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Mixed or average reviews- based on 110 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 110
  2. Negative: 27 out of 110

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  1. Mar 10, 2013
    Atelier Ayesha: Alchemist of Dusk is a decent game at best. Out of all the Atelier titles, Ayesha is the most welcoming to those new to the series. Series devotes will find welcome changes, but a few omitted traits that worked in previous games. The visuals closely resembled Totori, all bright pastel colors, environments varied from forests, to ruins, to floating islands. Character design was shooting for cute over battle equipped the usual for any Atelier game. Ayesha recycles the same set of 10 monsters with different colors and names, though some of the bosses really stood out. Out of all the Atelier games I was most impressed with the character models in Ayesha. Gust always impresses me with the game's BGM, some annoyed me, some tunes I wanted to bask in, others were right where they needed to be. The menus do come with a handy option to swap out BGM tracks for the games of the past as well, which made it easy to shake things up towards the end. Ayesha's story was a bit underwhelming. Gust tried to make things a bit "darker" by implying that because of the mankind's abuse of alchemy, natural resources are non-existent, monsters roam freely and is the reason Ayesha's sister was kidnapped in the first place. However, It seems Keith is the ONLY character that is privy to this information and only through his scenes is it ever brought up. The rest of the cast seem completely content with the way the world is and that Ayesha is practicing alchemy, which was the reason the world is in dire straights. While part of the magic is discovering and progressing the story on your own, I couldn't help but either feel lost at times or completely misguided in the quest dialogue. Some major plotlines could be progressed by battling through a series of levels; taking out a boss and grabbing a flower pedal, while others would be as simple as helping a cow with constipation (ya that happens...). I really wish I didn't have to spin through a new game to check out the character endings, as from the little I experienced, the battles, dialog and events were exciting/intense. The battle system was by far the best and most refined in the series however, only during a boss battle did you ever feel the burn to implement strategy and plan you next moves carefully. The rest were either easy or your party was DOA and it was obvious you were in the wrong place. Like ALL the Atelier games the alchemy process needs a large textbook how-to all on its own... Ayesha is no different. There is some satisfaction to be had when you finally get the process down of planning out the stock yard perks, so you can power pour and not use up any CP creating grade S items with ease, but a more extensive help library would have been much appreciated. You also lose the ability to choose the the item traits from the previous games. Albeit, its easy to get the results you like however I could never really get an item perfectly suited for its purpose. They're literally 1000's of different status effects on what seemed like a never ending list of ingredients.

    Eventually I will get to a new game and speed through to grab those character boss battles but for now Ayesha is was decent niche title fix. I wouldn't go running to the store to grab this off the shelf, however it is a great distraction until better titles arrive for the niche title fan.
  2. Mar 5, 2013
    Graphically, Atelier Ayesha seems right in the continuity of the Arland series, which means atrocious backgrounds but further refined character modeling/animation. The result achieved thunderstruck me it's almost Tales of Xillia quality level. Gust has made the choice to remove all artworks during dialogs, which is somewhat sad because it means less gazing at the top-notch character design. Nevertheless, the main characters looked fine enough and I stopped worrying about it pretty quickly. Unlike the previous episodes, the framerate do suffer horribly when there are too much NPCs on the screen.

    In terms of gameplay, AA brings a lot of changes to the series. The battles, already a fantastic experience before, are being made even more tactical by allowing you to walk around enemies and attack from behind. The chain skills you can use also vary depending on your position (for example a character can't cover your teammate if (s)he's on the opposite side, but can tell her to concentrate or to recover). As usual, meticulous panning is needed every time you sortie, as the unforgiving hostiles will certainly get out if you don't bring enough healing/offensive items.

    Alchemy has been simplified a lot. Quantities have been equally normed most of the time, you use 1 to make 3, which seems far too simple. I personally fancy the Kafkaesque recipes of the previous Atelier games, which demanded a nearly lunatic mind organization. Furthermore, traits are now automatically chosen. I can no longer add to your creation some super-skill on a rare material you've found in a dark and dangerous cave. Let's say the item you're about to make can have HP+10%, STR+5, SPD+5 or Stats+2, it will actually have one, several or all these traits depending on the quality you achieve. But if own a material with let's say All Stats+5, you can never implement this trait anywhere. Probably disappointing for purists, this new system saves you some efforts and allows you to focus on other parts of the game.

    There are MANY more ingredients than before. I've come across dozens something like hundreds of them! In this department, let's stress that objects now are sorted by groups of quantities, that is to say that objects of same nature quality take only one square in your basket. This is a dramatic improvement over previous baskets, because you can carry more and longer. You can no longer choose at gathering points, but a can choose to gather more or less at each point, which enables you to save time. Your allies also pick additional ingredients time to time as a bonus. This new gathering system alleviates the constraints you had in past games and allows maximum efficiency. Again, this allows a smoother progression in the game.

