Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Review : Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist Of Arland

Another JRPG has managed to slide through the borders and you'll probably never play it since it probably won't be on any game shelves or some other stupid reason or you're just not a fan of the JRPG genre. I honestly hate how in Australia these games are preorder only at every game retailer. Ok I'm running off topic, anyway what was I doing? Oh yeah, the game! Well here's my review of Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist Of Arland. Oh and I know this review will probably be ignored but at least I tried.

Atelier Rorona's story is about Rorona, a pupil of an alchemist named Astrid who runs and alchemy workshop in the town of Arland. Their workshop is now on notice and Rorona now has to fulfill the assignments given to them over the next 3 years to keep the workshop with the help of a colorful cast of characters and her developing skills as an alchemist or the shop will be closed. I'd go into more details about the story but I don't like to spoil stories or waste too much time waffling on about it. The game is a traditional JRPG so it's turn based combat. Unfortunately the game uses HP for skills so the game forces the old "bludgeon until dead" strategy until you level up. On top of that the game uses the synthesis system from every Atelier game made. If you've from the PAL region you may have played Atelier Iris, well probably not but if you have then you already know how it works. For those who haven't it's simply combining multiple items to make a new item from using a recipe, but in this game depending on the quality and traits the item can have different properties and quality of the item. The synthesis is the core part of the game because the assignment require you to bring items that are requested for it with a deadline and most need you to synthesize them. You can also do requests from friends and townspeople to build up your rep and friendship levels. The requests from towns people usually are item request but you will eventually start getting monster hunts and you are given money for completing them and if you fulfill the special requirements you can spin a wheel to earn more cash or tickets, which can be cashed in for special items and these all have deadlines too. That doesn't sound hard does it? But wait! Here's the catch, traveling to the gathering areas takes up days and returning to town uses days and synthesizing uses days... almost everything uses up days including resting. Yes the days system is an annoyance but you do get used to it and you will quick learn the art of time management just to avoid a game over screen.

Is it a good game? Depends really. If you cringe when you see anime graphics or JRPGs then avoid it like the black plague. If on the other and your not deterred by those then you may want to hold of on buying this because it literally comes under the heading of "Hardcore JRPG Fans Only" and even for that group of people, it isn't exactly on the top of the buy list. I personally like the game, it has a great story with colourful characters with strange and entertaining personalities. I also am a little bias to the turn based battle system of JRPGs so I do like the game by default. I give it a 3/5. It's a good game that has multiple endings and even though it has a constricting time limit system, it's still worth putting the time into it if you are of the "Hardcore JRPG Fan" group like me.

Score 3/5

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