User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 79 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 79
  2. Negative: 11 out of 79
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  1. Jun 11, 2016
    8
    As per usual, with every atelier release, Ill be throwing out my perspective as a both a fan of the franchise and a fan of the JRPG genre.

    First, I want to address "Stability". Stability has been a HUGE issue across the Atelier Franchise for as long as they have been on the PS3. Anyone who has played an Atelier + game may at some point seen a crash as they are fairly frequent.
    As per usual, with every atelier release, Ill be throwing out my perspective as a both a fan of the franchise and a fan of the JRPG genre.

    First, I want to address "Stability". Stability has been a HUGE issue across the Atelier Franchise for as long as they have been on the PS3. Anyone who has played an Atelier + game may at some point seen a crash as they are fairly frequent. Sometimes these issues are so bad that in the case of Shallie, majority of players crashed in the menus. Not just a fluke... it was 100% replicate able and guaranteed to happen. However, I am happy to report that after a full play through I got AMAZING frame rates (this is nothing to scoff at), and not a single crash. A Boost in my opinion of Gust this time around!

    Now lets talk about game play. There's been a lot of talk lately and some people either hate the game or are indifferent to it. But most who have given it the time it needs can agree that it feels like a testing ground, a base for the next games to take after. A lot of things were changed, Alchemy, combat, and Time. Another issue is the lack of guidence on how to find and do certain objectives. And while I struggled on my own to find my solutions, others can find it with a quick google search, but this lack of hand holding is quite refreshing but I don't want to see it in Firsis. I went the whole game without certain items... but it was mostly my fault for neglecting certain features.
    Alchemy has been overhauled to be more engaging. The new system is no longer about satisfying conditions to get traits and effects, instead it takes a more puzzle like aspect that requires you to plan out how you create your items and in my book this is a HUGE plus. Most have complained about the work or annoyance of the puzzle, but to me Alchemy has become an actual skill the player needs to learn mastering it really shows you how well thought it it truly is (I say this as a person who has unlocked and logged every trait for other people to see).

    Combat has been changed drastically. The set up reminds me of ar tonelicos old style, but just in design and not in combat. Everyone can use specifc items so the emphasis on combat alchemy is gone, instead its replaced with a team based system where you need to use ALL party members effectively and a minor mistake can easily result in a party wipe. Knowing when and how to use Defense, Offense, and Chain mastery will make the different of a 10 minute struggle and a 2 minute stomp on the enemy.

    Now lets talk about the biggest change... No time limit. The new system replaces a time limit with a day night cycle. Removing the time limit means no NG+, no pressure, no hypothetical endings... effectively destroying what makes an atelier game an atelier game. However, its still a vast improvement over Shallie's system and while it is sad to see these staple features removed, its not destroying the game and in my opinion is the only thing holding the game back. As far as I can tell you either loved the time limit or hated it, and I understand if this makes or breaks a sale.

    So lets ask. Do I think the game is good? While I cant say its good, its certainly not bad and I had a lot of fun for what its worth. Maybe its because of how Shallie let me down that Im willing take what I can but I have grown to love this game and is def high on my list. If your a fan of the series on the fence, give it a try, but if nothing here sounds appealing.. maybe hold off till the price drops. Whatever you decide I hope you enjoy the game as much as I did. However, until the next release, you can always find me in my Atelier!
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  2. Aug 27, 2016
    9
    Gran comienzo de la saga Atellier en la PS4, un sistema de síntesis y recetas más amigable para los nuevos jugadores.Visualmente podría mejorar los escenarios ( sobretodo los mapas de recolección), pero en cuanto a los personajes(sobretodo los protagonistas) tienen un gran acabado.
    Sistema de combate tiene una pequeña vuelta de tuerca que lo hace un pelín mas complejo y completo, pero no
    Gran comienzo de la saga Atellier en la PS4, un sistema de síntesis y recetas más amigable para los nuevos jugadores.Visualmente podría mejorar los escenarios ( sobretodo los mapas de recolección), pero en cuanto a los personajes(sobretodo los protagonistas) tienen un gran acabado.
    Sistema de combate tiene una pequeña vuelta de tuerca que lo hace un pelín mas complejo y completo, pero no sera difícil para nuevos en la saga y hará las delicias de los habituales de la saga.
    En definitiva, su buen precio de salida en Europa y su bastante notable calidad, hace de este titulo un buen comienzo para aquellos que no estén familiarizados con la saga y seguirá enamorando a los incondicionales de la saga.
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  3. Oct 20, 2019
    8
    Not a cutesy girly game as it first appears!

