User Score
6.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 105 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 105
  2. Negative: 26 out of 105

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  1. Mar 5, 2013
    9
    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.
    Collapse
  2. Aug 11, 2013
    9
    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.
  3. Apr 8, 2013
    9
    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!
  4. Mar 15, 2013
    9
    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
  5. Feb 27, 2014
    9
    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.
    Expand
  6. Mar 5, 2013
    0
    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.
    Collapse
Metascore
70

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
    70
    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
    70
    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
    60
    Well made, but hard to recommend to everyone. [Issue#230, p.78]