atelieAtelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout (a game I shall call Atelier Ryza from right here on out) is actually exciting, actually cozy, actually charming, and actually laid back. For these RPG players who are tired of saving the planet, fending off the apocalypse, taking on the calamity, and meeting the contact of destiny, the Atelier series has generally supplied a bit of a respite, with delightfully smaller sized scale stories focused on a handful of characters and smaller sized places, and a slice of life flavor that tends to make them just about akin to an workout in destressing. Atelier Ryza is reduce from the exact same cloth as every single other game in this ridiculously big series (we’re searching at 20+ games at this point).
Nonetheless, that does not mean Atelier Ryza is stale or something like that. In reality, to developer Gust’s credit, they’ve produced almost certainly the strongest and most compelling outing in the complete series to date. A lot of this is accomplished by lastly moving the series out of the comfy niche it has occupied all these years, and attempting anything just a bit much more than usual.
Like every single other game in the series, Atelier Ryza focuses on its female protagonist – the eponymous Ryza (brief for Reisalin Stout – I honestly do not know who comes up with these names). Ryza is an ordinary girl living a boring and mundane life in a modest village on an out of the way island, and desperate for some adventure to spice factors up. She shirks her responsibilities to goof off with her pals, which leads to her producing pals with the daughter of a potent person, and beginning down the path of alchemy – which, of course, is the series’ central mechanic.
“To developer Gust’s credit, they’ve produced almost certainly the strongest and most compelling outing in the complete series to date.”
The setup is much more or significantly less the exact same as other games in the series, even though Ryza is such a lovably properly written character, you warm up to her proper away. This tends to make you much more interested in her proper off the bat, which of course implies you are likelier to stick about as the game performs its way by means of its setup of the story and mechanics – despite the fact that, to give this game complete credit, that does not really take lengthy. As opposed to most other RPGs, Atelier Ryza has completely set up its quick story, and most of its key mechanics, in significantly less than a couple of hours, top to a quick paced adventure that does not bore you with endless exposition.
In terms of story and storytelling, Atelier Ryza is a actually laid back and casual slice of life story, interested much more in its protagonist and her doings than the fate of the bigger planet. Distinct than the earlier games is a concentrate on Ryza’s coming of age, and how she gets prepared for the genuine planet as an adult by forming memories with her pals, which lends the complete factor a extremely nostalgic and friendly vibe. This performs wonderfully in its favor, and I really began to appear forward to just chilling with the game for a bit at the finish of a lengthy day of perform for a bit. It feels like the Animal Crossing of RPGs, in some regards.
That mentioned, in contrast to earlier games, Atelier Ryza really does finish up going for a “save the world” style plot – the stakes are nonetheless smaller sized, but we do comply with much more of a conventional “Hero’s Journey” style plot progression right here, which lends proceedings much more structure than we have had in earlier games in the series.
Mechanically, on the other hand, Atelier Ryza is much more nuanced and complicated than earlier games in the series. The most quick alter is the battle program – rather than the easy turn primarily based battles of earlier games in the series, we get a genuine time action battle program, which requires some cues from Final Fantasy‘s Active Time Battle, and blends it with Tales. The finish outcome is a surprisingly involved program, that asks players to handle a complete lot, and rewards these players who are prepared to experiment with all the tools at their disposal, and to take dangers.
“The finish outcome is a surprisingly involved program, that asks players to handle a complete lot, and rewards these players who are prepared to experiment with all the tools at their disposal, and to take dangers.”
This is not all, either – every single character can have a function, and every single character is finest suited for a particular sort of function, which really sets up group composition and character function assignment to be a major aspect of how battles, specially tougher ones, play out.
I have to be truthful, to some degree, this runs counter to just how relaxed these games can be, due to the fact battles do need you to be paying complete focus (despite the fact that you can turn down the difficulty should really you want to). But it is far much more mechanically fulfilling this way, so I’m not complaining, specially considering that the rest of the game nonetheless remains so breezy.
Mechanically, most of that rest of the game is you managing your every day schedule (you get a restricted quantity of time per day, and most activities you can engage in take time – think Persona or Fire Emblem 3 Homes), and finishing quests. You can also collect components, to develop stuff, which can variety from consumables to equippables. Alchemy itself has also changed compared to earlier games in the series, even though it is really not actually any much more complicated than it was prior to, and is really a fair bit much more intuitive.
Place with each other, the time management, quest management, and resource gathering ends up building a steady gameplay loop, which is engaging and which lets you method the game at your personal pace, although also rewarding players who attempt to get much more out of it.
“Atelier Ryza does other factors to go above and beyond earlier games in the series – the most clear of these, of course, getting just how quite it appears.”
Nonetheless, Atelier Ryza does other factors to go above and beyond earlier games in the series – the most clear of these, of course, getting just how quite it appears. Now, do not get me incorrect, it is by no means going to win any awards for its graphics (and factors like you getting capable to run into NPCs, or flat textures, or dithering, or a lack of aliasing, can stand out extremely noticeably for these with an eye for that sort of factor), but it is a extremely clear step up from earlier games in the series, and appears really aesthetically pleasing, specially due to the fact of the art. It is backed with some extremely imaginative environments and exceptional character design and style (the primary character, Ryza, getting a certain standout), even though on the latter front, it nonetheless does have a tendency to fall prey to a lot of anime tropes – you know what I am speaking about.
As far as other elements of the presentation go, it is significant to note the game does not have an English dub. I know a lot of fans of anime style games favor Japanese voices, and that is fine, but I personally really feel a game with this significantly character would have benefited significantly from English voices. The absence of English voices did in reality impact my knowledge with the game, due to the fact a lot of instances, I just didn’t know whether or not the character had completed speaking or not – causing me either to skip ahead to the subsequent dialog prior to the present one particular was accomplished, or causing me to wait for a handful of seconds soon after the present dialog was completed, top to an awkward pause. In each circumstances, that sort of broke the flow of the scene.
That apart, of course, the open ended and relaxing knowledge I have described in this critique can be excellent for a lot of players, but I also have an understanding of that for lots of, it can appear pointless. In big aspect, it hasn’t changed on that front – just as it hasn’t changed in terms of its much more embarrassing anime tendencies, such as a camera that likes to fixate on particular components of its characters’ anatomies.
All the complaints aside, even though, Atelier Ryza is actually, actually superior, and actually, actually relaxing. I do not actually have lots of individual complaints. If you are searching for a game to kick back and unwind with, Atelier Ryza is almost certainly one particular of your finest bets at the present moment.
This game was reviewed on PS4.
THE Very good
Excellent art style with imaginative environments and excellent character design and style leads to a actually quite searching game a actually engaging and involved battle program the protagonist is extremely properly written really laid back and relaxing
No English dub the game retains the embarrassing tropey tendencies of its predecessors graphics can be technically lacking
If you want a actually properly accomplished, cozy game to kick back with at the finish of a lengthy day, Atelier Ryza is one particular of the finest titles on the marketplace to do it with.