Tag Archives: Atelier

New Game Plus: Creating Explosives

When returning to a game for a second playthrough, it’s always incredibly satisfying when you manage to complete an objective well ahead of “schedule”.

Despite only certain things carrying over to a New Game Plus run in the various incarnations of Atelier Roronayou can still bash out a lot of the early game content very easily, leaving you with plenty of time to make money, grind for experience, build up your relationship values and just generally have a good time in this pastel-coloured world.

Hit the jump to see just how quickly I managed to satisfy the second assignment…

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Atelier Meruru: Arland Comes Together

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!

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Waifu Wednesday: Pamela Ibis

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.

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Waifu Wednesday: Esty

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…

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Atelier Arland: Introduction and History

Atelier is one of the more long-running, prolific series in the canon of Japanese gaming.

First launching in 1997, the franchise has seen 19 mainline releases since its inception (with a 20th on the way at the time of writing), plus a variety of spin-offs, side stories, ports, expanded adaptations and guest appearances from its characters in various other games over the years. Although we didn’t see our first Western localisation of the series until its sixth mainline game (Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana for PlayStation 2) in 2005, it is, by this point, firmly established as a mainstay of Japanese role-playing games — and, in the nicest possible way, developer Gust’s cash cow.

With that in mind, before we delve into the Arland trilogy in detail, let’s take a look at the history of the series as a whole up until Atelier Rorona’s initial release in 2009. Join me on a trip into totally-not-Renaissance-Germany, and let’s get crafting!

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Nights of Azure: Introduction and History

2015’s Nights of Azure — or Yoru no Nai Kuni to its Japanese audience — was something of a departure for veteran developer Gust.

Primarily known for unconventional turn-based role-playing games with heavy crafting components, a style of game best exemplified by the developer’s flagship Atelier series, Gust opted to step out of their comfort zone with Nights of Azure by making it an action RPG with elements of monster raising.

It turned out to be a highly successful experiment for the developer, and what appears to be the beginning of a new series for the company, since a sequel is on the way at the time of writing. Yet despite Nights of Azure’s relative freshness compared to Gust’s other output, the game never forgets its heritage, and is recognisably “Gust” in both style and tone.

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