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Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky (PS3) Review

 
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At A Glance...
 

Formats: PS3
 
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Final Score
9.0
9/ 10


User Rating
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We liked?


An easy to understand tutorial style makes the complex art of alchemy approachable for newcomers to the series.

Not so much?


You'll need to manage your time wisely if you're the type to play in shorter bursts, as saving requires a time-sucking trip back home.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky is an engaging game that pulls you into the interesting adventures of its titular characters, Escha & Logy. Whether you choose to play as the transplanted from the city Logy or hometown girl Escha, you’ll get alchemy and combat in spades as you work your way towards the Unexplored Ruins. While the task of alchemy can seem daunting at first, even newcomers will be proudly turning out superior creations in no time, thanks to a very accessible tutorial style.

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Posted March 24, 2014 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

Whether you’re a newcomer to the series or an Atelier fan from way back, Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky has a lot to offer to gamers willing to lose themselves for hours on end. With an in-depth alchemy system and a combat system that makes good use of strategy and forethought, it’s a game that will definitely have you coming back again and again – and with a number of possible endings and the opportunity to play as two different characters, there’s a lot of replay value to be had.

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As you begin Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, you are given the opportunity to choose which character you’d like to play as. Escha is a home town girl – young and cheerful, she grew up in Colseit and is the only one in town able to perform alchemy. Logy is a city boy who soon finds out that alchemy in a small town is an entirely different ballpark. Both character are represented in typical anime style, with Escha sporting a cutesy tail and rather unpractical outfits, and Logy rocking a decidedly steampunk look – but you won’t find anything overtly sexualized here (so it’s completely safe for the kiddos).

Escha and Logy have been hired to work for the government in the R & D department, using their alchemy skills to help out the town and its citizens in a variety of ways, with their ultimate goal being a trip to the Unexplored Ruins. The story line is played out in entertaining cutscenes that emphasizes the relationship between the two alchemists, while giving players a nice introduction to both the characters and gameplay. Your time will mostly be spent performing alchemy and engaging in combat, with alchemy being the true focus of the game.

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As with other games in the series, the alchemy portion of the game can seem a bit daunting – however, the tutorial in Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky is very well done, giving players the chance to learn the skills a little bit at a time, rather than dumping it all at once and leaving them overwhelmed. Alchemy, at its core, is using items to create other items – a bit like cooking.

You’ll collect items in a variety of ways, from gathering them in the wilderness to monster drops to purchasing from the vendors in town. These items can then be broken down to create others, provided you have all the items needed, the recipes and skills needed, and enough time to pull it all together. Different qualities and traits can be added to increase the usefulness of the items and, just like in your favorite recipes, the quality of the ingredients has a direct effect on the quality of the finished product. The completed items are then used for everything from completing side quests to healing in battle to defeating bosses, so mastering alchemy early on is a must.

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Combat is a combination of standard RPG fare and a few innovations to add an element of strategy to it all. Traveling to various locales to explore and collect items means you’ll be fighting a lot of different creatures of varying difficulty. If you can get the jump on the opponent you’ll have an advantage, and vice versa if they surprise you. The action is turn based for the most part, but characters can support each other by guarding others – a great help if one is low on life or just overall weaker. Likewise, aid can be offered during attacks at times, with the possibility of your entire party being able to attack a single opponent. Managing your attack style and using your points, your characters, and your items skillfully often makes the difference between life and death on the field.

While I could easily wander around the beautiful environments in Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky for ages, exploring every nook and cranny, the game gives an element of urgency to your tasks by assigning a time limit. You’ll be given a series of tasks each quarter – the main quest must be completed in the time allotted, while the supporting ones are not required (but you’ll definitely want to fill out the card completely). Most things you do take up a certain amount of time – sleeping, alchemy, and especially travel. The last will likely be one of the main challenges, particularly if you aren’t able to play for long stretches, since you must return to your atelier in order to save your progress.

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Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky is an engaging game that pulls you into the interesting adventures of its titular characters, Escha & Logy. Whether you choose to play as the transplanted from the city Logy or hometown girl Escha, you’ll get alchemy and combat in spades as you work your way towards the Unexplored Ruins. While the task of alchemy can seem daunting at first, even newcomers will be proudly turning out superior creations in no time, thanks to a very accessible tutorial style.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)