I saw the intro video for this game a long time ago and it really reminded me of Avalon Code's intro vid so i was really excited to learn more about this game... st the time it was on a system i didn't own so i kinda forgot about it.
then not too long ago i caved and bought the system and this (along with Tales of Xillia and Atelier Ayesha) was one of the first games i picked up.
Just gunna say right off the bat, i adore the art in this game... and i love being able to play as Logy, one of the nicest character designs i have seen in a while (the atelier games actually have a lot of nicely designed male characters.. .probably part of why i enjoy them so much)
The game is quite different from other Atelier games.
1. The most obvious difference is that there are two main characters that you pick between at the start, i have been told Escha is more focused on Alchemy and Logy more on Combat but other then what they Synth i have a hard time believing that the gameplay style is that different.
2. The map feels much smaller and there aren't quite as many locations but each area has many spots within it.
3. When in a field every action to do adds to a gauge and when that fills you get 3 random options to pic from. These range from collecting a relic or document to fighting a strong enemy or changing how things in the map behave.
4. Events are marked with a "!" on the quick warp menu making it damn near impossible to miss stuff (i still did but more on that in a bit)
5. it is easily the most generous with time, i beat the game with over 150 days left when i have technically not beaten any of the main bosses for the other games.
So what the story?
well i'll tell it from Logy's perspective since that who i played.
You are sent from Central to the bondocks to help the Research and Development facility. Your job is to help expand the land and help find out why it's not getting the resources it needs.
You are also charged with exploring nearby and unexplored Ruins in order to learn more about the people of the past.
That being said the overall story in this one isn't nearly as interesting as the character stories. It doesn't feel quite as organic as Ayesha or Totori, it is very structured and like i mentioned before you never travel too far... the furthest place from the town is 10 days. Still i love the fact that all the missions are done in these 4 month chunks so you never are wondering when the next event will trigger.
The problem with it being split is that since i played as Logy i know a lot about him and next to nothing about Escha's story other then she grew up there... i know they want me to play the other half to get the rest but i so rarely play the other campaigns in games like this... i still need to beat Milla's route in Xillia and before that i wanna play Valkyria Chronicles.
I think it's a game where if i had a gap i would come back to.
I personally got 4 endings, i would have gotten 5 had i not missed the window for Triggering Awins event (i was trying to complete the term tasks and ran out of time) but yeah got the good ending (cause wow i actually beat the game bosses) and three character endings.
I couldn't get the true ending cause that involves playing both sides (which i get but still... this isn't a short game so replaying right away may be too much for some)
Still i did really enjoy it, it has a good story when i focuses on the characters and the world more then your job. it has some laugh out loud moments and just an overall sweetness to it. The characters weren't as mind numbingly stupid as other Atelier game characters so that is always a bonus.
I'm looking forward to the next game in the Dusk series since the Dusk world is an interesting one.
All that said, i'm sure there will be a Atelier Escha & Logy +
wait for that if you are in no rush.