Atelier Sophie – The Alchemist Of The Mysterious Book Review
Atelier Sophie is an RPG about alchemy and living life in a small village. With the summer games drought soon hitting, is this RPG worth picking up? Or should you look elsewhere for entertainment? Check out our Honest Game Review of Atelier Sophie – The Alchemist Of The Mysterious Book Review to help make your choice!
Atelier Sophie ReviewI will start by saying this is my first time playing an Atelier game. I know there’s been a lot before, this but this is my first.
As you might have figured out from the title, you play as Sophie, a young Alchemist living in a small village. As the town’s Alchemist, she tries to help out by creating medicine and other items for its citizens. Her grandmother was the Alchemist before her but after she passed the torch was handed off to Sophie. Sophie is very inexperienced when it comes to Alchemy but she tries very hard. One day when trying to create a recipe a mysterious book starts to float and talk to Sophie. The books name is Plachta and she tells Sophie about a cauldron that can make her alchemy even greater. Problem is, Plachcta has lost her memories and it is your job to help her get them back. In the meantime, she helps you out by teaching you new Alchemy recipes so you can be ready for when you finally find the Cauldron of Knowledge.
While you are trying to get Plachta her memories back, you will also be doing side quests to help out the citizens of the town. These range from crafting items, finding materials, and killing enemies on certain fields. Doing these will net you cash which will help you buy new materials for your Alchemy. Later in the game you will also get bonus tickets for completing side missions that you can exchange for rare gear and other things. While they are optional, these will help you speed up the time Plachta gets her memories back. Certain other side events will happen based on your relationships with characters in the village.
When you first start off, the Village is a bit barren. You have a general store and an armory, but they aren’t really fully functional at the start. As you progress, you will get new citizens who come into town to set up various shops. Some will sell materials and others will help you craft new equipment for adventuring. Most of these people will have a Side event later down the line as you get to know them more. The new people who join the town will often times also become your traveling companions when you leave town. You get a pretty decent roster later down the line — at the start you just have three, which is more than enough for the beginning quests.
While we’re on the subject of allies, let’s jump into combat. The combat is turn based and that isn’t a problem. You have a meter on the side that let’s you know who will attack first and you can use that to determine which move to use. Skills normally put you at the bottom of the list but sometimes you need to use them to deal extra damage or buff your team. There is also a support meter that fills up as you fight. When this gets filled, your allies will do an extra attack or rush in to protect a friend depending on which one you have selected. As you progress, the support gauge will get bigger and you will be able to do more powerful attacks. Picking the right time for offense and defense will be the difference between victory and defeat. If you do get knocked out, you end up back home and you lose some of the materials you gain. One downside is there is limited areas to explore so you will oftentimes face the same enemies with different colors.
The Alchemy is one of the biggest parts of this game. One thing often overlooked in games is pacing, and the Alchemy in this game is paced very well. When it is introduced there is hardly anything to craft and they take the time to explain how it works. It’s not as simple as selecting a recipe and just crafting it. There is a grid that you will use to improve items for higher quality. It’s a bit hard to explain but is sort of like Tetris where you want to match all the pieces together for maximum profit. The problem is, often times, you have to many of a certain piece and things start to over lap. You will still get credit and bonus for overlapping pieces but you won’t get the best bonus. If you aren’t playing on the hardest difficulty you don’t need to worry about maxing everything unless you are a perfectionist. Later in the game it can get a bit grindy to find all the materials you need for certain items, but at the start it’s really easy.
I had no problems with performance and I also had no crashes while I played for over 40 hours. You will easily get 30+ hours out of this game even if you play on the easiest difficulty.
Overall the Atelier Sophie is a good JRPG that is worth checking out if you are a fan of these kinds of games. If you can get over the fact you have to play a cutesy young woman, there is a good story, deep combat system and a great crafting system waiting for anyone who checks it out.