Tag Archives: Koei Tecmo

Atelier Rorona: Arland’s New Beginning

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!

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Warriors Wednesday: Robert Miles Presents

Today on Warriors Wednesday, we jump into the fourth main story chapter of the Wu campaign in Warriors Orochi.

Today sees Sun Ce finally getting the opportunity to rescue his dear old dad from Snake-Eyes himself… and unfolds partially in the interior of a castle rather than on the usual outdoor battlefields.

It also features a soundtrack that sounds more than a little bit like ’90s trance DJ Robert Miles’ most well-known work Children. (Also did you know Robert Miles died in 2017? I didn’t. Rest in peace, sir.) Hit the jump to watch… and listen!

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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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Warriors Wednesday: The Mail Must Get Through

Warriors Orochi is definitely getting easier the further I go through it.

Today’s mission is done and dusted in under 20 minutes — including the obligatory “upgrade and fusion” time before we actually get into the hackin’ and a-slashin’. This is keeping things fun and interesting, however; the sense of “power creep” is very satisfying indeed, and I’m looking forward to seeing how powerful my warriors are by the time I get to the final story campaigns!

For now, hit the jump to see how remarkably smoothly today’s rescue mission went.

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The MoeGamer Awards 2018: The Evergreen Award

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards that I’ve devised in collaboration with the community as an excuse to celebrate the games, experiences and fanbases that have left a particular impression on me in 2018. Find out more and leave a suggestion here!

If you’re a gamer on a budget or simply going through a lean month or two, it’s always a good idea to have one or two “evergreen” games on your shelf.

The concept of an “evergreen” game is simple: it’s a game that you can always return to at any time and have an enjoyable experience with. It’s a game you can set aside for weeks or months at a time before returning to when you feel like it, able to pick right back up where you left off.

Evergreen games can involve narrative, but the best ones place a strong focus on mechanics, providing them a pick-up-and play quality coupled with extensive — potentially infinite — longevity. One game that I covered in 2018 definitely fits that bill more than pretty much any other.

And the winner is…

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Warriors Wednesday: When You Get Around Like I Do, You Pick Up a Thing or Two

Sakon Shima has been something of a fixture in the Samurai Warriors series since the second installment.

Typically depicted as a cunning strategist and a powerful warrior in his own right, the real Sakon Shima was an extremely well-regarded and famous samurai. After his original master Junkei Tsutsui met his end, he retired, but after being offered an extraordinarily generous amount of wealth, he decided to return to the fray to serve under Mitsunari Ishida. If someone offers you half of their income to bring you on board, you don’t argue!

Of course, most of this is irrelevant in Warriors Orochi, but Shima still has a significant role to play from the perspective of his formidable strategic skills. Hit the jump to see how he helped out this time around!

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The MoeGamer Awards 2018: The “This Game Has An Excellent Female Lead And Is About Being A Girl, Stop Whingeing There Aren’t Any Games About Such Things” Award

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards that I’ve devised in collaboration with the community as an excuse to celebrate the games, experiences and fanbases that have left a particular impression on me in 2018. Find out more and leave a suggestion here!

This award was inspired by a conversation on Twitter started by someone who is apparently unable to look beyond the big-budget triple-A mainstream — specifically that as depicted by the annual Game Awards — for representation in video games.

I am not a girl. However, for a good few years now, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to play as female characters in games. As I recall, the first time I ever did it was in Baldur’s Gate on PC (which is also where I dreamed up the name I give every female character where the option to customise exists: Amarysse) and it felt strange and exciting at the time.

Now, it’s a much more normal part of today’s gaming landscape, but some people appear to not recognise this fact. So today’s award rather passive-aggressively celebrates a game I covered this year that particularly emphasises the fact it tells an interesting story with its female lead — a story that is very much about femininity.

And the winner is…

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