    As always in Atelier games, the story is limited in time. Each day must be used wisely to achieve as much as possible in the years that compose the game. You'll quickly have to choose between several objectives, generally very far from each other, in order to advance in the story, complete side quests, hunt fiends, gather or deliver, not to menion the mini-events that take place during set period of time. You consequently have to define priorities and make mid/long term plans to win the race against time. Talking of the story, so far I find it less compelling than the others. Ayesha is looking for her missing sister, a bit like Totori was in search for her mother, but it's far less emotionally-packed. It's kind of a mild trade-off between the Totori's moving story and Meruru's eccentricity. In fact, it only makes sense at the very end, when Keithgrif comes to your party. At this moment, the problematic around the essence of alchemy and its legitimacy is very interesting and add some gravity to the final fights.

    The exceptional so Japanese sense of humor is still there character events are wonderful as always. Music is at it finest, with many beautiful tracks and no less than a dozen of battle themes. Difficulty setting is rather weird unfortunately most of the story bosses are no problem for Atelier fans, but post-game bosses crush my maxed characters within 3 turns. On the other hand, I did appreciate the possibility to choose my ending once time is up. You can therefore see every ending you've flagged during the game by reloading your save, which is only normal after all. I does hurt the replay value, but you'll still have to play it twice to see everything. With a sixty-hour long game, it makes tremendous value.

