Tag Archives: RPG

Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland – Following the Footsteps

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So we’ve talked about one of the main reasons Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland became somewhat notorious around the world — now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of what the game itself is all about.

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.

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short;Play: Magicami DX

I’ve been writing a bit about new free-to-play “city pop magic girls” game Magicami DX recently, so I thought I’d show you it in action.

This footage is from the relatively early hours of the game, but it’ll give you a good overview of what to expect from the presentation of this game — and what you’ll spend most of your time doing. We don’t get into gacha rates, endgame strategies or deep dives into mechanics or anything — hopefully this quick teaser will give you a good idea of what the game is like, though!

Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland – Living the Arlandian Life

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So far in our exploration of Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland, we’ve seen how the game features a return to the time-limited nature of early Atelier games, and how the alchemy system has an unprecedented level of depth.

Today, we continue our look at this important and influential installment in the series with a closer look at how the whole game is structured, and how this differs significantly from the previous five games.

Most notably, Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland kicks off a subseries of Atelier that, while seemingly providing more restrictions than in the past thanks to the time limit, actually provides a lot of freedom for you to approach your long-term goals as you see fit.

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Magicami DX: Magical Girls Go Punk

Critics of popular Asian free-to-play games often joke that those who invest money into their hobbies are “paying money for JPEGs of their favourite characters”.

While obviously a somewhat mean-spirited exaggeration, the truth of the matter is that, barring a few notable exceptions, free-to-play mobile games do tend to eschew flashy technical prowess in favour of a constant barrage of new playable storylines, special events and collaborations with popular franchises. And their players don’t seem to mind this relative lack of “wow factor”; the immensely popular and long-running Granblue Fantasy, for example, is little more than a collection of sluggishly loading HTML pages playing some low bitrate audio in the background, but it shows no sign of slowing down.

With all this in mind, though, wouldn’t it be nice to find a free-to-play game that combined the things people enjoy about this sort of experience with rather higher production values than usual? Well, enter Magicami DX, a game which came out in 2019 back home in Japan, and which has now found itself localised for the browsers and mobile devices of English speakers thanks to adult gaming specialists Nutaku, who you may recall I had a nice chat with a little while back.

Let’s take a first look!

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Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland – A New Generation of Alchemy

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In the previous part of this feature, we took a high-level look at how Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland represented a return to the Atelier series’ roots, after Gust experimented with the formula quite a bit throughout the latter days of the PS2 era.

Today, we’re going to examine one of the main ways that the game combines this “traditional” feel with more complex, in-depth and modern mechanics: its revamped alchemy system. As the centrepiece of the Atelier series as a whole, this has always been where Gust has been at its most experimental and iterative, building on the best aspects of what had come before while casting aside the things that didn’t work quite so well or which couldn’t practically be fleshed out any further.

While Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland’s alchemy system is distinctive in its own right, it also clearly learns a lot of lessons from what immediately preceded it. So get that fire lit under your cauldron, and let’s get cookin’!

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Final Fantasy Marathon: Pointy Helmets – Final Fantasy III #12

One of the interesting things about Final Fantasy III — and also one of the reasons it gets criticism from some quarters — is how it effectively requires you to use certain jobs for certain sequences.

To date, we’ve already seen a couple of sequences where you needed a White Mage handy to cast Mini on the party, and this time around we’re coming up on a sequence that doesn’t so much as require Dragoons, but is certainly a lot easier if you happen to have a party full of Dragoons.

An adventurer is only as good as his equipment, however, so today is all about getting our four Warriors of Light tooled up with appropriate pointy implements. Check out how it went in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland – A Matter of Time

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A year after Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy bid a fond (and very late) farewell to the PlayStation 2, the Atelier series finally entered the high-definition era with the 2009 Japanese release of Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland for PlayStation 3.

Since the original release of the game and its 2010 localisation, we’ve seen a few other versions. In 2013, Atelier Rorona Plus revamped the entire game for PlayStation 3 and Vita with the graphics engine and alchemy mechanics from Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland, the third game in the Arland trilogy. In 2015, Japan got a peculiar chibified remake for Nintendo 3DS. And then in 2018, Atelier Rorona DX, a port of Atelier Rorona Plus that included all its downloadable content, was released for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC.

From hereon, we’ll primarily be looking at Atelier Rorona DX, since that is the most readily accessible version at the time of writing — but most of what we’ll talk about applies to all the different versions. So grab your Basket and let’s begin a whole new adventure!

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Final Fantasy Marathon: He Loves Only Gold – Final Fantasy III #11

Coming to their senses after seemingly bringing the world back to life, the Warriors of Light found themselves with their airship locked up and the next Crystal guarded by the mysterious “Goldor”.

Having acquired themselves some Levigrass shoes to cross the swamp guarding Goldor’s mansion, the time has finally come for the Warriors of Light to take back what is rightfully theirs — and perhaps plunder some shiny booty in the process.

Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Final Fantasy Marathon: Levigrass Shoes – Final Fantasy III #10

We rejoin the four Warriors of Light as they find their title contested: it seems that four eccentric old men also claim they are the warriors of legend!

As you might expect, it doesn’t take long for the real Warriors of the Light to prove themselves — but being thoroughly all-round decent people, they don’t hold it against the silly old buggers.

From here, it’s onward to track down the next of the crystals, but there’s a frustratingly inconvenient swamp in the way. Only one thing for it, clearly: Levigrass shoes!

Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Final Fantasy Marathon: Aria of Sorrow – Final Fantasy III #9

After making it to “the surface world”, only to discover the whole thing appears to be a seething miasma of darkness, the Warriors of Light set out to figure out what’s really going on.

Before long, they encounter the mysterious Aria, who seems to understand the situation, and she agrees to help them. The crystal’s light, it seems, can purify the land of darkness… but there are those who seek to oppose the light at all costs!

Enjoy the latest episode in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.