Publisher: Tecmo Koei
What they say: The promise begins. After times of prosperity, people must endure the dusk. As another of period of dusk begins, in a region of the world where people are beginning to live humble lives once again… This land lacks the system of a governed nation, yet people live together, hand in hand. There, in an isolated workshop, lives a girl who makes a living by making medicine. This girl’s name is Ayesha. She used to live with her grandfather and younger sister, but after her grandfather passed away a few years ago, her sister also went missing. Now she is only left with her pet cow, and her solitude.
What I say: I have loved the Atelier series since Atelier Rorona. All of the Atelier games are about various young female Alchemists in training trying to accomplish a goal within 3 years. This game follows that same structure. You play as Ayesha, a young girl who lives in a rural setting, and sells her Alchemy throughout the surrounding towns thanks to her friend who is a merchant, Ernie. Well Ayesha’s sister has been spirited away. Ayesha came to find out that her sister is still alive after a man told her she would have to go and use alchemy to save her, and of course you have 3 years to accomplish this.
Atelier Ayesha, to me, didn’t seem as engaging as some of the others in the series. In Rorona, you were saving a workshop from being closed down, in Meruru you were trying to become an Alchemist as your father, the king, made you show him how you could use it to help the kingdom grow. This one was trying to find your sister who had been gone for 2 years.
They did make a lot of changes this time. The characters they allowed for your party were a lot more loveable than normal, you could actually handle the first person to join unlike in the previous games where you would be like, “WHEN CAN I SWITCH HER OUT!” Then there were more towns to explore than the normal Atelier game. More save points, it wasn’t just at your workshop. They were at multiple towns, and if you played any other Atelier game, you would agree that is good thing since it saves days from traveling for no reason than to save. Then they made it easier to make money with a ton more side quests, and instead of going to someone for them, you go right to the client. Plus each place you went was different. The art style was a little different as well.
It’s was pretty obvious that the makers of this assumed the player had played the previous games. There was a noticeable lack of explanation and tutorials. I mean really. And it seemed as if it was lacking just a tad in story direction. You would get down with something than ask yourself, “Okay, what do I do know?” It was kind of jarring at times to be quite honest.
Overall, I liked it but the changes didn’t really help the experience and in some ways I felt it took the series a step back.
Atelier Ayesha is available as a retail release and is also on PSN.