I'm also of the people that liked Rorona. Maybe because it was my first Atelier game, and like you said unsmashable_pumpkin, the story and characters are so funny I just got into the mood, so even with tank controls, barebones graphics and time limits, I got to enjoy most of it.
Now when you play the other 2 Arland games it's pretty hard to go back to Rorona. Totori and Meruru are so much better it's hard to even compare them.
I'm playing Ayesha myself (a little break to play The Last of Us) but I'll get back to it. I'm liking it but so far I feel both Totori and Meruru are better so Klyde, I would try to get back at them when you think about giving them another shot.
Now, changing topics a little, since we're talking about Ayesha, am I the only one that got a little confused about the new syntheses system in Ayesha compared to the Arland games?
Some things I have yet to grasp is how many of given item I'll have after synthesising. It appears you'll get say 5 and you end up with a bunch more.
Also, another thing I'm having some trouble understanding is how to pass traits. I don't know if the ones you put first or last will be the ones that'll be removed when there are too much and how beneficial is hitting the colored bars when making new items.
In the end there's part of me happy that there's a somewhat new system but also a sad part because just as I was getting used to the system in Arland it changed.