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About the product
- The 18th entry to GUSTs popular Atelier franchise.
- Takes place after the events of 2016s Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book.
- Switch between the three paths at any point.
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The second entry in the 'Mysterious' saga follows the adventures of the enthusiastic Firis Mistlud and her loving older sister Liane Mistlud. The Mistlud sisters have lived their entire lives in the isolated town of Ertona, where Firis uses her unique ability to see where crystals of materials are buried. By way of a fateful encounter, Firis learns of the Alchemy Exam and decides to take her first step into the outside world, setting off on a grand journey to become a certified alchemist and discover the mysteries that life has to offer! Players will experience a vast world with towns, environments and other locations reaching up to ten times the size of those featured in Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book.
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The combat, job and alchemy system is as solid as ever. Experimentation and creativity is encouraged. With hundreds of accessories and weapons to craft, you’ll be kept busy for months (and probably forget about the storyline). The optional content is simply gargantuan. With a rich variety of character quests to follow, the work put into making this game enjoyable and memorable is clearly palpable.
-You can save by using the desk behind the cauldron, and before that by using a desk in your parents house.
-You can navigate better to find your current quest target by using the map - press the "capacitive touchpad" - the large square surface at the center top of your controller between R3 and L3. Your map pops up. It will show landmarks on the left and locations on a map on the right. In the upper left change "landmarks" to "quests" and then select the quest of interest with the "X" button. Now the target should appear on your minimap which is in the upper left while playing.
You can view quests also opening the "menu" - with the green triangle - but that doesn't let you activate on the map as above.
Save at various points in the beginning until you get past the description of how to do alchemy - Save right after. Go back to the prior save and replay up to the explanation and save before. Now you can replay the explanation as needed - from the appropriate save. (or you can take notes as I did).
Impression - good to see the next installment after "Sophie" - was going through withdrawal after I beat the main boss "Lourd". Controls so far are similar - options button does not map to a main menu as is common in other PS4 games. It works rarely to add information for quests however.
Age appropriateness: - this game can be played by all ages - and very young people could clunk through the alchemy system but best to play if over 9 years of age. There are no mature themes and clothing is tame for the average anime. The main character is a Junior high aged resident of an underground village who dreams of escaping to the big dangerous outdoors like her older sister who hunts for food in the outside world sometimes facing dangerous monsters. Her parents restrict her risk taking in a theme all young people would identify with. Firis - the protagonist meets the protagonist of the prior game - Sophie who shows her alchemy. Firis petitions her parents and the townspeople to allow her to go outside and adventure with her brave older sister to pursue her new dream to become an alchemist - which they reluctantly allow only after she proves herself with a 30 day challenge in the area of her home village. She is reluctantly permitted outside to learn with a one year deadline to pass the alchemist certification - which requires the letters of recommendation of 3 established alchemist. The first phase in town requires several hours while mastering the first alchemist took me more than half a day. These deadlines loom large and are very different from Sophie's game where there were no deadlines.
Having played several hours and studying the alchemy system - I think I like this one more than Sophie's. Instead of having different cauldrons that offer different options for materials placed, the new catylists instead confer different lines upon which the materials get benefits when placed. Catalysts can be found or built - perhaps - with progressively greater benefits - like the alchemical clay looped in Sophie. Looking forward to fiddling with it. The effect of applying different colored materials confers similar benefits as in Sophie - there is a singular score meter that aggregates all colors. I think this is a bit more straightforward than Sophie's and should be easier to work with.
I'd have given it 5 stars based on prior experience with Sophie and a new spin on the alchemy table but for having missed the save table and mark quest issues above.
If you like turn based RPG with complex alchemy synthesis and can handle the cuteness this game is worth it.
Now have logged > 10 hours and have a better feel for the game flow, alchemy and combat system.
Compared to Sophie Atelier:
- sophie had small arenas where questing occured - accessible from a large map
- firis has one huge area - but there is a map that shows the towns and allows you to jump between the areas you've been.
- sophies battles forced you to chose all actions per battle round and then play it out
- firis has you chose actions per combatant which allows choices based on more immediate situations rather than predicting many - feels more like real time - even thought it still is turn based. Perhaps better micromanaged.
- Sophie's alchemy system had a complex effects of cauldron used and surrounding pieces on adding subsequent pieces - ie - on an advanced cauldron - a certain spot would give high bonus and placing a piece on it raised surrounding bonus.
- Firis alchemy system uses catalysts instead of different cauldrons to determine the number of squares materials need to be squeezed into and where the bonuses lie. There are marked squares you have to hit marked with a line. You have to hit all of them to get the bonus. There is no change in the value of adjacent squares like in Sophie. Some catalysts have colored lines on the alchemy grid - all materials must have matching color as well - these colored lines offer much greater bonus. If the lines are white - any color will do.
- Firis alchemy system has one cauldron and a huge number of catalysts instead of a handful of very different cauldrons. - The firis approach to me appears more straightforward while the Sophie - adjacent bonuses could become as complex as a rubix cube.
- Sophie has cauldron bonuses like the ability to rotate the material which makes placement much easier - these are gained by getting your material bonuses and materials to high levels.
- Firis has one cauldron and all abilities are determined instead by how much you have built the certain potion or alchemical product. You level up each thing you make. Things of a class however level up together - if you level up a high level bomb, the lower level bombs also go up. - I spent way to much time maxing these out the first time I played. (fun)
- both Sophie and Firis award bonus effects by hitting a certain score from materials matching the appropriate colors. Firis sums it up however with a single score which I haven't figured out how it effects things but am betting it determines the quality score.
- Sophie gives all quests from a bartender to a teenage girl.
- Firis gets quests from relevant NPC's as she goes - no need for a little girl to frequent bars.
- Sophie was open ended as far as time is concerned but tight on regions to explore.
- Firis is vast by comparison - but tight on deadlines. You can't gather every herb and slaughter the local fauna. You have to be selective.
Most recent customer reviews
-> gets to village in new area
-> receives a fetch request somewhere in the southern part of the area
-> 20 mins later...Read more