    This is a relaxing and rewarding JRPG with surprisingly difficult endgame content. Expect 30+ hours here and plenty of freedom. Definitely worth checking out.
  4. Jun 13, 2016
    9
    the same had happened with Atelier Rorona - strong potential, but unpolished and with rough edges. Give GUST some time they'll made strong comeback in no time
  5. Aug 15, 2016
    7
    Surprisingly addictive once you get in the zone with this game. Not something I'd recommend if you're looking for more of a traditional story-driven JRPG, but what's here is more like a crafting RPG with a slight Harvest Moon feel.
  6. Apr 29, 2018
    8
    I used to play Atelier on ps2, specifically the Atelier Iris Trilogy and Manakhemia, without mentioning Ar Tonelico and its heavy reliance on "alchemy", so I'm not exactly new on it. However Atelier Sophie and the 2 trilogies before it were more similar to the true atelier series, which were sort of managing games about alchemy with time limits and so on.

    Atelier Sophie plays more like
    I used to play Atelier on ps2, specifically the Atelier Iris Trilogy and Manakhemia, without mentioning Ar Tonelico and its heavy reliance on "alchemy", so I'm not exactly new on it. However Atelier Sophie and the 2 trilogies before it were more similar to the true atelier series, which were sort of managing games about alchemy with time limits and so on.

    Atelier Sophie plays more like a traditional RPG, where you can explore and have a plot without any issues with times since you have none, but at the same time it has a lot to be desired.

    For starters the game lacks a lot of voice acting in the english version, and I'm sorry but I don't really like Japanese voice acting that much and I avoid it unless the english one is bad - like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 bad. If you like Japanese dubs you'll be fine as most if not all scenes are voiced.

    Secondly, the game has a really clumsy start: it took me at least 5-10 hours to fully grasp the alchemy and fighting section because they really do a bad job explaining them and only after that I managed to "manage" it properly. I didn't master it at all but I made it work, and the combat worked but it's highly unbalanced in the early stages.

    Speaking of combat, the level cap is very low - 20 - but after that you'll be learning skills and passives to increases stats and learn different abilities: the system is very similar to Diablo 3's Paragon points where each level grants one point to spend on specific stats. Only difference is that you literally take 2-4 hours to maximize everyone and by the 20th hour I was already having everyone at max level with all skills unlocked.

    The game is also easy to break too: some traits are overpowered and combining them helps making some beast items - I was killing enemies on despair with one hit bombs! - but at the same time it's highly unbalanced, with certain enemies killing you rather quickly if you're not fully prepared.

    Story is also a disappointment: it's not bad but it feels rushed and unpolished, especially when Sophie has no real personality and Plachta is kind of a kuudere character, always cold and distant but with a heart of gold. The side characters aren't anything great either.

    The world is huge but I think it's FAR too huge: there are far too many places to explore and only some of them are worth doing the exploration. A better focus on certain zone was better.

    And last but not least, this game was fairly stable to me and I had no crashes or glitches so that's a blus.

    I was going to put a 7 on the game but I'm giving 1 extra point because it's a really, REALLY good starting game for those who never touched an Atelier game thanks to its noob friendly gimmicks and the lack of timed missions, making you play at your own pace. Add the fact that it's a relatively long game - finished in 50 hours - it's definitely worth its asking price.

    I highly recommend it.
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  7. May 3, 2017
    8
    Having played all of the PS3 Atelier games, this is definitely one of the best.

    Pros: * The main character is very likable this time around. Definitely one of the best. Her quest has good meaning and is something I felt compelled to complete. Though I still like Totori's quest more. * All other characters are very good and are quite a bit different than the previous games. By the end
    Having played all of the PS3 Atelier games, this is definitely one of the best.

    Pros:
    * The main character is very likable this time around. Definitely one of the best. Her quest has good meaning and is something I felt compelled to complete. Though I still like Totori's quest more.
    * All other characters are very good and are quite a bit different than the previous games. By the end of the game, I felt only one of the characters could have used a bit more work.
    * Like all other Atelier games in recent memory, you play this for the character interactions. The characters are believable in their world, much more so than most other anime-like games. They are all a joy to interact with and you'll definitely find someone you like.
    * Big changes were made from the previous games (unlike small changes between the previous series). Battle, the friendship system, item usage, traveling, time, item traits and crafting all received big changes this time around. These really help it feel like a fresh game and not just the same game over and over with different characters.
    * There's still no "power of friendship" bollocks, which plagues many Japanese/anime games these days. Keep it up Gust!

