If you like crafting, long stretches of dialogue and turn based fighting then this is the game for you.

User Rating: 8 | Meruru no Atelier: Arland no Renkinjutsushi 3 PS3
Meruru is certainly an interesting game. It in fact has one of the best crafting systems I have seen in games and since this is a late entry in a long running series of alchemy/crafting focused games that is to be expected. The story lacked a bit for me. I have a feeling that this game is targeted for 12-year-old girls since much of the dialogue and story points are about growing up and being a princess. I could not care less about this since I am an adult man and have no chance at being a princess. :(

The combat system although fun gets tedious at times. Most of the time it is incredibly easy but then there are parts where it gets its super hard. It is like "what gives game?" you set me up for failure during this boss fight because the last 100 or so fights lasted one turn and I took no damage. Now the boss kills one of my team in one turn leaving me to rethink the whole way I approach combat by changing my characters and creating a bunch of heal items I did not need until this fight.

The game uses some cool use of time mechanics. Like most timed RPGs it has divergent stories. The first time you play through you will be learning the ropes and forging needed equipment. The second and subsequent playthoughs you will going for the extra endings. There certainly is replayability here if you can handle the easy combat most of the time and long strings of dialogue. You can skip dialogue if gets to boring which it will eventually but combat you are stuck with. The time mechanics also have you build stuff over time as well. It is cool to see how your kingdom grows. The maps reflect these changes very well. Roads open allowing more trade and shops to come into your town, settlements are built expanding the population and forest are cut down to be turned into farms. It is a rewarding experience in the first playthoughs. In subsequent playthroughs it you are constantly trying to create a better kingdom the last playthrough. For some tips and advice, here is a good link (Contains spoilers and exploits)

http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/625209-atelier-meruru-the-apprentice-of-arland/62996365

For an endings guide (Contains spoilers)
http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/625209-atelier-meruru-the-apprentice-of-arland/59655173

Also the only DLC worth getting is Hanna and the music pack, you will not have time for endless dungeons and the other DLC characters are not worth the money.