The overall structure of Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey is rather interesting — because for the most part it allows you to focus on the aspects of the game that you find most appealing.
Of course, in order to successfully prove Firis’ worth in the alchemy examination, you’ll need to display at least basic competence in all the main areas of gameplay, but once that’s done — and indeed for a hefty length of time in the run-up to the exam — you can approach the game as you see fit.
Unusually for a role-playing game, this actually means that you can get away without doing very much fighting at all if you so desire. But, as the Atelier series as a whole has repeatedly demonstrated up until this point, the best alchemists out there are the ones who know how to defend themselves. So it’s this aspect of Atelier Firis we’ll be looking at today!
One of the recurring things that has come up time and time again as we’ve been looking at Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is how this game very consciously does things differently from what has come before.
And, of course, it’s evident in the combat system. This is a particularly interesting aspect of Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book to analyse in detail, because superficially its combat mechanics might resemble the last six games in the series to one degree or another — but in fact, things unfold quite differently. Let’s explore!
We’ve already looked at how this works inside their workshop; today it’s time to take a closer look at their work out in the field, and particularly at how they fend off the foes they encounter during their investigations.
Yep, it’s combat time again; make sure you’ve got a basket full of bombs, ’cause we’re going to be out for a while!
Today we’re going to look at what protagonist Ayesha gets up to when she’s not working away in one of her several workshops: the ways in which she is able to explore the world around her, discover many new and wonderful — and sometimes horrifying — things, and how she protects herself from danger when things get tough.
Yep, it’s time to look at combat and exploration in Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk, another area where the game feels both comfortably familiar and fresh.
In keeping with how Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland’s alchemy mechanics aren’t just a straight rehash of the other Arland games, the battle and exploration mechanics also feature a pleasing blend of old and new.
By taking the basic structure of battles from the earlier Arland games and then supplementing this with a variety of brand-new tactical considerations, Atelier Lulua provides us with an enjoyable combat system that keeps things consistently interesting for the game’s duration. And some really nice “quality of life” features mean that the whole game feels nicely streamlined and efficient to play without sacrificing any sort of mechanical depth.
That’s how you do a good follow-up — from the perspective of game design, anyway. Let’s take a closer look at these specific elements of Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland.
As we’ve seen numerous times in the previous installments of the Atelier series, being a successful alchemist isn’t just about holing yourself up in your workshop for months at a time; sometimes you have to take to the field and get some practical experience.
Mechanically and structurally, it’s a very interesting game to contemplate, because while it’s still recognisably an Atelier game — and recognisable as a follow-up to Atelier Rorona, even — it feels like it draws influences from a much broader field to create an experience that is noticeably different from its predecessor, while remaining comfortably familiar as part of the Arland subseries.
Pack a lunch and don’t forget to bring your Adventurer’s License, then; it’s time to take to the road with Totori.
So far in our exploration of Atelier, we’ve seen a series that is keen not to be seen as stagnating.
Each new game has reinvented itself when compared to its predecessor in one way or another, with the alchemy, progression and combat mechanics all differing from one game to the next — with some games being more drastically different than others.
Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy continues the trend of its two predecessors so far as its combat mechanics are concerned, which is to refine the systems introduced in Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm. So let’s take a closer look at how you fight in the latter years of the Al-Revis Academy!
Although Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis arguably places a stronger emphasis on the alchemy side of things than its predecessors in the Atelier Iris series, it has an immensely satisfying and enjoyable combat system that is a ton of fun to engage with. So let’s explore it further!
One cannot talk about the Atari 2600 — or the Atari Video Computer System, as it was originally known — without mentioning Combat.
The original deathmatch, one of the original competitive multiplayer titles and a game that is still an absolute ton of fun to play today — Combat really is an all-time classic, with the only sticking point for a lot of people being the fact that it’s a two-player only affair, so you need another person readily available to get the most out of it.
Fortunately, I have a very understanding, supportive and helpful wife, so let’s get right to the blasting!