    Cons:
    * This is expected for an Atelier game, but there's no real ending. It's a game about your journey and interactions with the characters and not getting to an ultimate goal. As long as you go in expecting that the main quest just fizzles out at around 80% through, then you'll be fine.

    Other:
    * The battle system isn't nearly as interactive as previous titles and is more turn-based. I liked the change of pace, but I see how many people might see this as a downgrade.
    * Many things are easier this time around: Transferring traits to different items, seeing everyone's events, increasing everyone's friendship level, and general team management. You won't need multiple playthroughs or a wiki to see everything this game has to offer.
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  8. Jan 6, 2017
    9
    Having played every Atelier there is under the far sun, I think I can safely say that I know my stuff about Atelier games.

    First let's take a quick look back. The Series started strong for me with Atelier Iris. Even though the Voice Acting was kinda hit-and-miss, I loved the characters and the style behind it. The Alchemy stuff was still in the making, so it was really not that
    Having played every Atelier there is under the far sun, I think I can safely say that I know my stuff about Atelier games.

    First let's take a quick look back.

    The Series started strong for me with Atelier Iris.

    Even though the Voice Acting was kinda hit-and-miss, I loved the characters and the style behind it.
    The Alchemy stuff was still in the making, so it was really not that extraordinary, but I shelf that to its age.

    The Mana Khemia Series, while technically not an Atelier game ( even though it featured the ever buxomfull Pamela), was enjoying with that kinda watered down Alchemy system.

    But then, I don't quite know what happened.

    The Arland Trilogy began.

    And that was when it went downhill for me.

    You see, I get that you have to pander to the male audience.

    I do.

    For me, there were alot of things that turned me away form it.

    No.1 : I dislike Kishida Mel's Arts Style. Nothing against her, it just makes some Characters look horrible (Rorona's face in Atelier Totori, anyone?).

    No.2 : The outfits. Like I said before, I understand the pandering. But looking at Lionela's or Hanna's outfit, what else is it, except fan service. And no one can tell me Corneria's outfit is not for the lolicons out there.

    No.3 : Horrible cliched characters. Like every Main Girl, Sophie is a young Alchemist that is kinda meh at what she does at first. Thank god we hadn't seen that in Rorona, Totori and Meruru before.

    But now to the actual game.

    Like I said before, I don't like Mel's art work, so I was really happy with seeing that the art for the characters in Sophie is absolutely breathtaking.

    The story brings not really much new to the table, but for me it was enjoyable because I felt never any sense of the urgency I felt in previous games. Which brings me too...

    They continued the no time limit in Sophie, giving you more time to run around, doing stupid things.

    The Alchemy system is new and improved, but to get really good results get ready to spend a lot of time crafting items over and over and over because you can not get that one bar filled... ( Damn you, Mana Feather!)

    The combat is revamped and will probably take some time to get used too.

    There are now difficulty settings ranging from easy, normal, hard and despair.

    Unless you enjoy breaking your PS4 controller (like this d00d right here), don't play on despair the first time.

    LP makes an unwelcome return for me, even though a fully crafted Mana Feather can remedy that, I had hoped it was a thing of the past.

    There is now also a day and night cycle, making more dangerous and other enemies appear at night (Like Ghost's). Plus it has wheather effects, like how rain makes Puni's huge and more dangerous

    Gathering works mostly the same, except you have a sort of gauge that goes from 1 Point to 5. The higher it is, the more rare items and ore items you can gather, but it will also kae some serious tough customers come out.
    That leaves me to the pro and cons Pro + Beautiful Art Work + Alchemy is fun again + No time constraints + Doll making + Sophie's cute and energetic ( Plus I'm a sucker for her canine tooth) Cons - Characters are mostly bland (Monika) - People not doing anything when it's night - People in the game annoying me when I'm fully inversed in my Alchemy - LP I gave it a 9, because Atelier Sophie makes me feel kinda warm and fuzzy. It's a cute game full of cute characters that don't have any kind of epic mission. Just enjoy it ^^
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  9. Aug 18, 2017
    9
    I like this game. First, it still looks like a traditional JRPG and that is the best part of every Atelier game. Second, very beautiful design of the whole game. The third, interesting and funny story. In the Atelier series they always trying to add something new, so in this game they made a new Alchemy system. This new Alchemy system is interesting because now Sophie can learn new recipesI like this game. First, it still looks like a traditional JRPG and that is the best part of every Atelier game. Second, very beautiful design of the whole game. The third, interesting and funny story. In the Atelier series they always trying to add something new, so in this game they made a new Alchemy system. This new Alchemy system is interesting because now Sophie can learn new recipes through various activities and when she performs alchemy, the player needs to solve the easy puzzle to receives a bonus. This function reminds me of the Alchemy system in Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis where the player must choose a certain color on the roulette to get a bonus, while in Atelier Sophie the player needs to solve the puzzle. Also in Atelier Sophie they have made a new battle system. This new battle system looks just like a traditional Turn-based battle system with some new functions. My favorite battle system in the Atelier series is the one in the Mana Khemia series. The battle system in the Mana Khemia series was the best improvement of the traditional Turn-based battle system. They used that battle system again in Atelier Escha & Logy and Atelier Shallie but unfortunately they did not put this battle system in Atelier Sophie.

