The Atelier series should be familiar to readers of our website by now for those of you uninitiated into the Magical Land of Atelier, it boils down to being a slice of Life / crafting game this is a highly popular series and this trilogy aims to be no exception!
We recently covered the Arland trilogy and now we are taking a look at the Dusk Trilogy, these titles follow on from the Arland trilogy but are stand alone aside from a few references, let’s start with Atelier Ayesha.
Atelier Ayesha is the title in this trilogy which mostly resembles a title from the Arland series this title stars are Plucky heroine Ayesha as she uncovers the mystery of her missing sister along the way she meets a curious cast of characters & crafts alot of items along the way!
As previously mentioned the Atelier series prides itself on slice of life interactions between the cast members, Ayesha is no different to in this regard.
Now this isn’t to say this is a bad thing as the Atelier series has always been stellar in this aspect and is usually a Marmite situation if it’s for newcomers or not.
Graphically Ayesha is stronger than any of the titles that preceded this and as that signature art style that Atelier proudly presents firmly on its sleeve.
There have been slight tweaks to the exploration and the combat but for the most part it’s business as usual with Ayesha. It’s selling point is the story pacing, character interactions and just how charming Ayesha is!
The combat in Atelier Ayesha is your standard turn-based affair this is enhanced by the ability to use items which you craft throughout the story meaning a little forethought is always needed, also the time limit that was present in the Arland trilogy returns which means you need to be frugal with your activities to get the most out of this title
Following on from this we have Atelier Escha and Logy this is the first time in this trilogy where you can see they tried to branch out from the formula of the previous titles since the Arland series.
Escha and Logy offers a greater focus on exploration and combat instead of meeting very strict deadlines, the deadlines have been stretched so far you will barely even notice them & you’ll usually be that engrossed in enhancing the R&D department you’ll hit your goal naturally!.
Another major change for this title is the inclusion of a playable main character!. Logy is playable and while it’s not majorly different, especially in regards to main story beats but it does change the side events and skits, it’s a minor change but does show willing to change for the series.
Graphically this game is a small step up from Ayesha but nothing leaps and bounds and certainly the gap has lessened with this re-release.
Escha and Logy does suffer from quite a slow start but when it gets into full swing it becomes much more of a fully-fledged Atelier title and is easily one of my favourite of the entire series not just this trilogy.
Finally this trilogy ends on Atelier Shallie, this game is the most radical departure that you will see within this set and certainly the most divisive. Atelier Shallie does away completely with the deadline system this changes the pacing dramatically even when compared to the breezy nature of Escha and Logy
With the removal of the deadline system Atelier Shallie truly shines as a master class of slice of life. Atelier has managed to catch millions of fans throughout its years with it’s quirky character interactions, endearing character quirks and addictive crafting system, Shallie truly feels like the total culmination of them all & signposts where the series as a whole was heading.
The graphics are on par with the previous two titles offering slight adjustments, the series was released quite close to each other and this is obvious within the graphical fidelity of all three of the titles. This isn’t to say they look bad as they have a fantastic art design that still stands up today it just doesn’t set the titles apart graphically as much as you would expect from 3 separate titles.
These new versions of the games also include all the previous DLC and various quality of life features including speeding up the combat. It would be hard to recommend this package for anyone who is already absorbed the series before but if you are a newcomer this is easily the best way to play the Dusk series.
The Atelier series are designed for a particular niche, even if you like JRPGs there is no guarantee you’ll enjoy this series. Rather than focusing on giant world exploring, god battling cliches this series is more character development and subtle world building, like Persona Social Links but throughout the entire game.
The Atelier series always have a fairly engaging main narrative but it’s the character interactions and the sketches that truly shine within this series. Addictive turn based combat and an in-depth crafting system will help pull you through each tale which usually reach the 30 hour mark, easily enough content to last you until the next Atelier game.
While the Dusk trilogy does tend to suffer from playing it too safe at times it’s still one of the most content wealthy and smile inducing good times you can have on the system. If you have had the chance to play the Arland games or Nelke or even Ryza OR you just want to see what the hype is about, it may be worth hitting up this trilogy to see how the series started to evolve.