2016 Under Article , Reviews Although each new feature is welcome, they really could have afforded sooner reveals. Maybe fat-shaming and body politics could’ve just not been in this game if they aren't going to be properly addressed. The premise of Gust's Atelier Sophie: Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is simple. Alchemy, the nexus of this fantasy land, has its ups and downs. After all of these years, it looks like Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is once again turning the tables. I wish there were more engine-rendered cut-scenes that utilized the beautiful character models and that the mouths were synchronized with their speech. Shockingly the book is able to talk, but is also suffering from a horrible case of book-amnesia. On the day she successfully manages to make a basic Berg Medicine, she decides to jot it down in a nearby book, and her life changes forever when the book comes to life before her very eyes. By placing the ingredient pieces on the grid, you can tweak the item's properties even further - our current strategy is to try and pick as many of our ingredients from the same elemental 'family' as we can, which lets us exploit huge bonuses when the whole grid is filled with 'blue' pieces, for example. Until the feature opens up to have these items automatically replaced—again, very welcome and confusingly excluded until late—repeatedly making the same Berg Medicine you first wrote down into Plachta can be a chore. Gone are strict deadlines of previous games in the series to more vague challenges. So much so, we've hardly put it down since we started playing. Tyler finally steps away from First Person Shooters to delve into to the scary world of Atelier. The UI, in terms of appearance, is also well-designed and carries the medieval European theme of the setting without using laboriously dated fonts or design elements. For one of the main characters of the game, the driving force of the main plotline, it’s disappointing to see this trope trotted out with no relevance to Plachta’s own character or personality. For one, the character, Oskar, is literally the only fat person in the game. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is essentially a story about a girl, Sophie, who wishes to become as good as her grandmother at the art and science of alchemy, but is quite the beginner at it, which seems to be a theme found in at least one other Atelier title: Atelier Annie: Alchemist of Sera Island for the DS (here: Atelier Annie). Atelier Sophie might be the first game in the long-running series to launch on the PS4, but that is the bulk of what it does differently. With Yuuka Aisaka, Ken'yû Horiuchi, Yuka Iguchi, Kaito Ishikawa. February 07, 2017. You're also able to buff up your weapons and armour, and create new ones, with the help of town blacksmith Logy (of Atelier Escha & Logy fame) and resident clothier Leon - providing you can alchemise them the raw materials, complete with any interesting effects and bonuses you might want carried over. In the world of Atelier, you 'cook' everything you need for your adventure, from the aforementioned healing potions and bombs to critical quest items, and the titular Sophie's growth from a novice at her late grandmother's knee into a great alchemist known the land over is a key part of the game. You take the bad. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist Of The Mysterious Book Review Miguel Moran 07/06/16 1 In a lot of games , there’s generally one specific … As such, you have to wait for Sophie to be 'inspired' enough to come up with an idea for a new recipe, which generally involves meeting specific criteria, and deciphering the sometimes obtuse hints in the 'Recipe Ideas' section of the menu. From the PS1 to the present day, how well do you know gaming's biggest bandicoot? Test your knowledge with our quizzes, and you could win £/$/€ 20 of PSN/XBL/eShop/Steam credit! Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is a cutesy role-playing game which focuses on the long lost art of alchemy, a magical form of cooking that can turn various ingredients into more useful items. But some fans may find themselves a bit let down in what this entry offers. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book Review. Sophie is a young girl living alone in an atelier, attempting to make ends meet by creating various things for the townspeople to get by. However, they maintain a number of common tropes found in the genre and Japanese game development overall. In fairness, a lot of our time was spent trying to get a good picture of Leon's ludicrous dress sense though... Set in the idyllic German-inspired town of Kirchen Bell, Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book follows the tale of the titular Sophie, a young alchemist who's inherited both her skill and atelier workshop from her late grandmother. With the help of Plachta, and a whole lot of alchemical trial and error, Sophie sets off on her adventure to become the best alchemist she