 3 excellent games with oodles of additional content. If you still haven't played these delightful RPGs then you need to add this compilation to your collection.
- + Contains 3 of the best and cutest RPGs released in recent years
- + Nifty additions to each game
- + Lovely digital art books
- - Might not be worth getting if you already own the original games
- - You can't transfer your saves