When you consider it, Gust’s Atelier collection has been very constant previously few years. The Atelier Ryza trilogy is its largest hit, with Atelier Ryza 3 not too long ago wrapping up the trilogy, whereas Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream additionally obtained sturdy reward. Every has constructed upon the alchemy of earlier video games in new and thrilling methods whereas presenting greater and extra epic situations. However did you ever want you may return to the great previous days? When an Atelier title meant not saving the world and simply chilling out?
The newest title does simply that, going again to the very starting. Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg relies on the primary sport within the collection, first launched on the PlayStation in 1997 for Japan. It was subsequently ported to Sega Saturn the identical yr and obtained a Plus model in 1998 earlier than arriving on different platforms like PC, Dreamcast, PS2, iOS and Android, however by no means launched exterior of Japan.
Thus, the remake permits for experiencing the collection’ origins with snazzy, revamped visuals. Nevertheless, when you count on a extra complete remake with new mechanics or quality-of-life options to match the extra trendy video games, Atelier Marie Remake will disappoint.
“Atelier Marie performs out over a number of days and months in a yr, and you may enterprise out to talk to the townsfolk in Salburg, collect supplies in close by areas or tackle duties to ship gadgets and assets.”
The story begins with Marlone, or Marie, a scholar on the Royal Academy of Magic in Salburg. She’s on the backside of her class in grades and is subsequently given a particular examination by her professor, Ingrid. Marie should make a singular merchandise to impress her inside 5 years. With an Atelier at her disposal, Marie will get cracking, and that’s just about the place the narrative rests in your hopefully succesful shoulders as a result of the plot is pushed by what you resolve to do.
Atelier Marie performs out over a number of days and months in a yr, and you may enterprise out to talk to the townsfolk in Salburg, collect supplies in close by areas or tackle duties to ship gadgets and assets. You’ll be able to work together with characters like Schia, Marie’s pal; Kries, the Academy’s greatest scholar, but additionally smug and dismissive of Marie; My, an upbeat adventurer; and extra. These characters could be recruited (for a wage) to accompany Marie on gathering periods and quests.
Your recognition additionally determines whether or not they accompany you, and it might probably solely enhance by finishing completely different duties. Some duties pop up as you progress by way of the story, like bandits taking on residence at a close-by cave which should be handled. Others contain going to a spot and gathering supplies, then delivering them earlier than the deadline.
Should you fail to take action, then your popularity drops barely. Duties may also arrive from Ingrid, asking Marie to journey with 4 completely different get together members. When your popularity will increase, stronger characters can provide their help.
“Why not for a set variety of assets and even the complete time I’m in that location? On the intense facet, Marie doesn’t want to modify instruments to mine, collect or fish, in order that’s good.”
Salburg additionally gives amenities like a blacksmith for buying new weapons and armor whereas the Academy sells supplies and recipe books. The latter’s stock can change every day, and completely different occasions develop into accessible in choose months. In any other case, characters present some dialogue, possibly some gadgets, and possibly inform you of rumors they’ve heard, which may result in completely different occasions. Even with the choice to quick journey to locations in Salburg, you may freely discover and run round, not like within the authentic. The mechanics of all that is very simple; the catch is the time restrict.
When re-entering the Atelier, a day will cross, however touring forwards and backwards between places can take a number of days. Even gathering supplies causes time to cross, so when you decide up a single merchandise, that’s at some point gone. It isn’t the worst factor on this planet, however it’s value noting when you’re making an attempt to select up every thing after which enterprise again to the Atelier to dump all of it off. Which may be extra accommodating for one Reisalin Stout, however Atelier Marie is much stingier (particularly with solely 40 slots accessible in your stock firstly).
You should be extra selective concerning the supplies, a few of which you gained’t even know till you’ve picked them up for the primary time. Whereas I can respect the time restrict and the way it causes you to plan out every gathering expedition, making use of it to selecting one useful resource at a time is a little bit harsh.
