E3 2013 Hands-On Impressions: Atelier Meruru PlusMeruru + ru + ru + ru = Merurururu!06.16.13 - 8:35 PM
After the surprise release
of Atelier Totori Plus
back in March, it was reassuring to see Tecmo Koei put some effort into promoting Atelier Meruru Plus
. And by "some effort," I mean "announcing it prior to its release," which is more exposure than the previous game got altogether. The company even had a demo build of the game available at E3, and I took a peek at what it had to offer.
If you're familiar with Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland (which you should be, if you're reading this site), the Playstation Vita version will feel incredibly familiar. Very little has changed in the move from the big screen to the OLED. The graphics, user interface, and presentation are virtually identical to the PS3 version. The only change I noticed was unfortunately a downgrade; the framerate stuttered often, making cutscenes a bit choppy. Furthermore, the demo I played was right at the beginning of the game, so I was unable to do anything beyond run around town and talk to NPCs. I tried using the Vita's touch screen to navigate menus, too, but no such functionality seems to have been implemented.
What I do know is that Atelier Meruru Plus features dual audio, which should please fans who prefer the original Japanese voice actors. In terms of new content, this version has a variety of new costumes for the characters to equip, as well as a new ending that concludes the Arland trilogy in a more satisfying way. All of the DLC for Playstation 3 version is also included in the package, which is a nice bonus. (Hanna and Rufus are stupidly powerful — just sayin'!)
Atelier Meruru Plus will release in North America this September.