If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the Forum Rules. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.
Welcome to RPGamer's new forums running under Vanilla Forums! If you're run into any odd or strange issues after our software migration please see this thread for details

Second Opinion - Atelier Sophie: Alchemist of the Mysterious Book

GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer StaffRPGamer Staff
People often say not to judge a book by its cover, but what of games? Just because a game's cover art focuses exclusively on young ladies in lace, does that mean that the game itself will be vapid and air-headed? Sometimes, unfortunately, the cover is right.

Review

Comments

  • blurpoblurpo United StatesFull Members
    edited July 16
    Funny, I've played all the Ateliers since Iris and Sophie is my favorite one (played on PS4). Mostly because by removing the time constraints I could do things at my own leisure, loved that.
  • GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    That part certainly wasn't what was dragging the score down, but it did have its own caveats that I didn't get into in depth.

    Without time limits on the job requests, for example, the request list stagnated towards the end of the game, where I was constantly getting asked for stuff that I wouldn't be able to make until after I'd jumped through a bunch more hoops (if I even figured out what they were in a timely manner). Since I was constantly stuck on the high level stuff, Sophie's income suffered, making it harder to fund the research and rumor-mongering necessary to get that high level stuff in the first place.

    But between the graphical issues, the localization mess, the handful of bugs, and various little issues with game balance (both for combat and for cash flow), I couldn't really justify giving this version a higher score. :(

    To be fair, at least it's still superior to Atelier Lilie and not nearly as buggy as Atelier Liese.
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited July 16
    You and Sam both mentioned experiencing a difficulty spike at the last boss, but I found this to be the easiest Atelier game I've played. Thanks to the unshackled calendar, I got into filling requests, paying for rare item spawns, and synthesizing items that could be registered and purchased to continue creating powerful gear and tools. I tried to learn all the recipes and craft every item once. I didn't rush to the end, and I'm sure that had everything to do with it; by the time I hit the final boss I thought he was a cakewalk. This is also the only Atelier game where I was able to defeat all the optional bosses and ended up platinuming it. I had to pause and craft stuff for the hardest optional fight because he seemed impossible at first, but I ended up downing him.

    Still, this is the worst Atelier game I've played in the PS3 and PS4 eras. On paper it has great ideas, but the execution is stiff and the characters and localization are hugely disappointing. It's a weak effort overall and it suffers for that.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • ArticianArtician Onion Kid Full Members
    Bummer about the game. I just played through the Dusk trilogy over the last couple months. I couldn't believe the localization was as bad as it was. The product of a super-small budget, a ridiculous schedule, or someone is very, very bad at their job. :(
  • GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Perhaps Sam and I are too used to the time limits and the pace of the older games? All I know is, a party that was capable of eliminating any enemy mob in the final level, and had no problems on the mid-bosses in that level, couldn't last a single round against the final boss the first time I fought him.

    Also, it seemed like the rate of main plot advancement wasn't really well matched to the secondary plots, especially when some of those secondary plot lines were necessary to unlock certain recipes in the books. My last six or seven hours of the game were spent in a frantic race of catch-up, because I knew I couldn't beat the boss as it stood, but there were no new areas to explore and few sources of major XP. Had to spam that dragon in the upside-down castle a lot.

    Speaking of which, I really wished we'd gotten a bit more flavor explanation on how some of the odder bits of scenery came to be.
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    I have to wonder if the series is suffering a bit from having to pump out entries every year. I have enjoyed what I've played of Sophie, but it certainly has a variety of issues. Glad I didn't try and play it on PC!
    Ask Wheels- This Week's Episode
    sig.gif
  • GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Honestly, the first game of a set and/or first on a new console in this series often suffers for it. Lilie did. Liese certainly did. Rorona had its issues even though it still came out well ahead. Ayesha is the exception that proves the rule in many ways.

    Sophie, for all that it tried hard, was a victim of its series' own tendency to experiment. I'd hoped that things would settle down by the time Firis arrived, but... not hearing good things about that one, either.
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Honestly, the first game of a set and/or first on a new console in this series often suffers for it. Lilie did. Liese certainly did. Rorona had its issues even though it still came out well ahead. Ayesha is the exception that proves the rule in many ways.

    Sophie, for all that it tried hard, was a victim of its series' own tendency to experiment. I'd hoped that things would settle down by the time Firis arrived, but... not hearing good things about that one, either.

    A lot of Gust's output on PS3 felt kind of like them learning to do modern graphics, you can see it in the steady improvement the farther they got into the PS3's life. I had high hopes that would continue onto PS4 since it's not a big platform change, but yeah not so much. Now that graphics aren't an area to improve and play with are they feeling pressured to evolve the series other ways? Moreso than the previous generation? I'm certainly interested in seeing it evolve, but if you spend too much time experimenting bad things could happen to the series.
    Ask Wheels- This Week's Episode
    sig.gif
  • GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    I did think it was interesting that they decided to bring back the time system from Atelier Judie, where you had a calendar with no time limit, split into hour-long units when it came to synthesizing stuff.

    Pretty much everything I saw in Sophie, I had seen in previous games of the series, just not necessarily in the same combination or done as badly / as well.
Sign In or Register to comment.