This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland, the thirteenth mainline Atelier game and the third in the Arland series, first released in 2011.
It is a longstanding favourite of many enthusiasts of the series with good reason, and absolutely a suitable high point for the whole trilogy to wrap up on… that is, until Atelier Lulua comes along and confuses everyone by turning it into a quadrilogy! But more on that another time.
Providing some of the most refined mechanics in the Arland subseries along with a satisfying and enjoyable narrative to follow, Atelier Meruru combines elements of classic and more modern Atelier games. The result is a really great game featuring one of the series’ most appealing protagonists. So let’s dive in and take a look!
Continue reading Atelier Meruru: Arland Comes Together
One of the earliest “non-human” character types I feel like I developed a bit of a “thing” for was the humble ghost.
Aside from occasional arguments with my wife over whether or not they are technically “undead” (they absolutely are), I’ve always found the concept of life beyond death fascinating for a variety of reasons. The feeling of freedom that being an incorporeal spirit doubtless affords you — but simultaneously a feeling of being trapped and lonely; these are things I found fascinating, and often wanted to explore in my own creative writing as well as the media I consumed.
So of course a super-cute ghost girl with a fine line in traditional European dress (including a rather daring and formidable neckline) is going to be My Type. Yes indeed. Here’s Pamela from the Atelier series.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Pamela Ibis
There’s a lot of hoo-hah about “representation” in games right now from various sources, tending to lead to arguments between people who don’t think it matters and people who think it is more important than absolutely anything in the whole wide world.
For the most part, I tend to stay out of these discussions because I have no particularly strong feelings one way or the other and I’m not going to just sit here and hollowly say “the right thing” for Internet brownie points. For me, it’s always cool to see characters who are a bit “different from the norm” in various ways, yes, but it’s not something I specifically find myself seeking out. Unless you count generally favouring Japanese games with female protagonists or at least leading cast members, in which case… uh… well, look at the stuff I’ve covered on this site over the course of the last few years. Hmm, maybe I care about it more than I think.
Anyway, all that said, it’s nice when you feel some sort of connection to a character depicted in a piece of media. Even if it’s just in one small way…
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Esty
Hello! Welcome back to the first episode of The MoeGamer Podcast for 2019, featuring my good self and my good friend Chris Caskie of MrGilderPixels.
The MoeGamer Podcast is available in several places. You can subscribe to my channel on YouTube to stay up to date with both the video versions of the podcast and my weekly videos; you can follow on Soundcloud for the audio-only version of the podcast; you can subscribe via RSS to get the audio-only version of the podcast in your favourite podcast app; or you can subscribe via iTunes. Please do at least one of these if you can; it really helps us out!
Or you can hit the jump to watch or listen to today’s episode right here on MoeGamer.
Continue reading The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 16 – Welcome to 2019!
This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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As we’ve previously explored, the Atelier series is no stranger to rereleases and remakes — and at the time of writing, Arland trilogy debut Atelier Rorona has had more than most.
Initially releasing in Japan in 2009 as Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland before being localised by NIS America for North America, Europe and Australasia in 2010, the game was subsequently completely rebuilt in 2013 under its new worldwide publisher Koei Tecmo as Atelier Rorona Plus in an attempt to bring it more in line with the subsequent releases in the series. In 2015, Japan got a unique 3DS version of the game. And in 2018, Gust and Koei Tecmo brought Atelier Rorona DX — pretty much a port of Atelier Rorona Plus — to Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Windows PC.
Keeping one game relevant for nine full years and counting is no mean feat. So let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons this game might have stuck around for quite as long as it has!
Continue reading Atelier Rorona: Arland’s New Beginning
We’ll be discussing the titular protagonists of the Atelier Arland trilogy in detail throughout the main Cover Game feature, so I wanted to give a bit of love to some of the secondary characters.
And what better place to begin than with the rather grandiosely named Cordelia von Feuerbach: lover of frilly yet practical dresses, loyal friend and renowned shortarse?
Cordelia appears in both Atelier Rorona and Atelier Totori, and is a popular character for her distinct personality, her fits of tsundere rage and her rather touching relationship with her childhood friend Rorona. Across the two games, it’s a pleasure to see her grow… well, if not “up” then certainly more mature.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Cordelia von Feuerbach
Ponder, if you will, the most common criticisms of the video games medium as a whole. The things that make people roll their eyes and exasperatedly say “videogames” (with no space); the things that inspire endless op-eds by well-known games journalists that ask that eternal question: why aren’t things any better?
Games, these critics say, are worryingly homogeneous; the domain of late-20s, early-30s, bestubbled, gruff-voiced male protagonists with a big chip on their shoulder and usually some sort of “dark past” (or, in the case of anti-heroes, a dark present) to overcome. Games are overly violent and show a poor attitude towards women; games are concerned more with chasing the gritty Hollywood blockbuster model than providing inclusive experiences for everyone to enjoy; games are rehashing the same old ideas over and over again, often on a yearly basis.
Now take a moment to consider Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland. Or, indeed, the original Atelier Rorona that came out back in 2011. Or, for that matter, the Atelier series as a whole. Spot anything interesting?
That’s right; it’s a series that deftly addresses a significant number of these concerns about modern video games — and yet it’s one that passes a significant number of people by. If you’re not already “in on it,” chances are you won’t give it a second look. And that’s a real shame.
Let’s take a look at why.
Continue reading Atelier Rorona Plus: The Nicest Game You’ll Play This Summer