Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
Buy Now
Buy on
  1. Jul 23, 2012
    Atelier Meruru is so wonderful that it became the first JRPG since Final Fantasy VII that I've played through more than once. Simple enough for anyone to play, but deep enough to offer 100+ hours worth of gameplay, Atelier Meruru is a great title full stop.
  2. May 29, 2012
    Unless you find JRPGs absolutely repugnant, there's little to dislike about Atelier Meruru. It's a delightfully addictive game that provides a great sense of player achievement. A wealth of content ensures that players are never without a goal to work towards, and ten possible endings give the game tremendous replay value.
  3. May 30, 2012
    There's plenty of alchemy and adventure in Meruru, with less filler travel time. There are fewer endings than Totori, but they're easier to get.
  4. May 18, 2012
    For fans of the series, you will not be disappointed. Almost every character you have known in the trilogy will return, and the new characters you come across are as goofy and loveable as the older ones. For new comers, I would suggest playing the first two games, but Meruru does offer some good back story in the menus for the ones not too familiar with the series.
  5. May 31, 2012
    Atelier Meruru is a niche title. Those who love Japanese-style games or who get a kick out of playing with crafting systems will absolutely be in love the second the game boots up. There are a few minor faults, for sure, but if Atelier Meruru has what you're looking for you're going to have a hard time putting it down.
  6. May 18, 2012
    Fans of the Arland trilogy will surely adore their experience with Meruru, but for newcomers, this may not be the best place to start if you want to get a feel for the entire world. Still, Meruru is the silver lining at the end of this wonderful trilogy, and it will no doubt bring joy and closure to the long-time fans who stayed along for the journey.
  7. 75
    A triumph for players out there looking for an addicting RPG full of creating items and building your kingdom to new heights.
  8. May 24, 2012
    Though the Atelier series might not be the epitome of Japan's RPG industry, I've always had a soft spot for its various chapters. Atelier Meruru isn't "epic," "intense," or "exhilarating"-it's charming, friendly, and fun, and it's not ashamed of it.
  9. Jul 9, 2012
    With the likes of Tales of Vesperia JRPGs got a pretty high standard already. Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland looks really adorable at first sight and fans of the series will probably love it, but if you take a closer look there is a lot to dislike about this game. The story is much too shallow for an RPG and the environment looks awfully stinted. The characters though really look detailed and nice and the Japanese synchronization is well done. Though the gameplay is pretty diversified, the missions and errands are not, which makes the game boring after a few hours, if you are not a fan of the series. Overall it's a pretty "girly" game, with no surprises.
  10. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    May 30, 2012
    It's not the longest or hardest RPG, but it's heartfelt worldview makes it worth our time. [July 2012, p.79]
  11. Jun 2, 2012
    If you have a soft spot for the Atelier series, you probably will enjoy Meruru quite a bit. But if the series hasn't impressed you yet, this entry surely won't change your mind.
  12. May 30, 2012
    Like its predecessors, this is a charming, but very unspectacular Anime-RPG. But even though veterans may notice some progess in terms of presentation, combat system or level design, you'll still miss freedom, variety and depth.
  13. May 24, 2012
    This latest entry makes changes to the overall structure that obscure the game's best elements instead of accentuating them, and the lack of any central conflict left me completely uninterested in the story and characters. All that's left is an occasionally fun grind to finish your chores and an overall aesthetic that you will either love or hate.
  14. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Jul 17, 2012
    The turn-based combat is swift and (overly) simple. [Aug 2012, p.117]
  15. Jun 21, 2012
    In the same vein as Atelier Rorona and Atelier Totori, Atelier Meruru is a logical conclusion for the Alchemist of Arland serial. The game manages to develop some new things, but can't succeed to cure itself of many many flaws. Cute but totally vacuous, Atelier Meruru : The Apprentice of Arland don't know how to tell a good story. With a poor combat system and a lazy rythm, it seem already an old fellow.
  16. Jun 12, 2012
    It is impossible to enjoy the game as a complete experience because you see everything through the eyes of one of the most vapid gaming protagonists ever created, and do all of your adventuring in a world so sickeningly sweet that you should get screened for adult-onset diabetes the moment you put down the gamepad.
  17. Play UK
    Aug 7, 2012
    Not only is it boring, but it's dodgy as hell. [Issue#221, p.81]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 87 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 87
  2. Negative: 8 out of 87
  1. Jun 3, 2012
    The 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 upThe 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.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 18, 2012
    Although the game remains a relatively niche title, those who are looking for a traditional JRPG or are fans of the series will love it. WithAlthough 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. Full Review »
  3. Jun 18, 2012
    Atelier 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 funAtelier 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. Full Review »