Admittedly, if you haven't looked closely at the Atelier series, you almost hide the constant flood of sequels from your perception: "Oh, a new Atelier game? It's probably been another year!" – There are good reasons, however, that the series is not only still enjoying great popularity, but is also growing with new games year after year, without any major loss of quality.
The gameplay framework is extremely stable and particularly motivates players who have a penchant for Japanese flair and a penchant for collecting and crafting. For this target group, the Atelier formula has worked impressively well on the Playstation since it was born in 1997!
<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/430x/2021/01/Atelier_Ryza_2_Vorschau-2–buffed.jpg" alt = "That shouldn't be missing in any JRPG with an anime look: a cute, furry one
Mascot that makes noises at least as cute.”/>
Source: Koei Tecmo
What is unusual in the long history of the series is the fact that the new part, Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & The Secret Fairy (buy now € 58.19 ), is actually a direct sequel – once again you embody the young alchemist Ryza, who you may have already controlled in Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout, released for Switch in 2019. In theory, it is not a problem if you have had little to do with Atelier up to now, because the narrative does not tie in directly. But of course there is no joy in reuniting Ryza and all the other companions from the predecessor for the newcomers. In any case, it has one advantage that part two of Ryza doesn't start from scratch: connoisseurs don't have to endure the slow start and sprawling tutorials that are typical of the series.
Source: Koei Tecmo
And this is how the adventure begins: Ryza gives alchemy lessons in her tranquil homeland, but she does not do this job, and she also wants to develop her skills instead of just being a trainer. So it suits her that she should investigate an ominous gemstone – for this purpose she is traveling to the capital because she wants to ask her friend Tao about the subject. Ryza also wants to explore magical ruins that are said to have something to do with alchemy. The start of Ryza 2 in the big fantasy metropolis symbolizes the plan of developer Gust to drastically expand the world of Atelier. There is more to explore and more to collect – the second point is an important aspect of the series, because as an alchemist, Ryza creates pretty much everything with the help of magical materials and magic.
From the life of an alchemist
Source: Koei Tecmo
For newcomers, the alchemy and production system may seem frighteningly complex at first, but you gradually get to know and appreciate the subtleties. But you definitely have to have a preference for crafting and loot, otherwise you won't get warm with Ryza 2, as sweet as the heroine may be. The rule is: The harvest of resources and ingredients happens constantly while walking around, there are loads of objects to break, pick up and sink in, Ryza can even swim and dive in search of new ingredients for the alchemy kettle. Of course, crafting is not all you have to do all day long. Then there are also the fights (the tools, weapons, armor and so on used there, of course, are produced by alchemy), in which you face enemies together with companions on a turn-based basis. In addition to standard attacks, your repertoire includes special attacks or you have the opportunity to unleash combo attacks and powerful magic. Moments in which you have to actively intervene in the action despite the lap system, for example to block opposing maneuvers, create tension.
Regionally limited crisis
Source: Koei Tecmo
While in many (Japanese) role-playing games nothing less than saving the whole world is on the to-do list, the action in the atelier games usually takes place in a more intimate setting. Yes, it is about conflict, but mostly not on a global scale. The main focus in Lost Legends is on the interactions between characters and their personal stories. Thanks to the appealing, lovingly designed world and the relaxed mood of the game, Ryza 2 spreads a good mood – whether that's enough for a hit award in the long run will probably only be revealed in the next issue when the test is due. The versions for PS5, PS4 and Switch have not yet been seen, the impressions come from the PC, and there Ryza 2 looks really appealing. As usual, the character models are rich in detail and cute, the world exudes a happy flair.
The question still remains to be answered, why the developer Gust decided to program a sequel instead of starting with a new protagonist as usual. The likely reason: Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout was very successful and attracted many new players to the Alchemy Cauldron! According to the impressions from the sequel, it is quite possible that Ryza will find even more fans with the second part.
Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & The Secret Fairy will be released on January 21, 2021 for PC, PS5, PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
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Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & The Secret Fairy – JRPG-Kost in the preview (1) (Source: Koei Tecmo)
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