ATELIER LULUA: THE SCION OF ARLAND

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The story is admittedly not the strongest aspect of Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland, if only because of the rather hit-or-miss writing present here. Though many tired anime tropes are trodden here, the characters are likeable & have enough charisma to lớn keep you invested in the various plights và predicaments they find themselves in. The plot certainly thickens as the chapters wear on, but certain sub-plots & character relationships feel rather tacked on or unearned, và this makes the narrative feel a bit too cheap in some places, almost as though the writers ran out of ideas.

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Still, one doesn’t necessarily come into an Atelier trò chơi for its thought-provoking and in-depth story, và there’s something oddly refreshing about an RPG that doesn’t take itself very seriously & is simply concerned with standing firm in its chất lượng identity. Make no mistake, this is ultimately a ‘girly’ story about young girls in pink dresses running around & fighting woodland creatures while they pick flowers and snag beehives khổng lồ mix together in the cauldron. Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland understands this, và rather than try lớn play khổng lồ audiences that likely aren’t interested khổng lồ begin with, it instead focuses on creating goofy or entertaining mini-arcs that play host to plenty of sufficiently hammy performances from the voice actors (all Japanese by the way, no dub here).


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The core of the chơi game progression is ultimately centred around the Alchemyriddle, with each page containing a series of objectives that, once fulfilled, will reward you with a new recipe khổng lồ further your alchemic exploits. Sometimes these pages have lớn be cleared to lớn push the story further ahead, but most of the time you’re simply after it khổng lồ get much better gear to make your journey that much easier. The objectives you have lớn fulfil can range from visiting new locations to speaking with certain NPCs lớn using a specific thành tích enough times, và though none of the tasks here move very far beyond standard JRPG questing tropes, they nonetheless create a rewarding feedback loop that has you always pursuing multiple objectives. Often, you can’t complete a page all at once, so you’ll have several half-finished pages at any given point while you keep your eyes open for something that might fit the cryptic hints each objective gives you. The Alchemyriddle is an interesting concept for sure, as the engine that keeps the trò chơi moving at a brisk pace, but the real draw of the game play lies in the famed crafting system.


All your exploits throughout Arland are ultimately in service of you getting a wider variety of better things with which you can set together back in the Atelier, and the crafting system at the heart of this is significantly more in-depth than equivalent systems in most other games. See, each recipe calls for a certain number of objects from various ‘classes’ – such as vegetables or threads – and each of these classes has a huge number of items that can potentially be used. Each type of these items has differing elemental qualities, such as a “snow stone” contributing ice or a “phlogiston” contributing fire, & the amount of an element in the final sản phẩm will have an effect on the kind of abilities it can express. Things are made even more granular when you then consider that multiple copies of the same type of thành công will have unique chất lượng stats and transferrable traits, such as a percentage buff khổng lồ healing or the ability to inflict a status effect on an enemy, và that after mixing all these things the recipe needs together, you can then use ‘Boost’ items to địa chỉ cửa hàng additional modifiers khổng lồ the final product.


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To say that synthesis can be overwhelming is a bit of an understatement given how you can effectively control every tiny stat point and trait of each tác phẩm you craft, but what’s nice about the system is how it doesn’t force you khổng lồ min-max everything you make. You can just pick anything that works, slap the tòa tháp together, & be on your merry way; you won’t have khổng lồ really focus on getting it just right & maximizing potential until way later in the trò chơi when fighting against some brutal bosses.

But, for those of you that love to lớn get lost in kitting out a các buổi tiệc nhỏ in the very best of the best gear, there’s seemingly no ceiling khổng lồ how far you can push those numbers. It’s all a matter of finding the absolute perfect balance between the items available to you for mixture, & once you’ve unlocked the deeper aspects of crafting và built up quite a reserve of items, it can be easy lớn spend quite a bit of time fooling around with different recipes to see what you can concoct. The crafting is brilliant, to lớn say the least, and the small quality of life features lượt thích robust sort and filter features lớn cut down on the tedium go a long way towards making this a legitimately enjoyable part of the game.


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Naturally, you’re going lớn have khổng lồ go out at some point khổng lồ get stuff lớn craft with, and this is where the more traditional adventuring portion of the trò chơi comes in, as your các buổi tiệc nhỏ traipses its way through all sorts of gorgeous locales in an endless search for more items. The world map is divided up into an interconnected series of isolated areas, each containing their own enemy and item types, and more areas are gradually unlocked as you keep the story moving forward. Each area is smartly laid out, và though there isn’t much in the way of puzzle-solving to lớn be found here, there are several ‘pick up points’ that require some extra gear, such as needing a fishing rod to catch marine life or a bug net to lớn catch insects. One minor nitpick here is that it’s a bit annoying to lớn have khổng lồ press the ‘A’ button và watch the animation as Lulua grabs the object every single time you want to lớn pick something up, especially given how often you have to bởi it, but you vày learn lớn ignore it as the hours roll by.