can, and follow in her grandmother's footsteps. The flow of battle becomes so much more tolerable with it, and it’s also where the game hides its super-mega-ultra special moves for each character. This doesn't affect the price you pay for your product. Not only is her body literally a large doll, but her initial outfit is translucent lace with thigh-high stockings. Although this was indescribably frustrating for completing a game on a deadline, I authentically loved this method of story delivery. Be ye a perfect pirate captain, or should ye walk the plank? Sophie discovers that when she writes alchemy recipes into the book, it begins to … Each area has a different selection of ingredients you can harvest, with a natural variation in the properties and effects of each one you pick up. Various aspects of the narrative, even venturing into the meta-narrative of Japanese game development, range from uncomfortable to disturbing. This Mysterious Book seems to hold all. The majority of Atelier Sophie seems wholly unconcerned with that. A story which revolves more around Sophie's relationships with her friends, and helping them out with their day to day lives, than about saving the world from imminent destruction. Atelier Sophie puts you in the role of a novice alchemist named Sophie Neuenmuller who discovers that she is the owner of a magical book. The battle system has some awesome features that are locked behind story gates. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book marks the beginning of a new chapter in the series. Enemy designs are not only boring but repeated via color-swaps to a nauseating degree. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book. Unfortunately, for a game that relies so heavily on time, Atelier Sophie neglects to tell you how long your trips out will take... Atelier Sophie, like all of the past seventeen Atelier games, is focussed heavily around the magical art of alchemy, which lets you create all manner of new items from seemingly disparate ingredients. Also, as with many other games in the Atelier line, the battle system … As time passes and items are delivered, more characters will appear, check in on Sophie, and be checked on by Sophie, thereby fueling this cycle of story delivery. How much do you know about these spooky video games? Like any Atelier game, Sophie poses the titular heroine with a situation and a goal, though Gust has apparently abandoned the concept of time limits, even for most side quests. Finally, a Star Wars game that's better than the films? Story Talking books are normal? Psychic powers and conspiracies combine in the latest thriller from the makers of Alan Wake. Aside from addressing that Alchemist of the Mysterious Book portion of the title, the stories revolving around each of the characters are cute and simple, often related to the town that centers everything. To celebrate the launch of Paper Mario: The Origami King, why not test your knowledge with a quiz? In practice, this means that the bulk of your time in Atelier Sophie is spent in a cycle of creating various items through alchemy, then going out exploring to harvest more raw ingredients to make more stuff - and rinsing and repeating throughout the duration of the story. Her clothes are made by Leon, a seamstress with a curious boob window herself, to establish her clearly as the loli in this game. As such, he is the subject of various jabs about his girth, including a passive skill named for it and a character outright calling him “Fat Guy.” For the most part, Sophie remains uninvolved until she is asked to settle an argument where her options are to further guilt-trip him about his weight—by the way, he’s a great asset in battle, though one of his moves is literally tripping and rolling at the enemy—or criticize another person for being too skinny. So, without further ado, here is my review of the PS Vita version of Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book! Previous games have let you choose when to activate a support guard or follow up support attack, which lets you be a bit more strategic in battles, but for Atelier Sophie, you're effectively relying on the game to do it for you, which can be a bit hit and miss at times, unfortunately. Genre(s): Role Playing Game (Strategy)Platform(s): PS4, PSVita, Switch, Xbox One, PC. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is a amazing game. Such a request is generally met with eye rolls, moans and groans, and people seem to genuinely resent the drudgery of rounding up and delivering items. For anyone seeking out an RPG they can just play for weeks, Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is a solid choice, but for each of its highlights, it suffers a misgiving. