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Author Topic: The Atelier Series  (Read 3678 times)
Cyril
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« on: March 26, 2014, 07:21:31 PM »

Well, since no one else wanted to make the Escha and Logy thread, I figured we'd have a general Atelier discussion thread.

I have some. . .pretty strong feelings about Escha and Logy that aren't entirely appropriate for an OP, so, anyone else playing? How are you enjoying it?
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2014, 07:53:38 PM »

you beat me to it!!! I was actually coming on here to start an E&L thread.

Anyhow, I just started playing and am really surprised by it. I thought I knew what to expect after playing Ayesha but I was mistaken it seems.

My initial thoughts...

THE GOOD:
-I think Logy makes a great MC.
-Beautiful characters that somewhat escape cliche' archetypical roles more so then past titles. This is debatable but I really didn't feel Ayesha's cast too memorable outside a few whom I REALLY liked (namely Marion and Keithgriff)
-The world is much more "Dusk" appropriate if you ask me. The departure in tone and style from Ayesha to E&L fits the dying world description far better.
-The music is very much of a different "tune" in this title. More jazzy and energetic (so far). It is a subjective matter but I'm fond of it.
-Menu surfing/alchemy, though complex, is streamlined in a fashion thats makes it so hell-a-accessible and even better then Ayesha. I didn't think that was possible as, in Ayesha, I was able to craft at warp 9 with wild abandon by the end of the game but they pulled it off.
-Wilbell is back.... I like Wilbell.
-Smashing barrels with Logy in the fields feels good. LoL

THE NOT SO GOOD:
-The freakin' camera SUCKS!! With a capital SUCK. It is simply too herky-jerky. I feel like this is a result of lazy production... I don't see why they couldn't smooth this out a bit. In fact in doesn't end with the camera... character movement feels a wee bit floaty and the general product just feels rough around the edges. I can't help but feel there was yet some much needed tweaking and polish before this was released.
-The characters are graphically TOO over the top for the simplicity of the environments. They are rendered complex and beautiful to a point that they look almost out of place at times.
- The tutorials make things seem far more complex then they actually are. I can see how the first 2 hours could really intimidate someone and make them feel there is a great deal to wrap there mind around when in practice it all proves far more simple.


THE "I'M NOT SURE WHAT TO MAKE OF IT"
- Why is Linca's personality so different?
- Does Marion come across as younger and less mature to anyone else...??
- A subjective matter but I can't stand Escha's tail.

That is all I can really say until I put more hours in.

Don't however misread my criticism as harsh. In truth I am really enticed thus far and appreciating E&L a great deal more then Ayesha which is really saying something because I thoroughly enjoyed Ayesha.

EDIT: I feel sort of like they could have called this game "Atelier and Wolf" or alternatively "Spice and Alchemy" for some reason....
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 07:59:45 PM by Klyde Chroma » Logged

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Cyril
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2014, 08:24:50 PM »

I have both similar and differing thoughts and I think on the dislike we're very similar. Particularly about the tutuorials.  I eventually started ignoring them, despite being one of those "always read the tutorial" types.

tl;dr
It's my least favorite game in the series outside of Judie.
For the record, Violet and Ayesha are my favorite games in the series, and Annie is my favorite heroine.

The characters are definitely a bit over-the-top for the setting, which favors more down-to-earth characters. Gust just went way too far here.  I dislike Escha quite thoroughly.  Her constant blushing, even while attacking, is really starting to grate on me.

In the end, I also think what they did to the the setting is horrible.  Well, it's better than dull Meruru's, but weaker than pretty much anything released after Iris 3.   Totally a huge step downward from Ayesha's in every way, which hit every note as "right" with me. It doesn't help that they actually blatantly, outright, 100% reuse two of Ayesha's most prominently atmospheric areas: the first ruin stage with Nio's grave and the final dungeon area.  I was pretty horrified at that, given how incredible Ayesha's final dungeon was.

After Ayesha's huge variety in music, such as battle and world map themes changing based on region, they went back to the more limited themes, most of which aren't particularly good.  Two of the battle themes are okay, namely that one particular nasal chant used for a boss about halfway through the game and the lighter remix of "Yesterday's Foes are Today's Ingredients."  Most of the dungeon themes are okay, nothing standout other than one or two dungeons later in the game.  I think this is one of Gust's worse soundtracks in a while, but maybe my opinion will change after I listen to it outside the game.

Finally, the biggest complaint:
What they tried to do to the time system does not work.
They tried to merge the Marie/Elie/Lily/etc style with what they did in Totori/Meruru/Ayesha.  The problem is that by attempting to do so they've taken away everything decent out of both systems.  The earlier games were amazing because of stricter organization and time management.  It's what drew me in.  Then Totori/Meruru/Ayesha worked because you're given open freedom to do what you like.  This game has neither.  And, to make matters worse, they actually extended the traditional assignment time while making assignments easier. None of the assignments take more than 10 in-game days, out of 120 given, sometimes even fewer, and none are really hard, either.  There's no putting specific traits on items, or requiring a certain quality, here, just making an item with materials you undoubtedly already have or exploring a 4 screen linear dungeon. Those are only for a few rare side-objectives.  Time management is non-existent and even fulfilling all of the minor goals is not particularly difficult.  but then exploration is also non-existent because there are fewer areas and they are all unlocked in a linear fashion like what is normal for the series.

Edit: I suppose it's worth mentioning that the localization isn't amazing, either. Typos are relatively common ("Slag" as "slug" during one entire conversation was strange) and many descriptions overflow their text boxes.  And by "many" I mean "half of them."