When you happen to encounter one of the many enemies in the field, things then shift khổng lồ a battle screen in which a turn-based system takes centre stage. At the đứng đầu of the screen, a timeline lists out exactly when each character will get to take a turn, và depending on the kích hoạt performed during their turn, a character will be placed closer or farther on the queue for their next turn. One notable way in which you can change things up, however, is through the “Interrupt” system, which allows Alchemist characters in the tiệc nhỏ to act outside of their turn & use a pre-equipped item. It takes a couple turns lớn passively charge an Interrupt for a character, but these can allow you to vị things lượt thích toss out a bomb to lớn kill an enemy before they act or heal up a character who’s about khổng lồ take a beating from oncoming blow, và judiciously using them can enormously turn the tide of a battle.

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At any given point, you can only have three characters actively taking part in battle, but you can also have two characters behind them in the backline offering tư vấn abilities. Backline characters don’t get a turn, but every tiệc ngọt character has a passive skill which will be triggered under certain conditions when they’re in the back. Who you pick for the backline & who you position them behind will have a significant effect on the outcome of a turn, & you can swap any of the five members between the front và backline on their turn. This backline system proves khổng lồ be an elegant way lớn ensure that you keep a solid rotation of các buổi tiệc nhỏ members going – rather than simply focusing on just a few for the whole trò chơi – và the strategic options that it offers, when coupled with the Interrupt system, keep the turn-based battles from becoming too stilted and boring. Combat hasn’t always been a strong suit in the Atelier series, but as far as Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland is concerned, you probably won’t be disappointed with what’s on offer here.


From a visual perspective, Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland proves to lớn be a delight, employing a sweet & cutesy anime art style that perfectly fits the tone of the narrative and gameplay. There are hardly any dark colours khổng lồ be seen here, everything is gleaming and bright, with the hues taking on a certain watercolour-like look that calls to lớn mind the stellar CANVAS art style employed in the Valkyria Chronicles series. Environments are pleasingly diverse, whether you find yourself in the mysterious advanced ruins of an ancient civilization, the blackened & hot interior of a volcano, or the golden fields of wheat beside a humble farmhouse, and a rolling day/night cycle does an impressive job of drawing some unique views out of these places. Also worth mentioning is that the technical performance remains excellent whether you’re playing on the go or on the dock, with solid framerates and crisp resolutions making up most of your experience. Matching the wonderful visuals is a soundtrack that in some ways calls to mind the charm of the Kirby series, as multiple tracks of sweet & relaxing tunes wash over your ears. It’s not a very catchy soundtrack, but this is still one that you may want lớn use the headphones for in tabletop mode.


Conclusion

Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland proves khổng lồ be a great entry in Gust’s long-running series, and much like the many concoctions made by Lulua, this is a refined final sản phẩm that reflects several of the best traits of the predecessors that came before. If you can get past the ho-hum storytelling & learn to lớn master the intimidating crafting system, you’ll find that Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland has plenty to lớn offer in its surprisingly involved combat system, gorgeous locales, và rewarding chơi game loops. We would give this game a strong recommendation to lớn both longtime fans of the series và to those looking lớn see what it’s all about; Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland is one of the best entries in the franchise and it’s a wonderful RPG that’s certainly worth your time.

Great 8/10

Scoring PolicyReview copy provided by Koei Tecmo


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Mitch has been a fan hâm mộ of Nintendo ever since he got his start on the GBA in 2005. When he"s not busy playing games or writing, you can find him down at his local MMA training facility learning how to punish the unrighteous.


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Sun 26th May 2019

Looks gorgeous, although it"s a little pricey at the moment. Joins a huge waiting danh sách of RPGs on the Switch that is becoming seriously hard lớn keep up with...best problem ever!


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Sun 26th May 2019

I really ought to try one of these games one day. It"s this massive, storied franchise, và I barely know anything about it.


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Sun 26th May 2019

Finally this website gives a higher score than 6 khổng lồ atelier series on Switch. Well done


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Sun 26th May 2019

There are times when I can take one look at a game & know it"s definitely not for me. This is one of those times.


Sun 26th May 2019

Girl with Dress or Girl with huge Boobs... So original.Am I the only one that wants diverse teams in cool & stylish armor?


Sun 26th May 2019

I would like to get this as RPG"s are my favorite genre. But i hate crafting the only trò chơi i"ve every used crafting in is Zelda: BOTW


Sun 26th May 2019

This iP went down hill a bit when still on VITA. But still fun to lớn play on the GO at times... They were just rushing them out.

Will pick up whatever version hits $19.99 by đen Friday (Or always a Steam Sale).


Sun 26th May 2019

I"ve always wanted khổng lồ play these games but dont know where to lớn start. Would starting here be a bad idea?


