Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland Review

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In 2010 Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland arrived in the West for the PlayStation 3. Four years and two sequels later, Rorona’s adventure returns in Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. The game features new content including new game mechanics, brand new character models and animations along with new characters from the Arland trilogy. So how does it feel the second time around?

To help pay off her parent’s debt, Rorolina Frixell, better known as Rorona, becomes an apprentice alchemist under Master Alchemist Astrid Zexis. Rorona is very shy and timid and does her best to help her parents. Astrid is well known for helping the land of Arland thrive and prosper. She is the opposite of Rorona and does little work as possible while spending a lot of time teasing Rorona. When the order from the royal castle comes down with instructions to shut down the workshop, Astrid puts all the work on Rorona by renaming the workshop to “Atelier Rorona.” Now Rorona has three years to save the workshop by completing all the tasks given to her. If she fails even once, the workshop will shut down.

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One of the biggest focuses of the Atelier series is time management. You are given a specific date to complete your tasks (usually about 90 days), and it has to be used between traveling to different locations to collect materials and creating items using alchemy. Each use is a specific amount of dates, so spend them wisely.

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Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland uses a turned-based battle system which incorporates all of the best from the Atelier Arland games. Each character can attack, use special skills and run. Alchemists like Rorona can use items created by alchemy in battle which can heal, attack enemies or cause other effects. There is also a special assist bar under Rorona’s portrait that fills as your team attacks or is attacked, which allows the teammates to intercept attacks aimed at Rorona or use special attacks.

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Rorona’s friends offer to help her on her adventures, but for a price. Battles aren’t the main focus of the game, but they can be pretty fun. There’s the optional bosses and the tougher areas.

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New character model on top, old character model on bottom

Since the game was designed for the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3, you can upload your save data via the network save and use network load to download your save, if you plan on going back and forth between both versions. If you have played any of the previous Atelier games for the PS3 or Vita, you are also given some extra bonus items including transfering items from Rorona over to Torori Plus or Meruru Plus via a time capsule.

Gust does a great job of making the experience of Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland different the second time around. The upgrade visuals of the game are a huge step up from when I first picked the game up four years ago. The world is more detailed, the colors amazing and the visuals are enjoyable as you fight, travel and create. The battle system is improved and is accumulated from all the Atelier titles since Rorona is infused into the game. There is a whole new experience for players to enjoy, plus there are full soundtracks from nearly every Atelier title ever released.

Rating: 4.5/5 Atoms

NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland
Developer Gust
Publisher: Tecmo Koei Games
System: PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita
Price: $49.99 PlayStation 3, $39.99 PlayStation Vita (Digital download only)
Available Now

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.