Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea is by far one of the best reasons to show that the Vita is still alive and kicking. This Jrpg port of Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea on PlayStation 3 game provides hours of entertainment with its strong narrative and compelling characters. After the initial Prolog where you’re introduced to many of the main characters, you will then be asked which primary protagonist you would like to play through for the remainder of the story. These two characters are Shallistera Argo and Shallotte Elminus, both of which provide their unique perspective on the overall story of the game. This is one of the best parts of the game. Both characters are motivated for different reasons to achieve their goals. For example, Shallotte seeks purpose in life, an opportunity for people to give her a chance and show the world that she can become something great. The well-written characters of this game help drive the story.
The graphics of this game are impressive for a Vita. In particular, the character models look especially great. The textures for all the characters make them look they were from a manga/ anime, the toon shading helps enhance this look to them as well. Many of the cutscenes in the game use the in-game character models to act out the scenes. Some of the character introductions in these cutscenes are a little awkward but they’re not too bad. My only real issues with the graphics are the framerate and the occasional pop-in effects you will encounter. When walking through town the pop-in can be noticeably bad at times which can tend to take the player out of the experience. Other than that everything is top-notch.
The gameplay is that of your traditional turn-based RPG. When you are exploring a map, you will come across monsters that once you come in contact with them the battle will start. The turn order between you and the enemy is determined based on a character’s speed and what move they use in combat. In this game, it isn’t just the battles that play a large part into gameplay, but also the alchemy. Alchemy plays a significant role in how your experience will go. Over the course of the game, you will acquire new formulas to craft better items using alchemy. The crafting in this game is in-depth. When using alchemy you can create multiple variations of an item based on the quality of the ingredient. How good or poor an ingredient is will determine how great the items stats are. A great gameplay mechanic that is really useful, especially for players who are new to RPG’s is the life task system. It is essentially a quest management system that can help remind the player what the active/completed quests are and how to finish them.
My personal favorite part of Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea is the music. This game has by far some of the music to come out from any JRPG in years. Everything from battle themes to town themes, all of it fits the current mood of the game perfectly. The sound design in general of this game is great, for those that wish to play the game with Japanese voice acting you can. Both options available for voice acting are great, although I do prefer the Japanese voice acting in the game.
As I said earlier you will choose your primary protagonist in the game which will determine what your experience will be like. This is the major reason why the replay value is so high. To get the most from this game, it is almost required to play through the game at least twice. Some of the plot won’t be revealed unless you play through it multiple times. Anyone looking for a game that offers a ton of replay value won’t be disappointed here.
If you missed out on your chance to play Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea on PlayStation 3 now is the best chance to finally get it. It may be a port but Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea still offers tons of hours of entertainment on the go. With a strong cast of characters, impressive visuals, and some of the best music the RPG genre has to offer, Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea is well worth your time. It shows that there are still great games coming to the vita.
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