Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland Plus – First Impressions

Ah, the Atelier series. I remember having a blast writing the review for Atelier Totori, and I while I did enjoy the game, I wasn’t sure if the series was for me and told myself I probably shouldn’t buy another game in the series. Well I ended up lying to myself and couldn’t resist buying Atelier Rorona Plus when I saw it for $20 at my local Gamestop.

Atelier Totori was my first game in the series, so in the back of my mind I was always curious about buying the first game, as I wanted to understand the references to the characters they were making. Well it seems like so far this game also doesn’t explain super much, as it kind of throws you into the game saying, “oh, that’s so-and-so”, and just has you go with it. It’s not a bad thing, but I was kind of hoping I could have some explanations. It’s not the only game series that does this, so it’s not that big of a deal.

So like Atelier Totori, this game is nothing short of adorable blushing anime girls and fetch quest after fetch quest. The plus version of the game is a remastered version with better character models, as I did think the chibi characters kind of made it look disjointed from the anime artwork. I saw the character models from the original version, and thought Rorona was 12, but found out she was a lot older than that during the dialog scenes. Now all the characters match the way they look.

I was surprised, yet glad that some of the gameplay is different from Totori. I was expecting Totori to be largely copied and pasted from Rorona, just a different place. Luckily there’s differences with things like how exploring works, and even with picking up jobs/advancing progress. Instead of having all the gathering places as separate spots, this game has you visit a location that has sub-sections in it to explore. Theoretically it’s not much different from the sequel, but hey, at least I don’t feel like I’m playing the same exact game. Also getting jobs are also slightly different. They aren’t always available, and you can still turn in the job when you’re late on it. You just won’t get the full reward.

So far Atelier Rorona hasn’t disappointed, though the dialog is just as ridiculous as the sequel, and the story is kind of crappier, it’s still just as fun of a way to kill time. It’s still adorbs as fuck, and finding stuff isn’t so bad. I’ll most likely end up picking up Atelier Meruru to complete the Arland trilogy.

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