There are really only a few things that I can say I outright like:
Logy is pretty neat. Probably the best male MC Gust has ever made.
The character models are beautiful, even if they feel almost too vibrant for the setting.
Crafting continues to be both complex and streamlined in its ease of use.  It's very good.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 08:30:33 PM by Cyril » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 08:29:15 PM »

tl;dr
It's my least favorite game in the series outside of Judie.
For the record, Violet and Ayesha are my favorite games in the series, and Annie is my favorite heroine.

Are you a proficient speaker of Japanese? I'd love to play Judie and Violet.

Good to know Ayesha is your favorite. I'm just getting to it now (I loved the OST, now for the game!!) ... up til now I think my fav remains the first Iris, the game that exposed me to the franchise.
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Cyril
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 08:34:07 PM »

I worked as a translator for a rather large company for a few years, as well as spent two years in University in Japan.  But to be honest, I'm intentionally blocking it out now.  My career has taken a new path (Mathematics) that I greatly prefer.  I do a lot less speaking and writing nowadays, but I do read.

I love Iris 1, too.  Despite being rather primitive, it hits a lot of good notes with me.  The music, the atmosphere, and the characters re all great.  The shopkeepers are some of Gust's best.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 08:35:38 PM by Cyril » Logged
Klyde Chroma
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 10:34:53 PM »



I love Iris 1, too.  Despite being rather primitive, it hits a lot of good notes with me.  The music, the atmosphere, and the characters re all great.  The shopkeepers are some of Gust's best.

We are in agreement on that note my friend. Iris 1 rocked. Its the reason I became an Atelier fan, though oddly I never followed through with the trilogy (still on my shelf).

As to Escha and Logy...

I feel like Escha and Logy will be a regarded as a real "love it or hate it" amongst fans of the series for the very same subjective reasons that our opinions differ. I feel this way because we both came to the same conclusion that it is a hell of a departure for a direct sequel to Ayesha. Drastic changes in direct sequels make for die hard fans as well as hurt feelings-LoL

My opinions are still subject to change though considering I'm very early on in the title yet.

Oh yea. I also agree with the Escha hate. I eluded to the fact that her tail bothers me as a nice way of saying she bothers me (alot).
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Cyril
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 10:45:02 PM »

Yeah, I agree, the tail is annoying.  I'd be okay if it was just an accessory, in which case it might have been cute,  but I dislike how it moves as it's clearly an excuse to try and make her "cuter."  I noticed the second heroine in the new new Atelier game has cat ears, too.  Hopefully these animal accessories aren't a new "thing," because they're not something I'm particularly fond of.
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Lard
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2014, 10:54:37 PM »

As I understand it, there are two trilogies. Do they intertwine with each other or are they separate?
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Cyril
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2014, 11:14:12 PM »

There's more than two trilogies!  But I won't bore you with the nitpicky details and assume you're referring to the PS3/Vita games.

The Arland and Dusk games have no overlap in story or characters.  The Arland games are a bit more character-heavy (and anime-trope heavy) while Dusk tends to be a bit more atmosphere and lore-heavy.
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2014, 01:41:06 PM »

There are two trilogies on the PS3. The breakdown is like this:

1-3 "Alchemists of Salburg"
1. Marie
2. Elie
3. Lilie

4-5 "Alchemists of Gramnad"
4. Judie
5. Viorate (Violet)

6-8 "Iris / Eternal ManaTrilogy"
6. Iris
7. Iris 2
8. Grand Phantasm

9-10 "Mana Khemia"
9. MK1
10. MK2

11-13 "Alchemists of Arland"
11. Rorona
12. Totori
13. Meruru

14-16 "Alchemists of Dusk/Twilight"
14. Ayesha
15. Escha/Logy
16. Sharry
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2014, 03:11:47 PM »

I played some of Iris, and I loved it.

I played some of Rorona and I hated it.

I really need to play some of Ayesha, since it looks like the best of both worlds, but funds are currently holding me back.
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2014, 03:36:38 PM »

I played some of Iris, and I loved it.

I played some of Rorona and I hated it.

I really need to play some of Ayesha, since it looks like the best of both worlds, but funds are currently holding me back.

I'm the same; I kinda liked the more RPG-oriented than task and time-oriented gameplay.

I'm terrible with timing anything.... Opera House in FF6? Terrifying.
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2014, 04:05:54 PM »

I'm also terrible with time limits, but I like the way Atelier goes about it.  Missed a deadline?  Doesn't matter, the game moves on regardless (can't remember if Rorona does this though).  I have no regrets seeing the credits to Totori without fighting a final boss.  You would think it would lose a sense of fulfillment,  but it honestly felt refreshing to just sit back and relax through most of the game.
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2014, 04:07:04 PM »

I played some of Iris, and I loved it.

I played some of Rorona and I hated it.

I really need to play some of Ayesha, since it looks like the best of both worlds, but funds are currently holding me back.

I'm the same; I kinda liked the more RPG-oriented than task and time-oriented gameplay.

I'm terrible with timing anything.... Opera House in FF6? Terrifying.

Yeah, I'm not great with time management and I always find it too stressful. I don't mind the task-oriented part, but it did get tedious after a while and I really wanted to move onto something more grand, but I never got to that point before I quit. If such a point even exists in that game...

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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2014, 04:43:58 PM »


I'm the same; I kinda liked the more RPG-oriented than task and time-oriented gameplay.

I'm terrible with timing anything.... Opera House in FF6? Terrifying.

Yeah, ticking clocks suck, but I never really feel that presure in Atelier. 99% of the time it's perfectly clear how much time an action takes and you have all the time in the world to decide what to do. It's more like a puzzle.
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