NESlover85 I"ve never played any of these before và I had a fine time with it. There are characters from the previous games that show up and I"m sure fans get more out of those interactions, but l think this is as good as any a place lớn jump in & see what it"s about. From what I"ve been able lớn gather, the design decisions they made here (i.e. Removing the time limits) have taken a lot of the best parts of previous games và merged them together into one cohesive whole.


Sun 26th May 2019

I probably might not like this because RPGs are not my thing, I do like the girls though.


Ralizah This was my exact reaction khổng lồ the Legends of Heroes series. If you"re unfamiliar with it và love JRPGs, I can"t recommend it enough.


Sun 26th May 2019

At a superficial level, I can"t say I have any interest in this series. As others have pointed out, it looks generic & is awash in anime tropes. It"s always nice lớn see more JRPGs come lớn the platform, but this is one I"ll definitely be skipping.

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JayJ I respect it. But despite the look, these games are actually pretty deep in story và the RPG mechanics. I played a different game in the series, thinking I wouldn"t lượt thích it. But here I am, now I have 5 Atelier games on switch.


Custom1991 Haha, respect. However, the trò chơi is also kinda lượt thích a visual novel, và has crafting mechanics in the game.


Sun 26th May 2019

Looks great on Switch. Not as sharp as the PS4 version, but damn near. It’s definitely a much much better looking và performing trò chơi than Atelier Lydie và Suelle on Switch.


SwitchVogel Thank you for the reply. Glad lớn hear time limits are removed. I bởi vì love niche japanese titles.


Sun 26th May 2019

I had this since launch, but haven"t been able lớn get far yet. Good lớn see that Nintendo Life warmed me up to my purchase.

Then again, I enjoyed Lydie và Suelle (That trò chơi doesn"t deserve a 6/10, Nintendo Life. Super Mario các buổi party does), so what"s gonna stop me from enjoying Lulua?


Sun 26th May 2019

I didn"t get on too well with Lydie & Suelle (I got the basic ending, but was overall very "meh" on the whole thing), but I"m glad the Switch is still getting these for the people that lượt thích them.

I"m in the middle of FFXHD on Switch & Tales of Zestria on PS4, so no need for a new JRPG for me at the moment anyways.


Sun 26th May 2019

I"ve played through the first three Atelier Arland games in the last few months and really enjoyed them all so I can"t wait lớn get stuck into this one when my copy arrives later this week.


Anri02 I started with Atelier Rorona & would recommend doing the same. All of the Arland series games are on the Switch and the best way to experience them is lớn play them in order. Ronona then Totori then Meruru then Lulua.


BenAV Thanks. I’ll check them out sometime. Unfortunately Persona q2 is a week away, so that’ll be my JRPG for a while.


Sun 26th May 2019


AtelierZac I see.


Sun 26th May 2019


jtmnm I played Trails in the Sky FC after seeing people talking it up for years & wasn"t hugely impressed. The music, battle system, characterization, etc. Were all merely adequate, & I hated the incest-bait romance. Worst of all, it was slooooooooooooooooooow.

The unique dialogue for the treasure chests was cute, though, I"ll admit.

I"ll probably play SC one day, if only to lớn see how it resolves the cliffhanger ending.


Mon 27th May 2019

Added to the backlog. & what"s weird? I live in nhật bản and it is still cheaper lớn import the American version. Not that I am complaining. Lol


Mon 27th May 2019

I tried Lydie & Suelle last year and after 10 hours or so put it down & never went back. Decided the series wasn"t for me but now I find myself curious about this one. Maybe I"ll give this one a go when it"s $20


Mon 27th May 2019


BenAV Are they physical releases or digital only?


Mon 27th May 2019


NESlover85 Unfortunately the first three are digital only outside of japan and the Japanese versions don"t have English. They"re also pretty pricy and take up a fair bit of space so a bit of a hard sell. I was reluctant to download them despite really wanting lớn play them but eventually gave in when they went on special. Glad I did in the kết thúc as they"re some of my favourite JRPGs on the system.


Heavyarms55 Lol, this must be a one-in-a-million What about getting it from other asian countries? đài loan trung quốc with taobao.com has a huge selection of resellers.


mazzel Not sure, I just imported the American version. I rarely, if ever bother to kiểm tra anything other than nhật bản and America. Since I live in japan but am from America.


Heavyarms55 Just an idea I live almost 5 years in trung quốc and never bothered to lớn import anything from Germany, taobao was thr place to be


BenAV The file size and price are disheartening. I may pick up the trilogy on PS3, as it is quite cheap.


NESlover85 That"s fair. The steep price on the Switch is the only thing stopping it from being an easy recommendation, as the games are great. Bit of a shame.


Mon 27th May 2019

Grabbed the collector edition, as I have all the Atelier CE on Switch so far. Now I just feel compelled to get them so I’m not missing one.


Ralizah I don’t know much about this series either, despite buying the last three titles on Switch