Not every creation will turn out perfect, but with enough practice you’ll get there.
- System: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Steam
- Publisher: Koei Tecmo
- Developer: Gust
- Release Date: March 27, 2018
- Rating: E
- Genre: RPG
- Players: Single Player
- Official Website: http://www.koeitecmoamerica.com/lydieandsuelle/
Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists And The Mysterious Paintings - Announcement Trailer
Who it Caters to
The Atelier series has been around for a very long time, spanning over 19 games in the 20 years the franchise has existed. Most Atelier titles take place in various storylines but are interconnected in some way or another. The Mysterious storyline is just one of those many and Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings is the third and final game of the Mysterious storyline. Anyone who grew up playing the Atelier titles will know that unlike most conventional RPGs, the gameplay is focused heavily on alchemy, encouraging you to create new items to increase your rank over time. While monsters do have their role in Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings, the core focus is having you increase your alchemist rank by collecting materials, solving puzzles, and creating powerful tools from scratch to defeat the enemy. So for the most part, you’ll be the one in control of just what weapons you’ll have at your disposal, the armor you’ll use, along with other important recipes to keep your HP healthy at all times.
The gameplay is all turn based and so making sure you’re fully equipped before battle is essential to progressing through the story. Pertaining to the overall story, Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings isn’t very long when compared to other RPGs, but what makes it an endearing experience is that you get to experiment with all different types of materials at your disposal, and come up with cool new recipes as you move forward toward getting S rank and build your reputation as a true alchemist.
What to Expect
As we stated earlier, the core gameplay of Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings is in the alchemy. While gathering materials and synthesizing them may sound easy on paper, the game does provide you with a decent challenge and has you really pay close attention to detail. The same light-hearted and quirky appeal of the Atelier games still exist, while you’ll be in control of both Lydie and Suelle as you advance. A feature known as The Passage of Time, time elapses whenever you select certain commands such as move, search, battle, or synthesis. The Passage of Time doesn’t effect the actual story line, but bear in mind that there are still requests you’ll encounter that do contain time limits and will expire if not completed. The further you progress into the game, learning how to properly synthesize your materials will be of great importance since it helps to create even more powerful tools, while also learning of each materials unique properties will help to develop more potent objects. Be sure to look out for some familiar faces from past Atelier titles as well!
This story takes place 4 years after the events of Atelier Firis and focuses on twin sisters Lydie and Suelle, who are adamant on becoming the best alchemists in their town of Merveille. They both work alongside their father Roger who’s still coping with the loss of his wife, and due to his lack of experience in the world of alchemy their shop fails to meet expectations for those in town. While trying to come up with new ways to attract new customers and hone their alchemy skills, Lydie and Suelle come across a mysterious painting in their father’s basement, and to their amazement, realize the painting has come to life. In the new world, they stumble across a bountiful assortment of rare materials that will help them to perfect their alchemy, but due to their severe lack of skill to properly maximize each materials potential, reality starts to kick in and they both realize that it’s time to step it up if they want to see their goals achieved.
What’s really unique about Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings is that the game places emphasis on traveling to different worlds through paintings, and by doing so, you get to see the growth of two dedicated girls trying to see their dreams become a reality. It’s a nice mixture of everyday experiences and extraordinary adventures that make Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings a treat to play. It’s by no means a game that you’ll be hacking and slashing through but more so running around in search for new discoveries to help bolster your reputation as an alchemist. Paying close attention to detail is so vital, as color matching during synthesis can determine whether your item will be a great rank, or a terrible one. In the game, you’ll acquire what’s known as an Ambitions Journal which allows you to build your reputation in the area by performing specific actions, such as hanging up flyers around the walls, defeating certain enemies, or collecting specific items. In order to successfully clear a page in the journal, half of the actions must be completed which then help you progress with your promotion test.
The promotion test is part of the story and so, for the greater portion of the game, you’ll need to ensure that all your actions are completed so you can get closer to the S rank. There will also be special requests that you can tackle once you’ve completed a set number of pages, and these special requests will open up the opportunity to collect rare materials along with new battle recipes. The battle system is very similar to Firis in that you’ll have to decide which items are best to use against which enemy, while using your skills to tackle a larger group of enemies who threaten you. It’s quite simple and you’ll need to ensure that you have enough of your gathered as well as usable materials in case you run of MP.
The Castle Plaza is where you’ll be able to find the notice board which is essentially where all the town’s requests are. Like most RPGs, you’ll have fetch quests where the main objective will be to gather specific items for NPC, while other tasks will require you to go out into the wild to battle monsters and collect whatever items they drop. There are also synthesis requests that will require a little more practice than the other two, but once you get the hang of how the system works, it should be no problem. Of course, we’re speaking to those who are unfamiliar with the Atelier series since much of the experience will be a new one after all. After completing requests you can simply talk to the receptionist and she’ll award you with some perks for a job well done.
The Royal Castle is where you’ll head to in order to take your promotion tests and as we said earlier, completing sections in your ambitions journal will be imperative in order to take the test. The completion rate meter on the left hand side of the screen signifies whether you’ve reached the preferred score in order to pass the test so there will be times when you may have to do some backtracking, to ensure all the right materials are gathered. It may sound tedious, but it’s really what makes wandering around in Atelier Lydie and Suelle really fun and relaxing. We will say however that the Nintendo Switch version of Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings is by no means a perfect picture, since we did run into some issues pertaining to gameplay and visuals. It’s quite evident that while the game did port over well to the Switch, performance wise it just wasn’t on the same level of consistency as its PS4 brethren.
One good example is in the visuals and how choppy some of the character models look like, and at times, the game will run a bit slow when too much is happening on screen. We also experienced some issues where enemies would be displayed on the map but not directly in the world you’re in, which made things a little confusing at times. There were a few instances where the enemy would be trapped in the ground around us, still moving around trying to engage us to battle but because it was stuck, all you could see is the red “!” symbol but no enemy. If we had to choose which version to recommend, we’d probably go with the PS4 version just because everything ran a lot smoother and looked a lot cleaner on screen. The Nintendo Switch version is by no means a terrible port but with the above problems mentioned, it certainly does dock some points off in that area.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Anyone who’s a fan of the long running franchise will certainly find Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings to be a very charming one. The character interactions will have you giggling while the very colorful world will keep you immersed for hours. Unlike Atelier Firis which had you running through an open world, Lydie & Suelle revert back to the very HUB based style of RPGs in which you’ll need to do one thing in a certain area in order to unlock a new area to venture in. It’s not bad but there were times when the gameplay felt a bit slow and the dialogue carried on for too long. Be that as it may, if you’re a story driven individual and enjoy the world of alchemy then definitely check this one out because it’s truly a nice way to kill time on the go with your Switch.
- Colorful worlds with each painting depicting a certain theme (Halloween for example).
- Wonderful cast of characters who you’ll get to use. We especially like Mathias!
- Built in game manual makes understanding the game a lot easier before diving in for newcomers!
- Customize in game music to your liking with soundtracks from past titles!
- Some choppy visuals and gameplay bugs make for a less than perfect port-over to the Switch.
Honey's Final Verdict:
We hope you found this review to be insightful and provided enough information to better help you decide on your purchase decision. Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings is a game that will not be for everyone but for those that do find enjoyment in it, please let us know what you think in the comments below! In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest gaming news and of course, hit us up on Twitch to see us playing all your favorite anime games live!
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