    Conclusion: Atelier Sophie is a good Atelier game and is a good JRPG but it would be even better if they put it battle system from Mana Khemia series.
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  10. Feb 27, 2018
    9
    ** OVERALL 8.5/10 ** Gameplay 9/10 - Creativity 9/10 - Music 9/10 - Visuals 7/10 - Characters 7/10 - Plotline 7/10 - Emotional Engagement 7/10 - Replayability 7/10 - Difficulty */10

    This was an incredibly unexpectedly lovely game. It’s 60% puzzle crafting/minmaxing, and 40% cutesy JRPG. The crafting system is the focus of the game and where you’ll be spending most of your time making
    ** OVERALL 8.5/10 ** Gameplay 9/10 - Creativity 9/10 - Music 9/10 - Visuals 7/10 - Characters 7/10 - Plotline 7/10 - Emotional Engagement 7/10 - Replayability 7/10 - Difficulty */10

    This was an incredibly unexpectedly lovely game. It’s 60% puzzle crafting/minmaxing, and 40% cutesy JRPG.

    The crafting system is the focus of the game and where you’ll be spending most of your time making the best items you can at various points. The adventure portion is mostly to go out and collect raw materials. However, you’ll be doing a lot of writing down item trees, i.e. since I want to make this, I need these 3 things with these 3 properties, and for each of those, i need these other 10 things with these properties, and for those… etc. It gets deep an engaging, and the actual process of creating an item, once you have all the materials, is a tetris-block-fitting puzzle game that, especially at the higher levels, is really challenging.

    The role-playing portion is cute. It’s not the deepest battle system, but it works. You see the enemies coming and you can generally run from everything. Even if you completely die, you just lose some of the crafting materials you picked up along the way, and wake up back at your shop. You probably won’t go underground into a “dungeon” for a long time in the game. You’ll be talking to people, looking for particular items, and looking for particular locations, in order to find “inspiration” for a new crafting recipe. Battles really run the gamut of difficulty, you can stomp everything and then suddenly get completely overpowered. Only bother with the difficulty setting if you want to grind for XP or GP. Once you find “gold punis”, you’ll want to set it to max (“despair”) difficulty to fight them for thousands of gold at a time - think of them as the literal “metal slimes” of the game.

    The music is well done and catchy, and you can adjust the game music in very fine detail. Just go to the desk in your house and select BGM and you can set any music or sets of music for any situation. As in, you can make your house music the battle music and vice versa, if you want. I like the higher level battle musics, and the traveling and night music. Night music almost makes me cry, it’s very “sad music box”-like and atmospheric.

    Visuals are ok. Nothing stands out as particularly bad, but I wasn’t awe-inspired by anything, either. I do like the colorful and well-crafted character designs. In particular, I like the motion capture they did - everyone’s movements are very realistic. However, they don’t quite interact in as complex a way as some other games like Tales of Berseria. In the latter, characters pick each other up, caress faces, hold people close or push them away - complex interaction done well. Atelier Sophie is more like people just reacting individually. I have to take off a point or two for fan service, though. It’s not as bad as I’ve seen, but almost every female character has “female armor” syndrome, a super-short skirt, or exploding bras. At least the main character isn’t that way, but everyone else you meet is. I wish they’d stop this.

    Character wise, everyone’s pretty developed. Not too many of them have arc, though. There’s event trees for all major characters and a few minor ones, but characters other than the main one don’t change much, other than maybe one or two. Their personalities are delightful and engaging, though, so they’re not boring or anything. A few cliches here and there but generally decent.

    The plot line’s a little on the weak side, but it’s ok. It’s mostly a crafting game, the plot is a device for making you synthesize more alchemic items. Everyone just reacts adorably and lovingly to each other over the course of some weird things that go on. It’s kinda K-On-ish to me, very “moe”.

