Atelier Meruru Plus: The Apprentice of Arland Image
Metascore
74

Mixed or average reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

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  • Summary: ATELIER MERURU PLUS: THE APPRENTICE OF ARLAND is the next installment in the popular series from famed developer GUST. ATELIER MERURU PLUS adds new elements of land development to the RPG and simulation game system, providing additional depth and gameplay in this anime-style adventure. In addition, extra content and features are packed in including new costumes, new endings, and all the DLC from the PS3 version. Fans will have an opportunity to see what unfolds in this third and final game in the Arland series. Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Sep 17, 2013
    91
    Now, I can understand if you're a little skeptical of this. I mean, going by the superficial stuff, Atelier Meruru Plus seems like it should be just another JRPG. But look deeper, and you'll find that it's actually a lot more interesting, and addictive, than you could imagine.
  2. Mar 7, 2014
    90
    Atelier Meruru is brilliant, and only a coal-hearted misanthrope could fail to be utterly charmed by it. This entry cements my opinion that the Atelier Series may well be the best-kept secret in the entire JRPG genre.
  3. Oct 7, 2013
    80
    It’s taken them long enough, but the Atelier series is finally entering a space where you would be happy to recommend them to any RPG-loving friend, rather than leave them to that one guy we all know who only plays games with suspiciously young and underclad heroines.
  4. Sep 13, 2013
    70
    This is the kind of title that has niche written all over it in bold, flashing letters, but if this happens to be your flavor of niche, you’re in for quite the treat.
  5. Sep 27, 2013
    70
    Meruru Plus is an interesting pick for those who are looking for a nice and entertaining JRPG experience in PSVita, although it might be disappointing for the owners of the original PS3 version.
  6. Sep 17, 2013
    70
    Admittedly, Atelier Meruru lends itself well to a portable platform. While there's no touch controls, the game is great to play in episodic chunks on the go. For newcomers, this is a great way to experience the series, but for veterans this is ground that has already been tread, without any true improvements to speak of.
  7. 64
    Flaws aside, Atelier Meruru Plus: The Apprentice of Arland is a good, solid JRPG that works phenomenally in the portable format. It’s easy to pick up and put down, even though you’ll eventually spend hours of your life on it. Its mission-based format is perfect for long trips on a plane or short trips on the bus. It has a better sense of pacing, more content, and free DLC.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jan 9, 2014
    8
    This is the second game that I've played in the franchise. I got a bad ending in Atelier Totori Plus and I understood that I had to be careful with the time system. With that in mind, I was able to avoid the bad ending in Atelier Meruru Plus without a guide. I had a great time playing the game but something was still missing when I finished it.

    Atelier Meruru is an improvement of the previous title. Many things were changed in a good way, like no deadlines to report quests, no pies to feed the homunculus and bonuses acquired by constructing buildings to the kingdom. These things help you to be less worried about leveling up, gathering and synthesizing.

    Graphics are beautiful. Battles have fun mechanics, dynamic actions and cool special effects. They are the prove that the turn-based system can still be relevant. If you played Atelier Totori you'll be happy to see the return of some characters. The synth system continues beeing good and basically the same. Soundtrack is great but I prefer from Atelier Totori, which I find more catchy. Story is simple, nothing innovative. But I think that's the charm of the franchise. They focus on the characters and the events between them, so you get more involved in their relationship. The cast is memorable.

    There's some things that I personally don't like about the game. First, events that occur unexpectedly. Sometimes I needed to be focused synthesizing a sequence of items and after each one I had to stop and watch a cutscene. This kind of event breaks the immersion and it only happens because of another thing that I don't like about the franchise: the time system. Maybe it is necessary so the game can be unique, but it should at least be longer. The fact of beeing so short to do a lot of stuff leads to the third thing that I dislike: unfair endings. I was able to get a population of 30.000 people in time to avoid the bad ending, but even with that I got an ending that was not satisfactory. Fair endings should be reached with a normal play and that's not what happens in the game. You see, after avoiding the bad ending you can do a lot of efforts that lead to nothing. So what's the point? In the end, you have two choices: avoid the bad ending or play in a hardcore way with a guide to get the true ending. Cause you won't be satisfied with the not-bad-in-theory ending.

    I'd still recommend the game for the experience and fun, but if you're someone who really gets involved in gaming then you should use a guide to make sure you'll get the best ending.
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  2. Sep 6, 2013
    7
    Being the remake of a Atelier Meruru for the PS3 and coming from a long line of Atelier games, Atelier Meruru has a lot of weight on it's shoulder. One of the biggest questions you'll probably want answered is "Should I buy this when I can get the PS3 version." If you own a vita then I greatly recommend you pick up this version over the ps3. Atelier Meruru is a very well rounded JRPG/Visual Novel, while that concept may not appeal to everyone, when it comes to the niche market it is trying to appeal too, it does a pretty good job.
    If you have a particular interest in either JRPG or Visual Novels then I highly recommend picking this game up. As a JRPG you are constantly under pressure as the entire game is timed and if you do not meet specific goals in a specific time period then you will fail. The combat is a great mix of strategy that you don,t really get to find elsewhere. At first the turn based aspect will seem like a simple select attack and turn order, however as the game progresses the enemies become difficult and can out level you quickly, sometimes at a rate where you cant keep up. A lot of the boss battles require a lot of preparation, however since you start at level 1 every time, grinding isn't exactly the go to choice due to the fact that you have a huge time limit and failure will come at a hefty price.
    The Visual Novel aspect of the game really allows to learn about a character in depth for who they are, however, at times this process can become quite slow or tedious depending on how fast you're progressing through the game. More often than not you may find yourself at a period where the game feels empty due to lack of interruptions, however early on it may overload you and feel as if its hindering game play.
    Now the biggest question for a lot of people, if you own Atelier Meruru for the PS3 should you get the Plus version. To be perfectly honest, unless you absolutely love the series there truly isn't a huge change except for a few snippets of dialogue, however if you have yet to try the DLC then Plus includes them along with a good amount of bonus content(Extra if you have Totori Plus saved). A few things also improved that Totori plus had issues with, the most important being its huge frame rate dips, those feel virtually nonexistent in Meruru Plus. Load times are a tad longer however it almost feels as if Meruru plus has higher frame rates on the vita then the ps3 for certain occasions. The trophies also got altered a bit, some of them also include the Makina Domain, so there is certainly a HUGE challenge waiting for any veterans willing to return to the game.
    Too summarize things, Meruru plus is all around a great game and you shouldn't worry at all if you haven't played Totori or Rorona as they bring you gradually into the story and familiarize you in a very friendly manner. If its any consolation I actually played them backwards and it was a blast time traveling back in time to see all these characters when they were younger. Atelier Meruru is also quite similar to persona 4(were it fantasy based) just more lighthearted and it isn't as easy to become super attached to characters. It may not be the best for its genres, but it does a pretty damn good job.
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