Why not for a set variety of assets and even the complete time I’m in that location? On the intense facet, Marie doesn’t want to modify instruments to mine, collect or fish, in order that’s good. You may also rent fairies in some unspecified time in the future to help in gathering with completely different varieties requiring extra money primarily based on how fast they’re.
“One of many essential appeals of an Atelier sport is the alchemy half, however Atelier Marie may be very primary in that regard. You combine two components, specify the variety of gadgets you need, and that’s it.”
There’s an Limitless Mode that turns off the time restrict, however you’ll miss out on some occasions when enabling it. Other than gathering, there’s additionally fight. Together with Marie, as much as three get together members are allowed in battles, and you may select between primary assaults, guarding, Expertise, Gadgets and operating. Get together members may also change formation throughout fight, so if you wish to have characters go ahead and deal extra bodily injury, dangle again for extra magical injury or keep centered for impartial advantages, that’s an possibility.
It doesn’t add as a lot complexity as you’d assume to most battles. You’ll have your hardest-hitting attackers in entrance, Marie within the again, rinse and repeat. Some Expertise can pierce a number of enemies in a row, and there’s a flip order to remember. Gadgets are additionally utilized in battles, however we’ll get to that later. All in all, fight is extraordinarily simplistic and easy. Whereas exploring, you might also soar into mini-games which contain platforming or bonking Punis with a hammer and avoiding bombs.
They’re wonderful – not essentially the perfect and considerably floaty (particularly when making an attempt to leap over obstacles throughout one mini-game, with knockbacks being annoying), however they’re there. Places are pretty constrained, and it’s straightforward to get circled, looping again to the start and realizing that’s all there may be. The number of environments is sweet, and even when they’re all roughly the identical by way of traversal, they’ve distinctive assets and enemies.
One of many essential appeals of an Atelier sport is the alchemy half, however Atelier Marie may be very primary in that regard. You combine two components, specify the variety of gadgets you need, and that’s it. Marie builds up fatigue with every synthesis, rising the failure price, and thus it’s essential to spend time resting to recuperate. You’ll be able to craft some gadgets, like explosives, to be used in battle on prime of therapeutic allies, elevating their assault, and extra, although it doesn’t add that a lot complexity on prime.
“For these accustomed to the standard of life modifications, stronger story-telling, deeper characterization, faster-paced fight, in-depth crafting and freedom of latest titles, it falls brief.”
Other than buying a number of instruments and studying books to be taught new recipes, there isn’t extra to it, which is comprehensible, provided that it’s primarily based on a 26-plus-year-old sport. Nevertheless, you’ll assume that quality-of-life options like auto-adding supplies for fast synthesis can be accessible.
The most important change to Atelier Marie is the visuals. As an alternative of 2D sprites and hand-drawn environments as backgrounds, every thing is totally 3D. It seems very sharp, even when the chibi design of the characters gained’t gel with everybody. Animations are restricted, however a minimum of character portraits throughout conversations are excessive decision and really sharp.
Oddly sufficient, the animated cutscenes had been low decision and operating at a low body price – it’s unknown why they’re recorded this fashion, however hopefully, there’s a repair. The music has additionally been rearranged, although you may change again to the unique. It’s wonderful, as an entire, however a number of the melodies, just like the blacksmith’s store, can get a little bit jarring on loop.
General, Atelier Marie Remake: Alchemist of Salburg is an honest remake of the unique for a brand new era. Nevertheless, for these accustomed to the standard of life modifications, stronger story-telling, deeper characterization, faster-paced fight, in-depth crafting and freedom of latest titles, it falls brief. Even when it wasn’t bought for $50 at launch, simply $10 lower than any of the Ryza video games or Atelier Sophie 2, Atelier Marie Remake isn’t intensive sufficient to advocate to all however essentially the most ardent followers.
This sport was reviewed on PlayStation 5.