    The emotional engagement isn’t great because most of the characters don’t develop much, and the physical interactions are a bit limited.

    Replayability is ok, I may go back to finish off some of the DLC stuff later, but there’s (sadly) no newgame+ mode. The game just ends and you can keep playing to make more items if you like.

    The difficulty is weird. I can’t give it a number because it’s adjustable. You can set it to easy, normal, hard, or DESPAIR. For the most part I kept it on normal, until I got the ability to craft weapons and armor, and then I felt overpowered and moved it back and forth between normal and DESPAIR. A few enemies are nasty on DESPAIR, but most just have more HP and give more XP and GP.

    Overall, it was an incredibly addicting game that kept me up way into the morning multiple days in a row. In true “Civ” fashion, “just one more turn!”.

    Highly recommended, as long as you enjoy the synthesis type puzzle system and how most of your leveling comes from that, not from grinding enemies.
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  11. Feb 26, 2018
    7
    It is a decent JRPG in terms of graphics and story and gameplay. If you are a fan of the genre you wont be upset you played it. Where it excels is in its item creation/crafting system. If, like me, you enjoy playing games where you can go in depth in the crafting system, then you definitely need to pick this game up.
  12. Jul 25, 2018
    9
    Atelier is a long running title with Sophie being the protagonist of this 17th main installment - therefore also known as project A17. As the tradition this is the first episode of the mysterious trilogy within the installment, much like the Arland trilogy and the Dusk trilogy. This trilogy features a more interactive and tetris like crafting in order to achieve the "best output" inAtelier is a long running title with Sophie being the protagonist of this 17th main installment - therefore also known as project A17. As the tradition this is the first episode of the mysterious trilogy within the installment, much like the Arland trilogy and the Dusk trilogy. This trilogy features a more interactive and tetris like crafting in order to achieve the "best output" in battles - maximum quality of equipment and bombs to be specific. The interactive and open-world like environment has also improved the game. This series amazed me everytime when a new sequel came out as there are always surprise and improvement waiting for me.

    This series is praised as atypical JRPG as it is full of Japanese style animation and full of young and innocent little girls with seeming lesbian reference yet the battle emphasizes hugely on buf and debuf other than physical damage output. Therefore you are an alchemist who needs to fight off monsters only because you need the stuff and you save the world by synthesizing but not by fighting off the dragon. However, this time the game finally asks you to do things that you like and you want instead of saving the world.

    This game offers:
    1. The very hard mode in NG+
    2. The free DLC for the final map
    3. the balance of the available traits and properties (you need more to decide what and what not to combine)
    4. Easy platinum or hardcore boss battle to show off on youtube
    5. The story lines are diverse - development of multiple characters and are playable although they are all linear.
    6. The world is large and filled up with things to do and read
    7. Complete and vivid voice acting for all dialogues
    8. Unlimited In game time to enjoy all the game has to offer (as tradition players are usually given a defined time frame to fulfill the end game requirement and arriving at different ending)
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  13. Nov 14, 2020
    9
    Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is a amazing game. The game looks great, it has loads of content, and the characters are really endearing and overall enjoyable to witness. However, I do have one problem with the game. That being that I think that some of the animations, moire specefically the animations for jumping and attacking, just feel weird, clunky, and generallyAtelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is a amazing game. The game looks great, it has loads of content, and the characters are really endearing and overall enjoyable to witness. However, I do have one problem with the game. That being that I think that some of the animations, moire specefically the animations for jumping and attacking, just feel weird, clunky, and generally off. But this is moire of a nitpick. This game is fantastic and a hidden gem on the PS4. It comes highly recommended by me. Expand
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Jul 9, 2016
    80
    Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book marks the franchise PlayStation 4 debut and one of the must play JRPGs on the system, despite its flaws.
  2. Jul 7, 2016
    90
    While it may not have reached perfection yet, the Atelier series is getting close. Each new title offers a substantive change to the core mechanics, so vets will encounter something new and new players can easily jump in. I seem to say this in every review but it remains true—this is good as JRPG design gets, and I can’t wait to see what the developers have in store next.
  3. Jun 26, 2016
    80
    A relatively simple yet somewhat deep game. Albeit it doesn’t harbor a really challenging difficulty nor a complex story, it offers an easygoing narrative in which its gameplay rewards aspects like exploration and collections of items for alchemy recipes over other more common in the genre like action, narrative and complex controls.