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.
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.
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!
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!
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.