Back in 2009, Gust finally transitioned from the Playstation 2 to the Playstation 3 when they released Atelier Rorona. While the gameplay went back to the premise of the original games and focused more on item crafting and such, the graphics were pretty lackluster. While Totori and Meruru had better graphics and gameplay, it seems that first game in the Arland trilogy felt really out-of-place in comparison. I can’t really blame them since the Playstation 3 had a rough start when it comes to role-playing games.
Four years later, Gust finally made a full remake of the original game for the Playstation 3 and the Vita complete with a full graphics overhaul. How well does it stack up with the original? Let’s find out! (Image Source)
When I started playing the game, I noticed a drastic improvement in the graphics. The models are pretty much what you expect from their recent Atelier games. While this game mostly maintains the sprites for most of it’s cut scenes, the graphics in this remake is very appealing. Not only that, Arland just looks more detailed and realistic compared to the original.
On the other hand, while the battling system and synthesis remains mostly unchanged from Atelier Meruru, there are still some improvements. When battling, the assist meter is now shared just like Atelier Escha and Logy opposed to being separate. In addition to that, Rorona now have additional skills and assists (when using items) she can use. While you won’t be using them that much since synthesis uses up MP, it’s something nice to have. Not only that, LP is phased out, which is a good thing since you don’t have to worry about your party members entering a weaken state because it got depleted.
As for the tasks, they work similarly like previous games. However, you are not required to do all the tasks as long you fulfill the main request. While you can do the bare minimum, doing so will lead you to a bad ending since the endings depend greatly on the amount of big stars you have earned from completing the main task in full.
New to the game is the stamp card, a feature that is similar to the one in Escha and Logy, except that you can place the stamp anywhere outside the center. The center stamp is given when you finish the main task. Each line up will give you a reward and it’s possible to have multiple lines.
Lastly, the story remains unchanged from the original except for some new additions like viewing past dialog. In addition, several characters are now playable such as Esty and Rorona’s teacher, Astrid. While the time limit is still 4 years, there is an additional story involving future Totori and Meruru, but I won’t spoil that until the final review. Despite these changes, the story so far is very enjoyable and I admit that Cordelia is one of my favorite characters for obvious reasons. (I’m rooting for Cordelia and Rorona.) 😉
Overall, I’m enjoying the remake so far and I think it’s a nice way to end of the trilogy. While some people might not enjoy this game because it’s different from the usual Japanese RPG since it focus more on light-hearted slice of life moments rather than the typical saving the world story, hopefully, this game will continue to impress me when I continue playing it. ¶