It’s the picayune things that make or break a game. Games that provide story summaries for players is ane of the easiest ways to immerse them in your story, and it’s a welcome feature. While Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of Dreams does several bad things, the packaging is charming and polished plenty on those little things to continue me interested. It has an easy-to-navigate and analyze user interface, a clear progression, and a meaningful drafting organisation. However, you lot have to take the good with the bad, and there is unfortunately a off-white amount of the bad.
Moe equally Moe does
Allow’s start by saying that this is a very anime game. Popular games like Terminal Fantasy or Persona are anime in the sense that they have anime way, exaggerated battles, attacks, magic, etc. – but the interactions betwixt the characters seem human and ingrained in reality. Atelier Sophie 2 practically jumps from said land. Teens and adults seem to scream like children in very loud tones. If y’all’ve always disliked an animated show where characters yell over minor annoyances or overreact to somewhat benign situations, you won’t like Atelier Sophie two.
Notwithstanding, this is non a blow against the game – there is a marketplace for this type of animation. This game is infused with character interactions and overarching story threads. The story follows Sophie as she continues her journey to become a master alchemist – a profession that can accept basic materials and combine them into a witch’due south cauldron to create a fully formed item. Practise you lot need a pickaxe? Just take 2 steel confined and some woods and cook them in a cauldron total of Baja boom.
The game begins with an exploration of the forest with her mentor and friend Plachta, an alchemist whose soul inhabited a book for the first time, earlier moving on to a doll in tight-plumbing fixtures Sophie clothes. They are looking for a mode to transfer Plachta’s soul back to her original trunk when they stumble across a tree–(carry with me here)–that sucks them into a portal. Sophie finds herself in a dream world where random people are brought in to fulfill the virtually powerful desire in their hearts. They cannot leave the spectacle of dreams until those desires are manifested.
Once there, Sophie realizes that Plachta can’t be institute anywhere, and goes on a journey to find her forth with a new team of friends – Alette (a treasure hunter with a physics-defying corset), Olias (a treasure hunter with a bladed gun, simply not that blazon of firearms), and Plachta. No, it’south not the Plachta you’re looking for, but the Plachta from the by. The story actually gets a flake confusing at times. In that location are additional characters to unlock, only reveal who’south going to delve deep into the spoiler surface area.
Fifty-fifty with the anime’s exaggerated tone, the characters collaborate well with each other. Everything from Sophie and Blachta learning new things near chemistry to Alit’s acquisition of ways to sell new materials adds a layer of depth and magic to the characters – and these discussions happen outside of the scenes, too. Gainsay is fairly like shooting fish in a barrel for JRPG fans, as attacks must exist chosen appropriately to counter the enemy’due south primary affiliations. The “aura” machinery, introduced a few hours into the game, adds some depth to the simplified JRPG battle – yous have to break the armored aura of some monsters to deal massive damage to them, just if y’all cull the incorrect elemental attack, y’all’ll demand to trigger a painful counter.
The dream is partly a nightmare
My grip on Atelier Sophie 2 lies in the crafting and collecting system, which unfortunately makes upward nigh half of the game. The outside world is filled with tons of crafting materials, and every new area you unlock adds almost 20-xxx more. The game does a poor chore of telling you what materials you lot demand and what materials y’all don’t. If, similar me, you want to collect everything, you will shortly find your basket filled with well-nigh 20 copies of white flowers (which used to take about 15 white flowers too many.) Once your basket is total, you accept to turn dorsum to the workshop to deposit them all before y’all You lot tin can collect anything else. Fortunately, the process is almost instant, due to the excellent upload times and the automated deposit sequence that occurs later access.
A little complicated wording. While you have to learn the recipe to create the detail, and the recipe states the materials required, crafting each item in the game requires you to solve a grid of puzzles. First, you cull the materials yous want to utilise, because each textile comes with its ain Tetris mode blocks for the puzzle grid. Y’all and then have to place puzzle pieces on the grid to complete the rows or columns, while too matching the pieces to the initial patterns in the grid itself. This would exist fun if you lot didn’t have to do this for every vehicle – including intermediate letters.
Plus, at that place’southward a whole range of effects yous can add to your crafted item, ranging from actress harm or extra uses – but sometimes those bonuses seem to just don’t match up with the final product. What’southward the indicate of the “uses + 2” effect when added to armor that will be worn and never used? The sheer corporeality of unlike effects and material choices that go into every particular you lot’re crafting can feel overwhelming.
Finally, the difficulty reached a very high in the get-go of the game. While I occasionally struggled with killing certain enemies, I never had a problem with any field bosses or forced encounters until I got to the Battle of the Sea Dragon. The dragon was above fourteen levels, and I could only bargain with about 20% health earlier it took me out. This was a clear indication that I had to exercise some grinding, but that was misplaced with the rest of the game. The ex-dominate had it like shooting fish in a barrel, and I fought it only 15 minutes before the Sea Dragon.
To sum things up, Atelier Sophie two is a great game. With plenty of tutorials and a generous map and logbook, you will never experience lost or confused while playing. However, the crafting and assembling can be overwhelming, and you’ll definitely take a taste for serious cartoon characters and metaphors to immerse yourself in this JRPG. Much like the alchemy procedure itself, Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of Dreams is flawed, but over time you can find a lot to love about the game.
|+||Fun characters and a world|
|+||Piece of cake to understand battle mechanics|
|+||Good tutorials and guides for virtually everything…|
|–||…except for craftsmanship and assembly, which is disruptive to discover|
|–||Too much material and not enough room for bags requires a lot of undo|