This could be one of the best games in the series to date. I will start out by addressing possible cons, first with time limit concerns, whichThis could be one of the best games in the series to date. I will start out by addressing possible cons, first with time limit concerns, which is more personal preference than an actual con. Players that prefer the time limit that most Atelier games use to have, including the first 3 games of the Arland quadrilogy, will be disappointed as there are no time limits in Lulua. For those of us that dislike the time limit, rejoice! You can relax and enjoy the game at your leisure. The only other possible issue that could be a con for some, is that there are no English voice-overs. All the text and dialogue is English though. This can be awkward hearing familiar characters from earlier games in the quadrilogy suddenly talking with a different voice. It's awkward, but I personally am not lowering the score over it, mainly because the developers lack funds as it is. They needed to cut somewhere due to budget. I was actually surprised they had the funding to add English voice-overs all the way up until Lydie & Suelle. The series is very niche. It doesn't sell a boatload of copies. Maybe as the series gains more popularity, they'll be able to add English voice-overs again. This is why it saddens me when some people say they won't buy the latest Atelier games because the voices are in Japanese, as it only hurts the series success outside of Japan even more. If I had to choose between not having these localized at all, or localized without English voice-overs, I would choose localized without English voice-overs any day.
Now aside from possible cons, everything else about the game is flawless. The alchemy system returns to a more traditional form, ditching the grid-based system the Mysterious trilogy had. The battle system has new features, such as the fact that there is a formation grid with front row and back row hexagon spaces connected in a zig-zag pattern. Characters in the back row will not fight directly, but will use their support skills when the trigger condition for the skill is met. They tend to support the front row characters in hexagons adjacent to their own. In example, if a support skill is an attack that is triggered when a physical attack skill is used, and let's say you have a character in both of the adjacent front row hexagons, this means any time you use a physical attack skill with any of those 2 front row characters it will trigger the support skill of the connecting back row support character causing them to use their support attack. This is just 1 example. Every character has support skills used to support front row characters. This is one of the best new differences with this Atelier. You can set up some nice combos and chains with this system.
There are also quality of life changes which I'm not going to go into. The music is great. Visually, the game is stunning. The art style is beautiful as always and the characters are highly detailed, though environmental textures are terrible in comparison the same as any Atelier game. It's like PS4 characters inhabiting a PS3 world with some grass and flowers looking PS2. Luckily the nicer looking stuff drowns out the worst looking textures, making them less noticeable. There are other things I haven't touched upon in this review, such as other battle additions, discovering new recipes, locations, and more by solving alchemy riddles, etc. All in all, it's hard to understand why this Atelier seems so much better than past titles. I think it is simply the fact that it takes the best features of past Atelier games, combined with the new additions and pieces it all together in a way that works and is very refined. This makes it a great game not only for vets of the series, but also as an entry point for newcomers.… Expand