Two years ago, Gust released Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea for the Playstation 3, which was supposedly to be the conclusion to the Dusk trilogy. Getting a few complaints from fans aside from the general gameplay, the narrative was the most criticized element as it felt incomplete as well as effacing all the developments made in the prior installments. Vowing to fix this mistake with another entry into series, there is no mistaking that the Playstation Vita title Atelier Shallie Plus is what the team had in mind. With inclusion of new events, bosses, and prominent returning characters, does it manage to succeed where the PS3 title failed?
Exploring vast locations, making new items and equipment, and amicable characters are all qualities of Gust’s Atelier franchise that has attracted and kept me coming back to the series all these years. Mixing together fundamental and traditional RPG mechanics with modern flair, it is a franchise that has definitely changed its approach since its inception for better or worst to widen its appeal to a new audience. However, looking back on the many titles up until now, I do feel like the series has lost much of the traditional and creative life it once had long ago. With Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book – the start of a new entry for the long-running franchise – incorporating many of the lessons and ideas inspired from the earlier titles as well as handful of new ones, it does make for an interesting start, yet also one that falls short of the mark for the very same reasons.
Developed by Spike Chunsoft, Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics is a forced side-scrolling rougelike RPG that is actually a re-imaging of the indie PC game One Way Heroics. With the original developer Smoking Wolf giving their blessings to Spike Chunsoft, this version is chock full of new classes, bosses, and a few changes while still retaining the same old gameplay that made its counterpart so engaging, only being marred with what the Mystery Chronicle brand can bring to the table. So does this entry in the series manage to elevate it to greater heights?