Hey i guess i've completed the arland trilogy now... neat.
And the newest Atelier game should arrive at my house in the next week or two (pretty special edition/ reminder on how broken the Canadian dollar is at the moment... my purchases from the US are pretty much over till that is a bit better)
So this is the first game in the arland trilogy... not that it really matters since each game has a different story line... you'll just know a bit more about certain characters if you play them in order.
This was however the last one they decided to make a "plus" version of... i'm not entirely sure why but i'm guessing it has something to do with the original Rorona's more 'chibi' art style.
If you've played an atelier game (or even a gust game in general) certain things remain in tack. You have a time frame where you need to get certain tasks done in order to get different endings. You go around collecting items which you then synthesise and either use or report to make progress. You also have to keep your popularity up and make friends in order to ensure your workshop will be successful.
I got the normal ending cause no matter what i did it was just too hard to get my popularity up AND do the quests, and try and Synth everything AND do all the optional quests. Granted i figure theres a side quest involving the guy who's the antagonist that i must have missed a trigger for before it was happening a lot but by the last year nothing.... i even got a certain item and everything but i had no idea who to give it to.
Overall it was okay... it was really nice getting Sterk so early in the game (even though by end game rorona was far stronger then him), I enjoyed seeing where certain reoccurring characters started out.
But there was just something.... limiting about it compaired to the other two Arland series games.
There aren't many locations to go explore and gather, there are lots of bosses but for the most part (other then this one mech that killed me in one shot) they are all pretty easy.
It doesn't feel like there is much to synth in general... and i spent most of the game convinced i had missed an area since there were so many vital things i couldn't find anywhere.... i think they were just rare and i was unlucky because i searched everywhere.
Rorona is a great protagonist though. I like that she's a little more confident then Totori.... and everyone is better then Meruru
Still is this my fav game of the trilogy? no... Totori had a better story, larger world and overall more to do... but it does have more direction then Meruru and I didn't worry that i would play through the game and still get the bad ending.
But yeah if you want to try out the series then start with Totori, then this and then Meruru (which i know i have complained about a lot... it isn't bad it just does a lot of annoying things)
Or if you aren't into handhelds go play Atelier Escha and Logy since i think so far thats my fav of the bunch... though i still need to beat Escha's story.