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Atelier Annie

Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer StaffRPGamer Staff
edited May 2009 in Staff Review Blogs
And now, in the spirit of scientific inquiry, we are going to test Mac's "Gaijin as Oracle" hypothesis to the limit, and blog about a game that will almost certainly never, ever, make it to American shores.


March 13th
Well, the game starts out on a hilarious note, one which I hadn't picked up on from looking at the scans. Let's just say Annie's a VERY sound sleeper, and leave it at that, for now.

Just from the short amount of time I've spent playing, it's become obvious that Gust has learned from the serious errors made in Atelier Lise (more on that once I finish my review of that game), and made AA a much more enjoyable and complicated game.

More at 11.

March 17th

Sorry to take so long, folks. I kind of wanted to get the Atelier Lise review out of the way so people could understand a bit more where I'm coming from with this title.

Long story short, all that annoying stuff I say about Atelier Lise? Forget it. Atelier Annie has so far managed to avoid all the problems I had with its predecessor, and improve a lot of things overall.

The story remains the normal patchwork fare that's the norm for the Atelier series, but it has been really funny so far. All the major characters have real quirks and hangups over various things, and I've seen I'm not sure how many social scenes so far.

The battles have returned to the simplistic style of previous games, and actually move quite quickly. It helps that item creation in this game is much friendlier when it comes to large batches of items now, so I can mass-produce bombs much more easily.

There's so much more to mention, but I need to organize my notes first. Later!

March 19th

OK, the character scenes have gone from simply humorous to "too funny to play on the train 'cuz folks stare when I laugh" humorous. There simply doesn't seem to be a serious storyline in the game that I've found yet. Granted, I'm a little tired of the "sick character/relative" storyline (that one's been in how many Atelier games now?), and the writing really is funny, so I don't mind at all.

On a side-note, all the NPC item requests this time around actually come with a bit of character scene to explain why they want a particular item, and so far they've never asked for something I can't make. This is a real change from previous games in the series.

Next, here's something that confused me at first: All weapons and armor in the game can be found in the atelier's alchemy menu. There are specific recipes involving them, but the end result is the same item that went in. It took me a while to figure out, but this is a way of adding color elements to weapons and armor. Every enemy in the game is weak against a specific color element, be it red, blue, green, yellow, or purple (perhaps others as well), so this is a good way to boost your attack power vs. difficult monsters or bosses.

Also, when the Adventurer's Guild offers rewards for certain amounts of weapons, the reward cost is always less than what it would cost you to buy the weapons from the store. If you enhance the weapon with an element, then the perfect job bonus nearly doubles the amount of cash you receive so you end up making money.

Next time, I'll talk about the resort aspect of the game. Until then!

March 25th

OK, now for the resort side of things. In order to attract tourists, the tournament alchemists (including Annie) have to build places for them to go. Annie has five spots across the island where she can have things built, and two choices for each spot. Once they're built, she has to do various requests from the local caretaker to build up the spot's popularity, raising the tourist count AND providing lots and lots of cash to help expand and build new spots. Towards the end of the game, managing requests and popularity levels becomes very important. This time around, I built a nature park, a bazaar, a beachfront, a theater, and an aquarium. Next time, I'll take the alternate choices.



Comments

  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    Quote: wrote:
    Well, the game starts out on a hilarious note, one which I hadn't picked up on from looking at the scans. Let's just say Annie's a VERY sound sleeper, and leave it at that, for now.

    Laharl of Disgaea level of sound, or Senel from ToL level of sound? I'm just trying to get an idea here.
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    Her grandad got fed up with how lazy she was, so he had his two little homonculi pick up her bed (with her in it), carry her out of town, over a river, over a MOUNTAIN, across a straight, into a another city, and dressed her up as an alchemist, all before she woke up.

    And even then, her new babysitter had to whack her over the head repeatedly in order to get her out of bed.

    One of the funniest game intro sequences I've seen in a while ^_^
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited March 2009
    Quote: wrote:
    RPGamer: Are you planning to try to follow more of the current series that have been successful for you? We are mostly curious about recently announced Atelier Annie for the Nintendo DS.
    Quote: wrote:
    NISA: 2009 is going to be an interesting year for us. We will release a brand new series that has never made it to the States. Your mentioning of Annie is a sharp guess. We can't say officially that we're going to bring the game over, but please look forward to what we have to offer next year.
    Time will tell, Oracle.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • shoptrollshoptroll Have towel will travel Full Members
    edited March 2009
    Oh great Oracle, when are we getting Mana Khemia 2?
    So long & thanks for all the fish!
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited March 2009
    Oh great Oracle, when are we getting Mana Khemia 2?
    He doesn't tell us when, he just starts blogs for games that soon get announcements.

    From the same interview as above...
    Quote: wrote:
    RPGamer: So, just curious. Since the PS2 refuses to die, should we expect Mana Khemia 2 to make it over here as well?

    NISA: We haven't made any formal announcements, but yes please expect to see Mana Khemia 2. The game is definitely an improvement over the original, so please look forward to it.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    Quote: wrote:
    RPGamer: Are you planning to try to follow more of the current series that have been successful for you? We are mostly curious about recently announced Atelier Annie for the Nintendo DS.
    Quote: wrote:
    NISA: 2009 is going to be an interesting year for us. We will release a brand new series that has never made it to the States. Your mentioning of Annie is a sharp guess. We can't say officially that we're going to bring the game over, but please look forward to what we have to offer next year.
    Time will tell, Oracle.
    Well darnit, I'm going to have to try harder next time!
  • MeoTwister5MeoTwister5 Member Full Members
    edited March 2009
    So does Annie follow the original Atelier games that didn't even have COMBAT gameplay?

    I seeketh your wisdom, Oracle, upon whose altar I presenteth this slaughtered ram.
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    As far as I know, only the GBC matched pair of Atelier games completely lacked battles.

    That said, battles in Annie are very simple, straightforward, and FAST.
  • SpaceDrakeSpaceDrake Capitalism Ho! Full Members
    edited March 2009
    GM is correct. Every Atelier title except for Atelier Marie GB and Atelier Elie GB have combat of some sort. It's just that the combat isn't the focus for the "original five" games (Marie, Elie, Lilie, Judie, and Violet) like it is the Iris games.

    And yes the opening is hilarious.

    "Over river!

    Over mountain!

    Over sea!

    UNTIL AT LAST!...


    ... they reached the resort island of Sera!"

    The opening movie to the game is the first one available here, labeled "OP?-?-".

    Looking forward to your impressions, GM.
  • Green NuGreen Nu Member Full Members
    edited March 2009
    If you really want to test the Oracle theory you need to play Cho Aniki.
    You must gather your party before venturing forth
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    If you really want to test the Oracle theory you need to play Cho Aniki.
    1 - Not on your life

    2 - updated!
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    *updated!*

    And officially on my second playthrough now. Since I already know what everyone's saying, I can use the Y button to skip through conversations to my heart's content, which is making things go a lot faster this time.
  • SpaceDrakeSpaceDrake Capitalism Ho! Full Members
    edited April 2009
    Any more thoughts on this? I'm curious to hear what you think, GM.
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2009
    Planning on getting an impression/review thingy up later this week, now that the new school year is starting. Probably would have been up last week, otherwise.
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited May 2009
    Well, it took a little longer than a week to get around to, but the impression is up, and the thread is shutting down, down, down.....
This discussion has been closed.