- System: PS4, PSVita, PC
- Publisher: Gust CO Ltd., Koei Tecmo
- Developer: Gust CO Ltd
- Release Date: March 7, 2017
- Rating: Rating Pending
- Genre: JRPG, RPG
- Players: Single Player
- Official Website: http://www.koeitecmoamerica.com/firis/
Who it Caters to
Now, for those unfamiliar with the Atelier series, the games are centered around alchemy and synthesizing items together to create new objects that you need for quests and to prove your skill. Every time you synthesize something, you gain experience points which ups your alchemy level. You also have to fight monsters for certain items that you won’t just find lying around and this will also give you experience points to your fighting level. While some of the games vary, these features are standard in Atelier games. Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey is for those who like all of these features in their game. It could be for casual gamers or serious gamers alike as it is up to you to figure out how hard you want to dive into the game.
What to Expect
Atelier Firis is a similar take on an age old formula that has never failed Atelier fans. The beautiful designs and graphics in past games are not forgotten and Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey has managed to utilize the PS4’s potential to really bring out all the beauty in the game. The in-game graphics during fight scenes are remarkable and movement seems to be quite fluid. No complaints here.
Compared to the previous Atelier Sophie game, Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey is reported to have a world ten times larger than allowing more things to find and more adventures. This means there is a lot more to explore than in the previous game!
That is until one day, Firis witnesses The Door being blown open by the alchemist, Sophie. Firis’ whole world changes and she thinks she finally found the key to her own freedom. Taking her fate into her hands, Firis asks that Sophie teach her how to be an alchemist so that Firis can protect herself in the outside world. However, there is more to being an alchemist than Firis knows, and she’ll have to pass the alchemist exam to get her alchemy license first.
Then comes the real meat of the game: you, as Firis, must find your own way to Reisenberg where you can take the licensing exam to become an alchemist with Liane by your side. Your time limit is one year. In that year, you will up your level as an alchemist by synthesizing more items as well as collect all the items you need and fight off monsters with the help of Liane. You must also seek out other alchemists who are licensed to write you letters of recommendation so that you are allowed to take the exam. Along the way, you will run into other alchemists who are planning on taking the exam, as well.
The next portion of Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey occurs after the licensing exam. This part of the game has no in-game timer and you are able to decide your next course of action as you please. While the game overall feels like an open world game, it is in this next fraction of Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey that truly feels like an open world game with endless possibilities. You are free to synthesize anything of your choosing and travel as you’d like.
A major part of Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey involves collecting items and scavenging. Unfortunately, these actions do consume LP just like any other action. If you don’t have the effective tool for a certain job, you might find that Firis loses LP rather quickly such as with mining. LP can be regained by resting in bed in the Atelier or by spending time at your cauldron synthesizing items, but synthesizing items is significantly less restful, takes more time, and does not restore HP or MP, which you will need when you battle.
While you roam the world collecting ingredients, Firis can learn hints that lead to a new recipe. Sometimes even synthesizing new items will spurn Firis to learn more hints or figure out a new recipe, so it is best to collect and make as much as possible. How often you find a hint is seemingly random, but at least when the item is important, there is no learning curve needed.
The battle system feels like your basic turn-based battle style like in many JRPGs so take that with a grain of salt. It isn’t bland, but it isn’t exciting either. The battles themselves are only moderately interesting. When it comes to the alchemy part, it feels a bit confusing to see what makes a better product, but it requires a bit of experimenting to figure out what you should do to make better items. Still, it gives the player more creative freedom.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Beautiful graphics and art style
- Open world-like gaming style
- The characters are well designed with their own interesting personalities reminiscent of anime
- Moderately interesting storyline
- Cute monster designs
- Simple gameplay
- Return of the in-game timer can present players with more of a challenge
- Vague instructions, direction, and goals
- The map is not as detailed or helpful
- Turn-based fighting
- Weak protagonist (especially when battling)
- Loading times may vary, but for my game, it was slow