Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. One the best RPG experiences to grace the PS2 in a while, ranking up there with Final Fantasy X and Disgaea. Every aspect from story to gameplay to audiovisual appeal is well executed, making it a fresh, unique experience.
  2. The biggest complaint is that some of the English voices are really lacking, especially comparing them to how the Japanese voice actors sound doing the same (or similar) lines, and the entire jumping mess. Outside of that, this is a very solid title, and quite possibly a contender for 2005 RPG of the year.
  3. If you are looking for a good RPG to sink into for a while, buy this. For RPG and Anime fans, it's not to be missed.
  4. 90
    You may not like it as much as I did, but in the end, you will have enjoyed this game more than a lot of other PS2 games out there.
  5. 93
    One of the most enjoyable RPGs I’ve ever played. It’s got a leisurely feel and pace to it unlike anything else I’ve seen.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Jul 19, 2012
    Very interesting RPG with an easy to use battle system.
    Some of the dialogue can be cheesy, but overall a good story with good voice actors
    (Japanese anyway, I couldnt really stand the dub).
    The battle system is fairly straightforward and allows you to swap out team members while in combat, which can really come in handy during certain fights (or if a team member dies).
    The Synthesize system, which although very interesting, can also be very tedious. Getting new recipes can sometimes require you to check back into a shop several times before a new one pops up. Some recipes require rare monster drops and thus need to be farmed. And of course, you will get new recipes which require ingredients from recipes that you do not have yet (and need to keep checking back in or synthesizing new items).
    I would rate the game overall a 7/10, but the ending felt very lackluster and short.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 25, 2013
    One of my favorite JRPGs on the PS2. Fun story, great alchemy system that keeps you intrigued as you are always trying to make better and better items. Surprising on just how little actual combat there is in this game.While it does have combat, for most of the first two thirds of the game you really spend walking around and creating new alchemy items. Story is good, characters are likable (even Norn has her charm.) Overall: A fun JRPG that is fun to play, even relaxing at time with a lighthearted pace. Full Review »
  3. Dec 11, 2012
    Among the many creators or RPGs, Gust is one of my favorite after Atlus (and for the western side, Bethesda). For what I recall, this was one of their first games that was released outside Japan (infact, it's one of the fewest Atelier games where the main character is a male because of the habit of having male characters in here), and I was hooked immediately by the game's charm: it has a sloppy but cute graphic, a roster of simple yet interesting characters, and a (small) world to explore and play, without mentioning that you can also interact with the enviroment (you can jump, for starters, and you'll have spells to help you clear the way or pass over obstacles). The Atelier series (and almost all Gust games) is clearly known for the synthesizing feature, and unlike many games where this is hard and manytimes useless, it's actually rewarded and it's "rarely" a chore. It plays like a turn based RPGs, a simple yet good system, and you're also able to change characters between turns if needed, because characters are strongly unique in both their attacks range (one can attack in a vertical line, some can attack in a wider, etc) and spells (Klein, the main character, is the only one who can create strong spells with alchemy, and Lita is the fastest character and can sometimes attack twice in a row). Of course, being a Gust game, it has plenty of flaws (and few bugs). First of all, the prospective used in the game is sometimes very hard to follow. The locations are all set in a isometrical prospective but unfortunely it can become hard to see where to go: some ledges might be lower than you think and at times you think you can jump somewhere close, but it's higher than your jump: this can be extremely frustrating because you'll never understand how the places are designed. Also, the graphics are definitely not high quality and the animations are very minimalistic and even though I don't bother bad graphics and such, some people might not be able to get over it. Same goes for the battle system: it's actually well thought and kinda deep: you are in a small invisible grid and depending on which position you are, you can avoid area, and you won't be able to target all enemies at once because of their divisions. Each character has also their skills (about 8 in total: passive and active included), each one upgradeable by using different manas and at every level up, with also few skills to obtain with some extra missions. Again, this might discourage some players because it's kinda deep, but not completely necessary, and unless you really want to maximize your characters you won't be really bothering that much, since a good grinding will do the trick anyways. The world map also, which is small but a nice addition (this is one of the fewest game I've played on the PS2 where there's an actual world map), but it's terribly done and, once again, if you cannot pass the bad graphics, you will NOT endure this. The story also isn't bad but it's also that great, for two reasons: 1) you'll focus your time doing synthesizing in order to make more items (which, by the way, trigger more sub-events that explains the background characters, which are very remarkable) 2) the main villain is very forgettable and while the story itself is interesting, you'll never remember why you're doing all this. Also, some characters with you aren't very good (two of them) because one will be hindered by an event in the game, while the other...has a very bad skill list, and so you'll focus on three or four max (luckily, all characters share exp, just halved). All in all, I can say this: it's a fun game to play and has its own style, but the game and graphical flaws might discourage people to play it. If you're a nostalgic and don't mind bad graphics, but a different JRPG from the usual Final Fantasy, I highly recommend to give this game a try. On the other hand, if you cannot play a game that's not as high in quality as Final Fantasy, don't even look at this game. Or else you will faint from just seeing the graphics and bad translations bits (some dialogues are ok though)! Full Review »