When Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book was released in North America in September of 2015, I was one of the many who didn’t give it much of a second look. After all, the Atelier series, in North America, has generally had a reputation for being a series of games that are fun to play, but aren’t very good games. That perception changed with the release of Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, which, despite some flaws, was a genuinely good game. With the release of the PS4 version of Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book, it seemed like Gust was trying to fix some of the mistakes that were made with the

Sophie is an innocent young girl living in a small town with her parents, where everyone knows each other and has done so for generations. Sophie, too, is content with her life and she’s excited to finally be able to work at her parents’ alchemy shop. But everything Sophie knows and loves is destroyed one fateful night when the town is attacked by a terrifying monster. Sophie narrowly escapes, but loses everything. With no family and nowhere to go, Sophie is taken in by her parents’ friend, Plachta, who shares her dream of becoming a full-fledged alchemist.

Sophie Studio: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is the first game Workshop of the Mysterious trilogy. This is a sequel (for the most part) to Gust’s excellent Dusk trilogy, though it’s not the leap you’d expect from a new trilogy and new heroines. The Sophie Atelier plays it safe and could use some touching up in some areas, but it has a charm that makes it appealing nonetheless.

Sophie DX Workshop Review: Safety and security

word-image-9687 Gust synthesized parts of the Arland and Dusk trilogies for Sophie with half of a Arlandslice-of-life sim and half of a Dusksave the world narrative. As you’d expect from a game trying to be two different things at once, Sophie doesn’t reach the heights of either inspiration and sometimes seems to lose its own personality. Atelier Sophie , however, makes use of this habit. Sure, Sophie doesn’t try to do anything exciting or new in the series, but it’s a warm and cozy game for the same reason. Sophie Neuenmuller is a young alchemical student who only wants to inherit her grandmother’s estate. However, it is difficult to do so when its synthesis fails more often than it succeeds. One day Sophie accidentally writes a recipe for alchemy in a book she doesn’t know is hers. The book comes to life, calling itself Plachta, and asks Sophie to help it regain its lost memories by learning more alchemical recipes. There is a larger storyline surrounding Plachta, which basically boils down to saving the world from an evil alchemist. There’s a good story about how jealousy ruins the most intimate of relationships, but you won’t get to that anytime soon. The essence of the game Atelier Sophie is still the same: making fantastic objects, but Sophie masters the new recipes in a different, not always fantastic way. Instead of buying cookbooks or just learning by doing tasks, Sophie generates new ideas periodically by collecting enough idea points. Idea points appear after you complete various actions in the game. That can be fighting, questing, and collecting, but the most lucrative way to spend your time from an IP perspective is creating new items. This is a good idea, although Atelier Firis does a much better job. The pace of Sophiecan easily become boring during office hours. Locations and recipes are limited, so you’ll be doing a lot of the same things until the game finally starts to unfold. word-image-9688 Fortunately, despite the calendar, time means nothing at Atelier Sophie. He’s just leaving. There is no time limit and you can collect or explore as much as you like, on one condition. There is a point system that determines the quality and type of items Sophie can collect. Each action, even in combat, reduces the total score. The lower the total, the fewer items Sophie can collect, at least until you rest. I understand the idea, but it feels like an artificial gimmick that doesn’t add much to the experience. The battles are a bit less than in the Dusk trilogy, but the system still offers some interesting mechanics. The number of extra skills and special attacks you can summon has been reduced to zero. On the left side of the screen is a special bar that you can fill with uniform punches. Instead, as in the Arland trilogy, the battles in Sophieare simplified and the focus is on the skill chain and placing characters in the right locations. It’s not bad, but removing some features is still a strange move. However, you can speed up the process if it becomes too monotonous. Whether you’re collecting items or wandering through Church Bell, you’ll spend time with some of the many characters in Sophie’s Workshop. As always in the old Atelier games, the characters you meet at the beginning of the game are better realized and more interesting – especially Oscar, the plant whisperer – but there are no losers among them. Sophie only has one ending, unlike Rorona, but if you don’t get special endings with the characters this time around, you can unlock special scenes with different characters by spending time with them or giving them gifts. From the perspective of Atelier Ryza, some of these interactions may seem a bit rare, but they are still worth your time and articles. The surroundings are a little less inspiring, unfortunately. Atelier Sophie uses a warm color palette for everything, but most of the environments, especially Kirchen Bell itself, look stripped down, like they’re still in the early stages of development. Still, crafting is the heart of the game, and that’s what you’ll be doing most of the time in Sophie’s Workshop. Crafting is the strongest aspect of Atelier Sophie, and the Mysterious trilogy is by far the best synthesis system in the series. word-image-9689 Synthesis takes place on the grid. Each object occupies a certain number of places on this grid, and the pattern changes according to the object and its quality. You can place any item anywhere, but there are several bonus lines on the grid that give quality and feature bonuses as you fill them. Each item also has a counter that unlocks bonuses when you fill it by placing that item on the bonus lines. At first, it seems easy, when you make dozens of basic articles just to get more idea points. But it soon becomes much more interesting. Not only do you have more control over features and quality than in the Dusk games, but it’s also fun to think about where each item is placed. The only downside is that you have to do this countless times for Essentials, because you can’t synthesize them en masse. Also, I usually complain that all the great features aren’t really necessary, but Sophie has some optional bosses and fights that make the game interesting. And really, the sewing is just fun. My biggest problem with Atelier Sophie is that some of the game’s original technical problems persist in the DX port. For some reason, the frame rate drops near Sophie’s house. There’s not much here, and it’s not a difficult game anyway. The most serious problem, however, is the eternal problem of boats. There have been a few times when entering a new area that the game crashed because it got stuck at the loading screen, which is just as annoying as it sounds.

Sophie DX Test Workshop – The Conclusion

word-image-9690

Professional

  • Comfortable
  • Great know-how.
  • A hilarious cast

Cons

  • Sometimes too familiar.
  • Does not come close to his predecessors
  • Technical problems persist

Atelier Sophie plays it safe, and usually that is a good thing. He may not excel in a particular area like Escha & Logy, and he may not advance the series like Ryza. But aside from bugs and framerate issues, Atelier Sophie is fun, comfortable, and cozy, and that’s finally enough for me. Note: Koei Tecmo America provided a copy of Atelier Sophie DX, which was used for this review.]

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