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Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings - PS4 Preview

Atelier-Lydie-Suelle-The-Alchemists-and-the-Mysterious-Paintings-Image-1-700x403 Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings - PS4 Preview

There are times when life feels like it has you over a barrel… But don’t let it get you down.

  • System: Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch
  • Publisher: Koei Tecmo Games
  • Developer: GUST
  • Release Date: NA: March 27, 2018

Who it Caters to

Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings is the final installment of the Mysterious trilogy. To commemorate Atelier’s 20th Anniversary, the game features returning characters from previous titles while sticking with the nostalgic crafting focus of the series. For players worried about jumping into the finale, the game’s helpful tutorials and a standalone story will assuage your concerns.

Atelier-Lydie-Suelle-The-Alchemists-and-the-Mysterious-Paintings-Image-1-700x403 Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings - PS4 Preview

What to Expect

As an Atelier game, the focus on crafting is given an immense amount of detail. Both the story events, quests, battles, and strategies will revolve around how you successfully craft items and plan your daily routines. While Atelier games can be pretty dialogue heavy--the immense amount of character events being a major factor--combat has evolved in the series, allowing for different gameplay pacing for different audiences.

Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings - Announcement Trailer


Story

Lydie Marlen and Suelle Marlen are owners of a family-run Atelier. As inexperienced alchemists, customers rarely come to their workshop, and the sisters struggle to make ends meet. There is also a rival alchemy shop in town, its success shown by its increasing customers and the sister’s envy. Things aren’t looking good for the Marlen sisters.

However, this changes when the sisters discover a mysterious painting. Upon touching it, they enter into the painting’s landscape, opening up a new world of possibilities… and materials!

With another world open to them, Lydie and Suelle can finally turn things around! If they can continue to prove themselves in the Alchemy exams, they can fulfill their old promise: to become the best alchemist shop in the kingdom.

Atelier-Lydie-Suelle-The-Alchemists-and-the-Mysterious-Paintings-Image-1-700x403 Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings - PS4 Preview

Gameplay

Our time with the preview build showed us a variety of gameplay features. While this isn’t everything the game has to offer, here are the elements we learned about Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings.
Material Gathering & Crafting: The mainstay of Atelier games is its expansive crafting system. As per usual, materials are gathered on the field or from enemies, each location providing a unique set of material for you to craft your alchemy and daily necessities.

Also returning is the different types of gathering styles. Depending on your environment, you can do “Basic Gathering,” “Smash Gathering,” or “Indirect Gathering.” The first action is executed by pressing the confirm button, giving you the materials easily. The second lets the player swing, kick, or use bombs to destroy objects and gather material. Lastly, “Indirect Gathering” is used for objects like trees, letting you swing and gain material.

Atelier-Lydie-Suelle-The-Alchemists-and-the-Mysterious-Paintings-Image-1-700x403 Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings - PS4 Preview
Weather conditions and the time of day can influence both the quality of your materials and the monsters you encounter. Time management is still important, rewarding players who can align their quests and field exploration appropriately. To increase the player incentive to explore further, you can unlock recipe ideas by gathering during your field excursions. Gather enough of a material, and your character will develop a new idea for a product.

Crafting items are similar to previous in the series. Each material has a certain quality value, and the higher the quality, the higher the grade of your finished product. Adding to this, certain products can use a different material to influence the special effects and potency of the product.

Crafting, in this title, also uses a feature from the previous Mysterious games. When you’ve finished selecting your materials, a “crafting board” will appear. Each material has various shapes and colors. When materials of the same color are placed adjacent to each other, the added boost can be applied to the finished product. Lastly, certain products also have pre-established color nodes, making it more efficient for players to place materials on those nodes.

Town Map: The “Town Map” allows you to find the location of NPCs, events, areas, and your current location. For your convenience, fast travel is also available. There are plenty of areas like multiple shops featuring classic Atelier characters, a notice board for quests, the Royal Castle for your Alchemy Exams, and more. Event indications are as follows:

  • Star: The main story event.
  • !: Side Story event.
  • !?: Optional activities and events.
Since time passes as you travel the city (and thus weather), you can time your NPC interactions and character events strategically, allowing you to gather appropriate materials during adventures and fight monsters if required.

Atelier-Lydie-Suelle-The-Alchemists-and-the-Mysterious-Paintings-Image-1-700x403 Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings - PS4 Preview
Battle System: Battle is governed by a turn-based system with a visual timeline. The timeline indicates which enemies or characters will get to act next, but certain skills and status effects can alter both enemy and ally actions. For example, attacks with delay will make the target go further down the timeline, increasing the time required until they can act.

Attacks also have a certain stun valued applied to them, indicated by the yellow stun gauge next to the timeline portraits. When this gauge gets filled up, the corresponding enemy/ally will get stunned, making them unable to perform actions until the stun state elapses.

Certain enemies will also have weaknesses, which players can exploit for increased damage. Items, in particular, are useful for exploiting these weaknesses or customizing your team’s strategy for fights. Utilizing the appropriate combination of skills, items, and turn order will be key for harder battles.

At the current moment, these actions were available during the preview:

  • Attack - A normal attack that your ally can use to inflict damage.
  • Skill - Allows players to access the character’s unique skill list for supporting allies or attacking enemies.
  • Item - Gives you access to items that your character has equipped for use in battle.
  • Defense - Allows the player to defend, reducing damage.
  • Flee - Gives a chance to escape from battle.
  • Change - Allows you to switch characters (presumably, as my time with the preview didn’t let me test this).
Atelier-Lydie-Suelle-The-Alchemists-and-the-Mysterious-Paintings-Image-1-700x403 Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings - PS4 Preview


Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

As with most GUST games, the visuals and music are a big part of the overall experience, and Atelier Lydie & Suelle is no exception. The preview was rather expansive, giving a good look at the final game. Time management and crafting continue to be a mainstay of the Atelier series, but it was also nice to see that battle mechanics were also taken into consideration. I’m certain that Atelier fans and newcomers alike will enjoy this entry into the series.

Honey's Pros:

  • A really lively cast of both new and returning characters.
  • A crafting system that still remains intriguing and creative.
  • A plentiful amount of things to do in town with tons of voiced events.

Honey's Cons:

  • Most events have characters interacting with 3d models. To help with scene variety, I think having some events portrayed as drawn portraits or some mixture of the two would be a great addition.

Honey's Final Verdict:

It’s been awhile since I’ve played an Atelier game, and my initial worry was getting lost in the story or game mechanics. Luckily those concerns were anticipated by GUST, and it was easy to re-familiarize myself with Atelier’s charm. While I didn’t get to experience the entire game, the preview did a good job of capturing GUST aesthetics and Atelier’s classic gameplay.

Atelier-Lydie-Suelle-The-Alchemists-and-the-Mysterious-Paintings-Image-1-700x403 Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings - PS4 Preview

Writer

Author: Sean "Coopa" Hoang

A motivated writer hoping to share his passion for video games, literature, and visual media. I'm the main streamer of FinestKO, a variety game stream with roots in the fighting game community. Whenever there's time, you can usually find me broadcasting or writing for the next article.

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