User Score
6.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 120 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 120
  2. Negative: 29 out of 120
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  1. Mar 11, 2013
    7
    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-upAs 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
  2. Oct 14, 2013
    7
    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 overlyJumping 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
  3. Mar 10, 2013
    6
    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 designAtelier 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.
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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. Play UK
    Apr 23, 2013
    60
    Well made, but hard to recommend to everyone. [Issue#230, p.78]