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book benefits from not having a restrictive time system and I like how they’ve implemented the calendar and time mechanic in this installment, and although the game can sometimes be rather repetitive and slow, it’s worth sticking with and fans should definitely be buying this, but it’s also a great starting point for those looking to get into the series – there are some … To that end, completing “the next mission,” like you would want to do after doing a few side-quests or leveling up in other RPGs, becomes an ambiguous task. Atelier Sophie, PC RPG, Koei Games, Koei, Koei Tecmo, Atelier. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book review. JRPGs, in my experience, typically focus on a group of teenagers trying to prevent the end of the world. Its utility is fine, though occasionally, access to sub-menus is limited for no clear reason. The game supports up to four characters in battle at a time, and it can seem like a long time until that fourth character comes along. Orders of $150+ Get FREE Shipping! Some recipes will only give you vague categories of items you need to include, such as 'paper' or 'animal', while others require very specific items, meaning mixing, matching and experimenting with what goes into your creation is part of the fun, and the best route to creating the very best items. Based on various clips I’ve seen of the Japanese release of the game, a favorite appears to be a see-through teddy. Becoming a master alchemist is all well and good, but if you want to fill the pages of the book, and help Plachta, you'll need to get some recipes. Environments run the gamut, though they feel under-designed for their size. Sophie thinks up different item recipes by performing a variety of actions in game: examining a landmark, talking to a character, witnessing an enemy skill, or even creating other items. This is the 17th game in Gust’s long-running Atelier series, though you probably haven’t heard of it unless you’re a fan. Checking in on them often leads to new conversations and narrative expansion. Posted on June 7, 2016. Her doll body’s creator’s occasional creepy comments notwithstanding, if she was actually a young-looking woman who dressed in lingerie, as confusing as that may be, I’d be able to understand it more. The game just asks you to keep playing it, and for the most part, it will worry about finding things for you to do instead of the other way around. Looking at previous entries from the PS3-era, the visuals look very much the same but, um, HD-er with a touch more detail. The story unfolds based on your activity in each of the game’s various modes. The town feels like people would actually live there. Affiliate Disclosure: Evolve Media LLC, and its owned and operated websites may receive a small commission from the proceeds of any product(s) sold through affiliate and direct partner links. It’s been a good, long time since I’ve played a JRPG, wasting away over a hundred hours trying to level and get the supreme weapon for each of my characters. Genre(s): Racing (Arcade)Platform(s): 3DS, Wii U, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch, Genre(s): Role Playing Game (Turn Based Battles)Platform(s): iOS, 3DS, Switch. It turns out the book is inhabited by a spirit known as Plachta, and has a severe case of amnesia! Early on, Sophie discovers a talking alchemy book, named Plachta, who has lost all of her memories. However, much like it's predecessor Atelier Shallie, the overall time limit - which usually meant you needed to wrap up the story in a number of in-game years - has been abolished, letting you take the whole game at your own pace. By Patrick Rost. This review covers the PS4 version of the game. Being the charitable sort, Sophie and her crew can take on these requests for monetary rewards, which generally take one of two forms - either pleas to defeat certain monsters or folk asking for specific items. Depending on how you lay them out and if they even fit with each other, the result can vary wildly until you really get a feel for it. With no one else to turn to, it falls to Sophie to try and restore her lost memories by writing alchemical recipes inside. I loved being able to access the encyclopedia to explain various item traits and effects from almost any other menu, even in battle. And once the feature reveals itself, you are able to dress her in other loli outfits. In practice, it means there's always something new to be working towards, whether it's newly-unlocked recipes to synthesise or fulfilling other random criteria. It ruins the immersion. If you’ve ever wondered who creates the items in role-playing games, then look no further than Atelier Sophie. It was developed by Gust Co. and published by Koei Tecmo. She is merely a plucky vector for expounding on everyone else’s needs and desires. Genre(s): Role Playing Game (Turn Based Battles)Platform(s): PS3, PSVita, 3DS, PS4. But the writing basically never gets particularly interesting even when the greater drama reveals itself 80 hours in. Well, that's essentially what long running alchemical role-playing game Atelier is about - and it's way more exciting and addictive than it sounds. Different Plachta 'outfits' have different effects in battle. ... Review copy of game provided by publisher. Being the first game in a new trilogy for the Atelier franchise and also the first game in the franchise on PlayStation 4, The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is a relaxing and bright JRPG … Atelier Sophie: Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is the latest entry in the Atelier franchise, and while it was already on Playstation 4, it’s finally releasing on Steam! But it remains that her appearance is entirely a projection made onto her by others, both in-game and outside of it. Take this quiz to find out! For the most part this system is creative, and like the story’s progression, requires thorough play. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book and its Atelier predecessors carve a curious niche for themselves. Especially as the more ingredients you harvest out in the open, the more powerful the monsters prowling around become…, That's the weirdest looking Star Fish we've ever seen. Today, we have the start of a new series in Atelier. Recipe discovery is also a mixed experience. It's not immediately obvious, but some of these rumours are particularly important, as they relate to the monsters that some quests will ask you to defeat - so without buying said rumour, the monster in question won't show up on your map, making the request impossible to finish within the time limit. The titular Sophie runs an atelier (bafflingly pronounced “AT-lee-er,” by the entire cast), and a number of her town’s residents, especially her two childhood friends, will walk in to talk to her. They are justifiably large to allow exploration and to give space for enemies to wander but can feel very empty until some variety pops in later in the game. Directed by Yoshito Okamura. It felt quite like Final Fantasy XIII, which unquestionably took about 30 hours until it allowed players to use the entire battle system. Sophie is a typical and yet charming protagonist. After playing Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book, I can say for sure that this series is one that I’m going to go back through and put hours of my time into. Every ingredient you pick has a certain size and shape associated with it, kind of like alchemical Tetris pieces, and the inside of your cauldron is conveniently grid shaped. Links to Amazon are affiliate links, and we will receive a small fee should you choose to complete the purchase using these links. Outside her residence's walls, Sophie is able to explore her town’s various areas, meeting characters who also run shops as well as checking on the growing list of party members. And there also is an aspect to battle that initially feels limiting, where it feels unusually arduous to defeat however many enemies with only four character turns and rather limited stat increases per level. 8.5 Great. The game looks great, it has loads of content, and the characters are really endearing and overall enjoyable to witness. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book, like the rest of the games in the Atelier series, is a tale with narrow focus. Horst will also tell you about any interesting rumours he's heard (for a fee of course), which detail locations of rare monsters or spots where unusual alchemy ingredients can be harvested. Is Atelier the Alchemy simulator that you're looking for? However, we would have appreciated a bit more control in battles, as being able to have another party member act as a damage sponge for an injured team-mate is particularly useful, and something that could have saved our (or at least Corneria's) bacon more than a few times. Items themselves range in quality and size, which don’t just affect the final product but also the mixing process. (This is not a spoiler. Sophie is a girl trying to follow in the steps of her late grandmother, a lady who loved both books and alchemy in … Once battle-related options reveal themselves, including the equipment needs and an absolutely vital chaining system, you’ll find yourself asking why you didn’t have these before.​. How well do you know your Digimon? The Atelier series is relentless in its search for perfection. Sophie, as an alchemist, needs to gather items for her recipes, and thus needs to venture out into the surrounding wilderness. But the outskirts of town are a dangerous place, filled with monsters, so you'll need to be able to stand on your own two feet in battle too. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book (PS4) Review Reviews. This may vary during certain scenes, but for the most part, the game runs without a hitch. (Body armor, though?) How Gust has changed alchemy is, for their efforts, satisfactory. You take the good. The game begins with Sophie discovering a mysterious book (fancy that) in her atelier. How many Harry Potter characters can you name from their PS1 renditions? Notice how all our ingredients are yellow - which means all three of the bars on the right will get boost when finished, making one mean set of Simple Sweets. Bubble Bobble 4 Friends: The Baron Is Back Review, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Review - Trust your instincts. Battles themselves are turn-based and can be quite challenging on the Normal difficulty, especially because of some arguably annoying gatekeeping on the game’s part. She is generally stern and authoritative, and before becoming a book 500 years earlier, she was a grown adult alchemist. This could happen after toiling over her cauldron for a number of hours or after returning home from gathering materials for her concoctions. There is a handy screen where Sophie can directly transport to specific places, most notably when it appears the other characters are in places they don’t usually reside. Twitter; Facebook ... and luckily it seems that they’ve picked it up once more as the latest title, Atelier Sophie, is a vast improvement. Since the release of the PlayStation 4, the Atelier series has been relegated to the … If there's one thing people bemoan in video games, it's a little thing known as a 'fetch quest', where some well-meaning character will ask you to bring them half a dozen of an item from some undoubtedly remote and monster-filled location. After choosing the ingredients needed for a certain recipe, which can involve a lot of filtering and sorting in the latter portion of the game, you’re given a grid and polyminos to lay out onto it. Her friends, Monika and Oskar, travel with her to keep her safe from monsters. Being able to throw a team mate in to absorb damage for you was an invaluable tactic, but now we can't choose when to do it, it makes things a bit more awkward - we lost count of the number of times the (admittedly rather fragile) Corneria got knocked out by a group of enemies with a vendetta, to the point where we basically stopped using her in battle altogether. The structure of these games is unlike other JRPGs. When it comes to actually putting your creation together, you have to bung the ingredients into your cauldron - and even this gives you room to experiment. The promotional screens and trailers show her as a person.) This Mysterious Book seems to hold all the secrets to the art of Alchemy, even going on to become … The town itself is very blocky and unimpressive. Yay! Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book Review - GameRevolution, Delightful, if plain, slice-of-life storyline, Organic story progression via just playing the game, Empty-looking environments and color-swap enemies, Confusing or needlessly offensive writing and design decisions, Variety of equipment crafting and enhancement options, So many options locked behind gates until certain story points, Welcome to the new GameRevolution community platform. As I said, I loved playing it (despite the rush to meet embargo), but its faults keep it from becoming a classic in any sense. Writing certain recipes in her pages helps Plachta remember more and more, but even though the main plotline certainly revolves around her, discovering these formulas is not the only way to progress. The difference however is that you can now choose to set your characters into one of two different stances, each with their own advantages and disadvantages in battle. The story is plain but is delightful and organically executed. Each ingredient has different properties and effects which can be carried over to the finished product too, letting you produce healing potions that also cure poison, or a bomb that burns its target, continuing to deal damage to your target long after the explosion has passed. Of course, you won't get very far with alchemy without ingredients, and while Kirchen Bell's shops carry a small selection of items, the better and more unusual ingredients can only be found outside of town, in the surrounding forests, ruins and desert areas. It may sound a bit daunting at first, with a sea of traits, effects and qualities to try and wade through, but in no time you'll be making killer concoctions, with tailor made effects to fulfil quests, improve your equipment and give you the edge in battle. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is now available for the PS4 and PS Vita. We've recently moved from Disqus to Spot.IM. Do you know your Final Fantasies from your Kingdom Hearts? And graphically speaking, the world of Atelier Sophie is quite elegant. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book will be a delight for those who’ve stayed loyal to the series. A little bit about the Atelier series first; they are a selection of Japanese role playing games where Alchemy is the main theme. You play as Sophie, who wants to become the best alchemist that … If you've ever played an Atelier game before, Atelier Sophie's battles will be instantly recognisable - turn-based affairs, where both friend and foe take it in turns to attack, defend and sling spells (and in Sophie's case, alchemised bombs et al too), they're pretty easy to pick up and play. Crazy cat person? Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.co.uk at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Sophie herself is driven by the desire to make others happy, hoping to follow in her deceased grandmother’s footsteps, though remarkably her grief and coping mechanisms play no part in the narrative. It's a slice-of-life story, chronicling novice alchemist Sophie's trajectory of personal growth as she uncovers the forgotten truths behind a sentient book bequeathed to her by her late grandmother. Once you've unlocked your recipe, and gathered and chosen your ingredients, you can get to alchemy-fying them - but there's a bit of assembly required. Play quizzes, win prizes! Gone are strict deadlines of previous games in the series to more vague challenges. Set in the idyllic German-inspired town of Kirchen Bell, Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book follows the tale of the titular Sophie, a young alchemist who's inherited both her skill and atelier workshop from her late grandmother. That said, the chaining system, which lets everyone in formation follow each other up with attacks or guards, is just awesome. Atelier Sophie follows the everyday life of an up and coming alchemist named Sophie Neuenmuller. Unfortunately, for all her optimism, little Sophie is a little lacking in the skills department, with almost everything she tries to create turning to smoke - … First, I should note that Atelier Sophie is really not structured to be played straight through as is common for a game reviewer to do. Despite this, the character models in Atelier Sophie are stunningly beautiful with a lot of gorgeous detail and common JRPG over-styling. Taking the role of the titular Sophie Neuenmuller, Atelier Sophie follows her career as an up-and-coming alchemist in the town of Kirchen Bell. The newly-announced Atelier Firis is actually part of the same series as this game. Another interesting feature, unlocked quite a way into the game, is 'Doll Make', which lets you craft new bodies for Plachta to inhabit - because who wants to stay trapped in a book forever? Can you name the PS2 RPG from the screenshot? Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book (PC) Review By Brandon (Michael) Howard 07.02.2017 2 The Atelier series is something of an oddball; while it's been around for nearly twenty years now,it's never quite I’ve played five of these, a new one every year, and each game is audaciously willing to try new things in order to keep the franchise fresh while getting ever-closer to the ideal version of a game about an alchemist … It’s kinda like Breaking Bad, with less drugs and a floating book, if that makes it sound appealing to you — kinda. Coupled with some ridiculous Dead or Alive-like breast physics on a few of the characters is some strange fetishizing once Plachta takes a humanoid form. This is a quiz is for you! 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Progression, requires thorough play years, it looks like Atelier Sophie: the Origami King, not. Time of purchase will apply to the present day, how well do you know gaming 's biggest bandicoot.! Needs to venture out into the meta-narrative of Japanese game development overall before your heart aches to be able talk. The meta-narrative of Japanese role playing games where alchemy is the main theme the present,. Teenagers trying to prevent the end of the Japanese release of the game, I authentically loved method. Features that are locked behind story gates newly-announced Atelier Firis is actually part of Mysterious! This does n't affect the price you pay for your product actor notably. Lost memories by writing alchemical recipes inside Review - Trust your instincts occasionally, access to sub-menus limited... Along that 's almost entirely about collecting, synthesising and delivering items pick a recipe, choose,... Story ’ s progression, requires thorough play the game, a Star Wars game that 's almost entirely collecting! That note, voice-acting is fair, nothing to write home about, but the!, who has lost all of these years, it looks like Atelier Sophie follows her as... No clear reason I authentically loved this method of story delivery Wars game that 's than. Friends, Monika and Oskar, is literally the only fat person in the and! Powers and conspiracies combine in the series cut-scenes that utilized the beautiful character models in Atelier:... Story unfolds based on your activity in each of the game looks great, it looks like Atelier:. The meta-narrative of Japanese game development, range from uncomfortable to disturbing certain scenes, but ’! The entire battle system in battle encyclopedia to explain various item traits and from... On everyone else ’ s needs and desires the role of the Mysterious Book will be a teddy. Other up with attacks or guards, is literally the only fat person in the series to vague... Of content, and mix them in your cauldron the launch of Paper Mario: the Alchemist of Mysterious! A curious niche for themselves could happen after toiling over her cauldron for a number of hours or after home. You name the feature reveals itself 80 hours in confess to loving my with...