Atelier Mysterious Trilogy DX (PlayStation 4)

Atelier Mysterious Trilogy DX is the latest trilogy pack from Gust & Koei Tecmo that bundles 3 Atelier games within the same story arc together. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book, Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey, Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings are the 3 included, with some new content added to each alongside previous DLC like costumes. Are you prepared to hit the cauldrons for another adventure? Let’s find out…

Sporting 3 games in one package, All 3 will see the girls coming of age as they meet unique characters and look to achieve their goals as alchemists. Atelier Sophie follows her rise as she is guided by the spirit of her grandmothers recipe book – Platcha, Atelier Firis sees our alchemist head out on an adventure after growing up in a mine and barely seeing what lies beyond its caves, and Atelier Lydie & Suelle sports a dynamic twin duo looking to create the best Atelier in the land as promised to their mother. These games also sport additional content ove rthe original versions such as costumes and events that can add to the story or make it easier to get through, Lydie & Suelle even has a new painting added that features the world of Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists.

As you’re no doubt realising, 3 Atelier games is quite the endeavour to play through. Each game will last you hours on their own, and the new content gives those returning something new to sample. Personally been a bit burnt out on the series lately given the amount I’ve played these past couple of years (Arland trilogy & Sophie on Vita, Dusk trilogy on PSNow and Ryza 1 & 2 on PS4) but after moving on from Sophie there are some different things tried, like the more adventure focused nature of Firis, which kept that at bay. Of the 3 I most enjoyed the story of Lydie & Suelle due to the dynamic delivery of the twins, but you can’t go wrong with any really. The games seem more tied together when the alchemists appear in later games, Firis wouldn’t have really started out if not for Sophie’s visit, and it’s always a nice touch for the series that never seems out of place.

Each of the three games carry the same style over the series, with high quality character models and vibrant environments to explore. You may notice the odd blemish here and there, a given really when you consider these games were also available on the PSVita, but the audio still carries that upbeat goodness and plenty of voice-acting to keep the story lively.

Having 3 games released at different times in one package means there’s differing performance for each game. Atelier Sophie & Firis for example run at full HD and target 60fps (PS4 Pro holds it better, tho still drops during flying sections on Firis) With Lydie & Suelle dropping down to 30fps but offering a 4K mode of sorts if you happen to be using a PS4 Pro/PS5 to play the game. The only real stickler of the 3 would be Firis as it doesn’t quite hit its fps target that often on anything other than a PS5 in BC mode, the other two games are thankfully more stable with their performance.

Played the Arland & Dusk trilogies before this one? Then the experience should be relatively similar for the most part. The general gameplay loop of gathering resources to synthesize items back at your atelier to complete orders & quests remains here for the most part. Gathering resources will also see you battling creatures in the various areas, with the games employing a rudimentary turn based system with extra flourishes like turn order being affected by ‘knockback’ attacks etc. Synthesizing items doesn’t just go towards quests either, you can create items that will help you out in the field too – increasing your alchemy level opens up new items to create. A nice touch here is that you can also learn new recipes out in the field by finding certain resources, areas etc.

As noted before, this Atelier template is used with all 3 games within this trilogy. The key enemy is always time in a game from this series, gathering resources and synthesizing items always uses up what little you have. It’s not difficult to manage really, but can get away from you if you get a little overzealous in the Atelier or out in the field. The most noticeable addition to the formula over previous games would be the way synthesis is handled, as the game takes on a more puzzle based outlook. Items can be improved not just with quality items but now by how they line up during synthesis. I suppose I should make mention of Atelier Firis here. Whilst the other 2 seemed to stay closer to the series template, Firis felt a little like a black sheep of the trilogy. It does most of the same things as Sophie before it, but felt more open in its adventure and even offered things like flying sections that were a welcomed surprise.

Three games for the price of one is always a good deal, especially when that deal includes additional content to sample. The Mysterious Trilogy probably occupies an odd place in that it still feels like previous games in the series whilst sporting some features that would go into later releases. Still, lack of performance or graphical boost over original release aside, there’s plenty to get through with this trilogy. Some nice ideas within the series that fans will enjoy can be found here – especially the new events if returning. With each trilogy being self contained for the most part, newcomers can drop into this trilogy without having to worry about previous games.

4

Summary

Synthesize yourself a bargain and buy one to get another 2 adventures free in this trilogy pack.

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Geoffrey Wright

Rocking the world of gaming since the Atari 2600, has now settled down to bask in the warmth of moe. Moe is life for a moe connoisseur.