- Publisher: KoeiTecmo
- Release Date: 3/7/17
- Console: PS4, Vita, PC
Greetings gamers! Today we’re taking a look at the latest release in the ever-impressive Atelier series, Atelier Firis (as you may have gleaned from the title of this article), and this one certainly raises the bar for the series from here on out.
For those new to the series, as I was at first, this game is equal parts puzzle, combat, and rpg. You play as a young girl named Firis, who has spent her entire life essentially living in a cave. And then, two alchemists come a knockin’. From here, the story launches it first real mission which doubles as a tutorial and is nothing if not thorough. And while it’s a bit lengthy, it truly covers the majority of all the gameplay aspects and mechanics. Be warned though, time is a precious commodity and passes at a constant rate, so spending too much time dawdling could have repercussions.
Atelier Firis has many things working for it, when it comes to the quality of the game itself. First and foremost, the artwork is breathtaking. And while it’s very obviously anime inspired (and there’s numerous reasons why that’s to be expected) it doesn’t shy away from stunning backgrounds or environments. Additionally, the soundtrack is vast, and never feels like it’s just filler noise or overly repetitive. soundtrack too is impressive, and helps set the tone.
Another important aspect of this game is the recurring choice system. At various points throughout the game, you’ll be faced with both problems and puzzles that you’ll have multiple ways of solving. How you choose to go about that is entirely up to you, but there are consequences, good, bad, or neutral, depending on what you do. Related to the choice system is the revamped synthesis system. While it still works similarly to the other games, synthesis can now be done virtually everywhere, which means you’ll waste a lot less time travelling back and forth between harvesting materials and building weapons and items.
All in all, Atelier Firis is loads of fun. Sure, it can be a bit heavy on the anime-esque reactions of the characters to borderline mundane situations, but its overall charm more than makes up for that. With its large host of characters, fights, and the freedom to play as creatively as you feel like, it’s a solid game worth investing time in. Overall Score: 9/10.