Journey back to dusk.
When I reviewed Atelier Shallie a few months back, I was greatly disappointed.
From its numerous technical issues to its questionable game play direction to abandoning the tried and true time mechanic the series has all but become synonymous with, I felt it ended the trilogy on a sour note.
Revisiting Atelier Escha & Logy once more accentuated those feelings, as I was reminded just how good the Atelier games can be.
Space Required: 2600MB
Voice Acting Selection: ENG/JPN(free downloadable off PSN)
Length: 40~ hours
For those unfamiliar with the Atelier series, it’s a rather long running JRPG franchise that’s been going strong since 1997.
Unlike most other JRPGs, the Atelier games feature a more light-hearted story arc and put a heavy emphasis on collecting and synthesizing items more so than just the combat.
While other spiky-haired protagonists might be out on a grand adventure, saving the world from certain doom, an alchemist is happy keeping their business afloat and helping out the locals.
The PS3 era of Atelier games (minus Shallie) all feature a time mechanic, where most actions like fighting, gathering/synthesizing items and traveling all take a certain amount of time.
There are deadlines to meet and after a certain time, the game ends whether you want it to or not.
Proper management of time requires a great deal of strategy and makes every action taken during the course of the game feel more meaningful.
Escha & Logy Plus follows this formula quite well, and I consider it one of the best entries to the series thus far.
The combat is turned based with depth to spare, once more support characters/actions are unlocked and there have been many quality of life changes to the UI that makes synthesizing that perfect piece of equipment easier and more satisfying than ever.
Escha & Logy Plus includes all the character DLC from the original release along with some new events and costumes, but it’s not quite enough new content for those who have finished the original to want to come back.
Also, even though the content within the game has been improved, the frame rates aren’t quite as steady as they were on the PS3, as there were frequent slowdowns in and outside of combat. There were also some visual glitches I saw occur from time to time where text would disappear off my sub-menu during synthesis, which required me to re-launch the game to fix.
Even with those technical flaws, Atelier Escha & Logy Plus is still an RPG well worth experiencing for those who have not had the chance to check out the original. It’s debatable which of the two versions should be considered the “definitive experience”, so I would simply say that you can’t really go wrong with either.
Fun Tidbit – I highly, HIGHLY, recommend you download and play the game using the Japanese voice overs as it’s fully voiced in Japanese and in English, well- not even close.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.