    Even if this newest Atelier probably won't surpass its glorious predecessors, it remains a thoughtfully well-fought game, innovating smartly at the same time. By simplifying alchemy and rationalizing item management, it also makes it easier for newcomers to throw themselves in the series.
  3. Apr 29, 2013
    As an Atelier games is "decent" enoug to be played, the artwork is amazing and the change of peace is ineresting, but any Atelier fan WILL miss the stuff left out.
    But my negative score is due the obligatory Engrish audio crap.
    Theres only one thing worse than play a nerf'd game on your favoite series, is playing it, Engrish only audio.
  4. Mar 11, 2013
    As a lifelong RPG fan and one who is completely new to the Atelier series, I thought it'd be helpful to write from the perspective of those who are yet to delve into the world of an alchemy rpg. Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk is much more light hearted than your traditional "save the world from the brink of destruction" role playing game. As a traditional fight, grind, level-up then rinse and repeat player, I was originally turned off by the term "Alchemy" RPG. Though to my surprise I'm enjoying the process of synthesizing various items as much if not more than the battling itself. The story follows Ayesha, a young apothecary who is trying to find her sister Nio that mysteriously vanished years ago. Ayesha tirelessly searches the world around her looking for clues to her whereabouts, meeting friends, enemies, and a slew of interesting characters along the way. The first thing that captured my attention was the graphical appearance. Atelier Ayesha doesn't push the PS3's limits by any means going for life-like images and cgi cut scenes. It instead takes the animated route. The vivid colors and well crafted art is on full-display proving that a game doesn't have to be as life-like as possible to appease the eye. One major drawback is that the camera cannot be rotated while in the field. It's a shame to have attractive backdrops and not be able to freely admire them. This also hurts gameplay, as you're sometimes forced to run "down" the screen and toward the camera. This renders you completely unaware of anything in your path and may lead you to battles you may otherwise may want to avoid. Most of the music is well composed and fits the setting quite nicely. Another plus is you can use themes from past games in the Atelier series. Find your self growing bored of the battle theme after 300 fights? Swap it out for something fresh. The battles are relatively generic, but work and are enjoyable. You've got your basic turn based system and commands (attack, spell, item etc.). Commands differ between each character depending on their skill set. An aspect that stands out is the ability to chain attack commands together with other party members should you have enough ability points. Strategic use of this system can easily turn the tide of a losing affair and adds a nice touch of flair. The difficulty is relatively easy should you keep your party well maintained. You won't find yourself having to tirelessly grind to get through an area that is overly difficult. Where the game shines is in it's alchemy element. You'll be exploring the world collecting plants, flowers, rocks, meat, and everything in-between to craft items for your use. The composition of the item will change depending on the materials used. You'll spend countless hours mixing different materials trying to find the best combinations. There's a certain feeling of satisfaction when you finally create something you've been desperately wanting for the longest time. It's a relatively short adventure that should take you no more than 30 hours if you progress straight through the story start to finish. That being said there are numerous side-quests and "missions" to be done that will keep you busy for a while. One major aspect is that this game has a timer which hinges purely on the actions you take. This may be a big turn-off to some new players. The game ends after a certain amount of time has passed and you'll earn endings based on your performance. On the brighter side, this adds to the replay value as you'll find yourself playing through two, three, or more times trying to achieve all the endings and perfect your alchemy skills. This may not be a must have ground breaking game, but it's an overall enjoyable experience for those who want to switch it up from the traditional RPG. A recommended pickup if you find yourself searching for something new to tryout. Expand
  5. Aug 11, 2013
    This is the most improved Atelier game.There is big difference between this one and all the other games on the PS3. Gameplay and graphics are improved and though the story is lacking somewhat in some areas, still very engrossing and enjoyable. Recommend it. Also the easiest out of all four games.
  6. Apr 8, 2013
    I just can't stop playing this game! it is so addective! I hated Rorona and all Atelier series of Arland because of her but with Ayesha my faith is back to the Atelier series. my only beef is the time system I hope they stop using it because I do not feel comfortable since I like to take my time and explore and all..I wish we get back to Atelier Iris rythm. Ayesha please give me my life back!
  7. Mar 15, 2013
    Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk has a good voice of both japanese and american casts.The story of main game is humor and fun after i have finished mass effect 3, this is a good change.Graphic is good and have beautiful vista,overal if you like jprg and former game in series, You should buy Atelier Ayesha
  8. Feb 27, 2014
    I really like this game. its a great change of pace, and still has a bit of challenge in it. but its a very relaxing challenge (time management and crafting stuff).
    the only other Atelier game I played was Rorona, which I thought was good but was easy to mess up the endings requirements (I am unsure if the rest of the Arland series is like that) so I was happy this game was a lot simpler
    and a lot less to "worry" about.
    The graphics are very nice and anime-like. there is some places where its nice just to look around.
    and the characters, is probably the best thing about this game. if you dont value characters much in a game chances are you will be bored with this. and if you hate cliche anime characters you might, too.
    as for the english dub, it really isnt so bad as people say. its sometimes annoying how American they sound, for example they keep saying "totally" but I would advise not to follow bandwagons without experiencing the things yourself. what I am saying is, the dub is fine. however the option for Japanese would have been nice.
  9. Oct 14, 2013
    Jumping right into this game without playing any previous ones I can say I was very pleased. The art and music are definitely keeping me the most interested in the game. I also love the fact that you are basically an Alchemist/Apothecary and can support your own journey. I love that almost all main characters and lines are Voiced and the development within them. The story seems overly done, but still worthy of playing. If you are a big fan of Anime type Art/Music games I suggest this. I could listen to the music all day. Expand
  10. Jun 30, 2014
    Just finished this great game. This is my favourite Atelier series for now. It starts with the story of Ayesha, who lives away from the city. One day her sister, Nio, disappeared suddenly when gathering herbs inside a ruin. A several years later, Ayesha go to the ruin and then found Nio within the glowing flowers. After that Ayesha met an alchemist called Keith who tells her that Alchemy is the only way to save her sister. So the journey of Ayesha starts.

    Plus point:
    - A CLEAR main mission. Saving your sister, Nio, while searching for the trails that lead to her. Well you got exactly 3 years worth of traveling. While you can finished your main mission in 2 years. Which will give you lots of time to finish the subquest. This game is mostly about traveling and exploring, not just synthetizing items like previous games. Sure it still has lots of comedy in it, but they also got the serious parts.
    - Leveling up is useful now! Not like the previous games, leveling up in this game do counts in fighting enemies. While equipment can be bought in the shop. I just love this system haha.
    - People said that the game is short, but i think it's just enough. Playing this kind of game too long is boring.

    Minus point:
    - Uhm..Japanese voice isn't available in this game. So you have to listen to all of that crappy dubbing.
    - Lack of characteristic for the characters! The characters are mostly women, and they are not as flashy as the characters from previous games. Also, they only have 2 playable males in this game, which sucks.

    After all, i give this game 8/10. If you never played Atelier series before, i recommend you to start with this one, as it doesn't have any connections to the previous games. Cheers!

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Apr 2, 2014
    With its sometimes-impenetrable alchemy system, limited foes, and unfocused story, Atelier Ayesha feels rough at times, though it remains an extremely playable jRPG.
  2. May 28, 2013
    Complemented by a beautiful watercolour and cel-shaded art style, and cloaked in an aura of innocence, this is an enjoyable adventure, but it's let down by some occassionally mundane gameplay, frame rate issues, and voice dub faults.
  3. Apr 23, 2013
    Well made, but hard to recommend to everyone. [Issue#230, p.78]