Are we using this as the Escha and Logy thread?
Anyway, I finally started it and have a few first impressions. Minor spoilers, particularly in regards to Ayesha's characters, but not really.
1. I love, love, love, love that Ayesha ended up going with Keith. It really felt like the most satisfying conclusion to me. It also pleases me that her absence is explained for the same reason; Keith was a wanted criminal for destroying the Center's Alchemy style due to its destructive nature. Since Ayesha's main theme was truth, it would be a shame for Ayesha to turn her eyes away from what she was shown and stop her journey with Keith. Anyway, I'm extremely happy about this decision and could probably go on for an entire post, but I won't.
2. I don't particularly like Escha, I do very much like Logy, though. Given how tropes tend to be polarizing, I won't really bother elaborating. I do, however, like Escha better than Meruru.
3. I'm not sure how I feel about how Gust tried to merge old-style traditional Atelier with the newer, Totori/Meruru/Ayesha-style. They did give you an extra month over the three month limits, but it still feels different. It lacks both Arland's freedom and the rigidity and structure of the older games.
4. Nio's so beautiful now! I just love the artist's use of color.
5. So far, it lacks Ayesha's really lonely, unsettling atmosphere. It also has worse music overall. However, there's still time for my opinion to change on these.