- Publisher: NIS America
- Release Date: May 29, 2012
Jun 3, 2012The direct sequel of my GoTY 2011 is finally here! I eagerly spent 50h on it during 12 days and here it is : Atelier Meruru totally lives up to the already fantastic Atelier Totori and even surpasses it because everything, from alchemy to battles, has been refined to perfection.
The only critic I could voice is that the background modeling is still really poor, and the various environments actually looked better in Totori. On the other hand, the characters' 3D models have furhter improved, looking especially fine during battles.
The alchemy system is back with little improvements here and there likes shortcuts, warnings and, thank God, a container up to 1'999 items. Synthesis is therefore quicker and more pleasant than ever, but also because the progression system, a mix of the previous episodes, features assignments like in Rorona as well as challenges inspired by Totori. The return of the delivery assignment system makes Meruru more alchemy-centric than Totori, which was much more about exploration. As Princess Meruru, you'll have to develop the kingdom of Arls by making its population increase. To do that, you will use alchemy of course, but also build new facilities and pioneer new lands. This Sim City-like approach is really interesting and gives a 3rd and new approach to the series. In addition to your population and popularity index, you have to take into account additional parameters : time, money, quantity, quality and your companions' friend level. Atelier Meruru is in fact an amazing management/reflexion game as much as an JRPG, which will melt your brain as soon as you have to deliver items made from items themselves made from others items etc. Requests are back but have been scaled back and dramatically simplified by removing the deadlines, and I kind of miss them because it was part of the fun of the game imho.
But the domain in which Meruru shows spectacular improvement is battle. Still quite difficult, those ones mustn't be taken lightly and you'll have to carefully plan your strategy and prepare your equipments/items every time you sortie. Boss fights are extremely brutal, and it's not uncommon to spend hours synthesizing adequate equipment before facing the most powerful opponents. Victory begins at your workshop before you can secure it on the battlefield. As your progress in the story, you'll find increasingly rare materials with increasingly effective skills : keeping up with the adversity is a constant process of tries and failures in making the perfect gear. The array of possibilities is so enormous that it makes the battle system highly strategic and complex. Atelier Meruru nevertheless feels more accessible than Totori or Rorona, in which it was difficult to progress in the story and in the characters' development in the same (limited) timeframe. Battles have also been made considerably more dynamic and impressive, thanks to refined graphics and awesome music. With all those improvements and the huge challenge involved, the most prominent fights made me shiver of pleasure.
The story feels a bit mundane after an emotionally-packed Totori, but that's more than compensated by the more-awesome-than-ever character design. The new looks for Gino, Totori, Gio, Esty are terrific and Mimi is just... (faints). That said, I still think Sterk was better in Totori, and the level/map design is not as good as before also.
Those little regrets here and there are nothing compared to the enjoyment I had playing this latest entry in the series. True pinnacle of the Arland trilogy, Not only is Atelier Meruru my favorite game this year, it's also one of the best games ever created.… Expand
Jun 18, 2012Although the game remains a relatively niche title, those who are looking for a traditional JRPG or are fans of the series will love it. With its fine-tuned battle and synthesis systems, nice soundtrack and fun characters, the game is a definitive conclusion to the Arland series.
Jun 18, 2012Atelier Meruru is a great way to end the trilogy. It got a light hearted story that I enjoyed, the combat system is improved and actually fun to me, the alchemy system is fantastic as the previous games, and developing areas around arls is very rewarding. There are a few stuff that it does better than Atelier Totori, such as combat system being more engaging in Atelier Meruru, but there are also a few stuff that it does that is inferior to Atelier Totori, such as Atelier Meruru being less open than Atelier Totori but I still have to say that Atelier Meruru is on par with Atelier Totori. But overall, I still have to say that Atelier Meruru is still a fantastic way to end the trilogy. It improved on various gameplay mechanics such as the combat system and gave us one last chance to play the numerous characters that we meet through the trilogy as the Atelier Arland games come to an end.… Expand
Aug 7, 2012Decent game, the best game-play and graphics out of all three games, however, overall I would say I still found this tedious. Whilst this installment allows for much more freedom than the previous games, it still suffers from the same issues: time constraints and repetition. You must play in a very specific way to achieve the best possible set of endings (yes, there are about five or six variations). If you are a perfectionist, I would say reconsider and but I would also say the same if you are looking for some fun casual play. This game is pretty much a based on a huge grinding mechanic, much like the to others, the difference being that the story does little to motivate or interest. The people who will enjoy this most might be true JRPGs or anime fans, fans of the series or people who know exactly what they are looking for or what's in store for them.… Expand
Jun 30, 2014Just finished this crafting/simulation RPG game. A few years after Totori becomes a famous alchemist, Totori left Arland and become an alchemist in the Kingdom of Lars. There she met the princess, Meruru. Meruru, while being a princess of Arls, she is more interested in becoming an alchemist than being a royalty. In 6 years, Arland and Arls will merge into one country. And before that, Meruru promised to be a great alchemist and helps her people. Well, same old game with different characters i guess.
- This game has a great visual. I mean the characters looks really cute, and everything seems so colorful.
- A clear objective! You got a request from townspeople, and you achieve it and develop a new building for something new for your kingdom.
- Returning characters from previous game. Almost all of them shows up i guess. Like Sterk, Gino, Mimi, even Rorona in her child form. And then there's Esty, Gio, Filly, Astrid and Hom! Well all of them have grown up. Especially Gino and Sterk, these two characters looks really cool!
- I can't seem to point this out enough. Level is not important here, what's important is equipments. But the thing is, you can't make a better equipment until later. And they won't tell you how to unlock the gears. Sucks.
- The story isn't that strong. I mean, you play as Meruru, and you'll see her everyday life. Everything that happens are mostly daily stuffs. I supposed it could be much better than just that.
After all of it, i think that this game is the best from the Arland Trilogy. 6.5/10 for this game.… Expand