With so many JRPGs remaining stagnant or trying to appeal to the masses, Atelier Ryza stands tall amongst its peers as a truly amazing experience. Whether you're a fan of the series or just a JRPG enthusiast, you need to play this masterpiece.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is a solid by-the-books Atelier title. It does everything pretty well, and its only real flaws are a somewhat lackluster story and an overall low difficulty level. If you like the Atelier titles, then you'll like this one, and if you're interested in getting into the franchise, this is a solid starting point. There's no lack of Atelier games to play, but Ryza is one of the more enjoyable ones available. Besides, who doesn't like crafting a bomb so powerful that it blows up a dragon?
There’s a lot to
love about Ryza’s new adventure – Atelier’s
cutesy charm is still infectious – but it
ends up feeling less sure of itself as
a game about alchemy than
prior entries (such as the great
Atelier Lulua), while also being
a promising setup for things to
come. [Issue#170, p.86]
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness and the Secret Hideout feels like a massive step backward, both in terms of gameplay and story. Although GUST attempted to inject some real-world themes into this tale, it's unfortunately just more of the same.
I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun playing a relaxing and easy going game like that. It’s a JRPG, but it is also a slice of life experience, where you will find characters that you easily relate with. I really like the battle system, it’s very easy to learn but you do need to have an strategy in order to win. I have spent HOURS, DAYS just working on my materials gathering and synthesis, as I find it so addicting. I recommend this game for anyone of any age. Also if you are only starting with RPGS or JRPGS, this game is great for starters, it’s made for you.
First of all, I'm not a pervert.
It's not that I have any sexual fantasies about Ryza, since I'm not a pervert.
But I should say otherwise, Ryza's thighs are really attractive to me. I am not a pervert, but speaking based on the fact, she is sexy.
I'm not saying I like Ryza, but her thighs are pretty attractive, but I'm not a pervert.
Lastly, after making it clear that I'm not a pervert, I have to admit that there's a part of me that wants Ryza to choke me to death with her thighs.
Thigh lovers, does it really matter what the rating is?
My first Atelier game and it was a surprising delight. The alchemy system did feel daunting but the game helps you to build up from basic recipes as the game progresses, but when you get towards the endgame the process of trying to create the endgame gear does become tedious as you are effectively doing the same recipe paths but with a higher quality ingredient, but you do this like 5+ times over.
The turn-based combat isn't any different from other games of its time but it is different for an Atelier game (or so I've heard). While Ryza isn't revolutionary in this department it doesn't break a tried and tested battle system which is inherently fun. The story is slow but picks up eventually and the characters are solid. It is a laid-back game that serves as a great introduction into the Atelier series.
I played almost every Atelier games, and loved all of them since Rorona greatly.
This one is... a bitter, very bitter letdown for me. I'm not saying it's not a decent game, but if I rate other titles 9/10 I can not honestly give this one more than 5, were it not for the many new ideas implemented, and the somewhat decent if a bit overly basic story.
Of course the new ideas are welcome, but not if they come at the price of letting the old ones go. Nearing endgame it becomes more and more obvious that this game almost entirely lacks item traits; it has maybe 5 useful traits coupled with 5 "stack-able" level-based ones. Compared to the 100+ that could be combined in many ways in former titles. Not to mention the "reformed" synthesis is basically dirt-cheap compared to the second most recent one, Lulua (I could say Lydie+Sue or Shallie too) for example. You just... add materials if you have them to the effect you want to have. And you can edit it later, not even having to worry about the quality.
The battle is also a mess. I see what they were trying to do, making it a bit more "active time" than plain old turn-based, but it really is just turn-based. Worse yet, one could say you can only control one character, since going for speed build and trying to control all characters is plain impossible. To be a little more exact, it needs you to make about 20 button mashed in 0.5 seconds. If there were a way to issue or set up tactics for your party that might actually work, but you can only choose "spam what they have enough AP for" or "normal attack". Can't even make them use items. Not to mention that aside from the 3 members you currently select the others are just there being reserves - no assists, stat boosts, combination, nothing. That's a huge step down from almost every other Atelier games. Not to mention you can simply not get excited to battle with any monsters, since basically there are 4 enemies recolored, two "big bad" ones, 1 optional boss for recoloring and maybe 2 additional models. Their strength increases linearly to match your progress while in the main story, nothing afterwards.
Aside from the main character and maybe one of the other party members the others are just comically simple avatars of their archetypes. Of course the glasses shorty acts just like he's "supposed to" being a scaredy-cat bookworm. The hot-blooded warrior wants to beat up monsters. The "alchemist with a heavy past" is just that. The interactions between characters are minimal and hardly interesting or entertaining. You just... don't feel for any of them.
The music not only is forgettable, it's almost impossible to like them. And it's not that they are terrible; it has more to do with being way too atmospheric and trying hard not to overtake the scene. You can almost use the battle music for your atelier comfy music and vice versa... It's the first time that after playing 50+ hours I have no desire to listen to its OST - nor could I recall them if I wanted to.
5.) The pros
...are the new things implemented poorly. The premise **** synthesizer is good, adding materials in this fashion could be good, reactor forge is an interesting - if not overpowered - tool, no nonsense way to duplicate items is also pretty decent for an idea. Item rebuild would be a nice touch if it came with any restrains (aside from the ridiculously negligible constraint of your alchemy level). Most of these ideas could make a good foundation for an actually good implementation, but as is currently it's a pretty bad mix. And after getting through the initial confusion it's sickeningly simple.
Overall this game could be improved upon so vastly it'd be more efficient to do it the other way around: just use any older titles and implement the good parts of this one. Atmosphere, OST, characters and everything... not saying they are terrible, but way out of Atelier's league.
I am new to the series, and While I do find the story somewhat fun and the alchemy pretty interesting, the EXTREME lack of monster variety coupled with the low choice in party composition makes this kind of a letdown. The animations are pretty off in the cutscenes, as in, they're pretty stiff. Game seems pretty short, as I appear to be at the end of the game (according to the characters in-game).
All in all, looking back, I would not have bought this game for $60, but I fed into the eye candy hype sadly. That said, I don't regret my purchase, but I would recommend waiting for the price to drop.
SummaryThe beautiful role-playing game follows the exploits of teenage tomboy Ryza, who dreams of escaping her mundane village lifestyle, alongside her band of mischievous friends. One day, as they explore a forbidden island in search of adventure, they meet an elderly magician who will change their lives forever.