By: Uma Smith
Japan really knows how to dress up their cute and adorable cartoon characters, but they also know the importance of expanding the gaming market to include both genders while catering to their specific tastes. With that in mind, it’s great to see a PlayStation 3 game called Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland making it over to North America. Thankfully, I’ll get the opportunity to enjoy the JRPG gameplay while appreciating the beauty and fashion being featured in this title
While the button layout involves all face and shoulder buttons being assigned to a specific function, it’s easy and simple enough to get used to. The tutorial helps to acquaint players with the game’s control scheme, which is very nice thing to have. Beyond that, you shouldn’t expect much hiccups when it comes to navigating through the environments and menus.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to see The Alchemist of Arland filled with charm and magnificence. All characters are designed with a great amount of detail that brings life to their personalities. With the cel-shaded anime approach to the gameplay’s visuals, they blend nicely with the cinematics.
Complementing the gorgeous graphics is a memorable and impressionable soundtrack. With various tracks to hear, it never gets tiring for each play through. There’s a relaxing yet satisfying feeling when listening to the audio that intends to immerse you in the bright and wonderful atmosphere within the game.
In Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland, you assume control of a young alchemist by the name of Rorona. Your objective is to save the shop from being closed down while trying to get the cooperation and support from the townspeople.
With just three months to complete each assignment, this RPG will have players thinking constantly about the upcoming deadlines. For instance, performing such tasks as traveling and making crafts can consume quite a bit of time, which means that you’ll need to carefully manage the activities you have Rorona perform.
There are plenty of assignments to keep players occupied, especially when the content or ingredients required to help pull this off vary. These include such things as making medicine as well as creating bombs. Typically, you’ll be venturing out to the wild to collect the necessary materials. With a diverse number of environments to journey through, including forests, castles and ruins, the game feels pretty fresh and unique with each playthrough.
You’ll also need to heed caution of the possible dangers from the monsters and creatures that lurk within. If you happen to run into such an encounter, you’ll end up in a turn-based combat sequence. Luckily, Rorona is accompanied by her friend, Cordelia, along with a number of hired soldiers to assist in the battle. With the usual JRPG formula being incorporated into this game, fans of the genre would find these sequences to be a welcomed addition.
What really gives Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland its longevity is the variety of optional quests you can engage in. You could end up facing a number of opponents to fight against, which can be satisfying for those seeking some challenge of endurance. But also, the quests could have you crafting item with special attributes, thus getting players really granular in terms of the approach they take in accomplishing such a task.
If you successfully complete your missions, you can participate in a special round of Bingo, where the prizes include character upgrades. Hence, there’s more reason given to players for sticking to their assignments and abiding by their deadlines. While the overall gameplay may not be all that action oriented, there’s still a level of activity required on the players’ part that will in turn keep them hooked and addicted to the game.
Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland may not appeal to all types of gamers. Nonetheless, this particular PlayStation 3 title brings out the “alchemy” of stimulation and wonder to those who are fans of the JRPG genre.