Would have been wonderful, if only it didn't feel like a test game.
I knew about the Atelier series, heck I even played Mana Khemia and I was excited to get back into some Alchemy and kick some monster butt. But as I started to play through it something felt... Off.
You play as an apprentice alchemist named Rorona who has to take over her master's store and save it due to the fact the kingdom wants to shut it down.
The problem starts to arise as you start to get into the game. You have a set time to make certain items requested, and you have to go out to the dungeons to get the items by either gathering them in certain spots or fighting monsters. Now this wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't the fact that this is a constant rinse and repeat formula in the game. Throughout the whole time I played it, I found myself just going back and forth just gathering ingredients and making items. You can do different things too, like grab request from friends and do request. But even then you're still having to go back and forth between dungeons to get and make items.
Suddenly the whole game started to feel like a chore. There was absolutely nothing to do in this game other then gather and make items for not only the main storyline, but for request by friends and random people alike until your days ran out and the plot finally started to move along.
Due to the this, I started to catch on to other things I found off about the game. I suddenly realized that areas were quite small. That there was almost nothing else to do other then gather and make stuff for anything. And then it suddenly hit me.
I concluded that this game was a test game.
It felt like Gust was using this game to try and test out their 3D models on the PS3. I like to think of games like these as the company is trying to get a feel on how they're going to do something for another game.
And after they released this game, guess what game came afterwards?
Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel. Which also used 3D models. But the 3D models for this game were far better then for Atelier Rorona.
Now I have a few compliments for this game. The drawn designs are quite pretty, and some of their characters are quite interesting as well, and the 3D models look at least decent.
Sadly this doesn't make up for the fact that the game doesn't have much going for it to make you want to play it very long. It just feels too much like a test game. It they just worked a bit more to spread out the world and give you more meat to bite into other then going around gathering up items for everything in the you can do in game, this could have been a good game. Instead we got something that really feels like it was nothing more then a test for 3D models.