Title: Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack
Release Date: April 21, 2021
Reviewed On: PS4
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
The Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack includes three entries of the Atelier series, Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DX, Atelier: The Alchemist, and the Mysterious Journey DX, and Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings DX. Each title has received a few quality-of-life updates and includes new content and DLC.
However, unlike the Atelier Dusk Trilogy, these titles released on PS4 and Steam, With Lydie & Suelle even receiving a Switch release. So some might ask, what’s the point of this collection? Well, as much as I’d love to say that the new content is reason enough to replay these games, this is definitely a collection for new players.
The Mysterious Trilogy is a strange collection of games given the advancements made to the series across each title. While playing them back-to-back, it’s almost as if you’re playing entries from different parts of the series.
This shows in the character design, exploration system, and quest features. It’s not even like there’s a natural evolution here either, these games have very little in common outside of shared characters.
Returning to Atelier Sophie was a complete blast for me as this title is perhaps the bridge between classic Atelier systems and updated synthesis techniques. It really sets the tone for the entire trilogy as a low-impact adventure with otherwise normal characters who find themselves taking on great challenges.
If compared to more recent entries, you’ll notice the use of small contained gathering areas, an overworld map, limited textures, and no real direction. For most of the game, you’re recovering Plachta’s memories, but you only get subtle clues on how to get there. Regardless, just spending time gathering items and hanging out with this cast provides a relaxing experience.
The updated DX features include a costume and the ability to run quicker. The costume quest is okay, but the run feature is a godsend. You can also increase the battle speed to 2x and adjust the difficulty to make the game more accessible.
Atelier Firis is an absolute beast of a game. In terms of advancing the series, this entry does it all. Well telegraphed quest updates, easy quick travel system, confusing updated synthesis system, and more. As a lead, Firis is the best protagonist for the adventure. After discovering Alchemy, she sets out into the world for the first time, which allows you to experience it with her.
Gone away is the map entirely and replaced with an open-world full of gathering points, dungeons, and tows. The idea here is to get Firis to a point where she becomes an Alchemist, but she must first take a test. Along the way, she’ll have to take on requests and refine her skills. The entire game revolves around these quests and small discoveries such as exploring a random cave. Every action you take advances her skills and abilities, which triggers plenty of new synthesis ideas.
The DX version includes vehicles and quests. Honestly, coming from Atelier Sophie, I wouldn’t have minded if a run option was included in this game as well. The vehicles are useful and cute, but the early game was begging to be sped up.
Atelier Lydie & Suelle was initially my least favorite in the trilogy. However, I’ve come to warm up to its odd narrative and features. The gimmick here is that Lydia and Suelle are sisters and they can jump into paintings to retrieve materials for synthesis. I ended up feeding off their energy more this time around, but I must say, this is probably the weakest entry in the trilogy.
Still, when it comes to the environments and design of the game, I think it looks far better than Atelier Firis, which made all the characters appear to have chubby cheeks. I also had more fun with the synthesis system in this entry as opposed to Atelier Firis, but Sophie is very much my preferred system. Further, the battle system becomes really flashy which I typically enjoy more in these turn-based JRPGs.
While The Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack offers players the chance to play through these games back-to-back, it mainly highlights how they have little in common. I was constantly having to re-adjust my muscle memory on the controls as I switched games and each form of the synthesis system caused me a great deal of confusion early on.
However, there are hours of fun offered in each of these games. This was the real foundation for what we see in the series today, which blends the best elements into entries such as Ryza. These are coming-of-age stories in a pure form and they are incredibly fun to play. I should also point out the soundtracks for these games are amazing.
The Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack may not offer enough for old fans to double-dip in the adventures, but there’s so much here for new fans to discover. Not just in terms of gameplay, but the evolution of this series and the characters that paved the way towards its current popularity. The extra content and quality-of-life features are just added bonuses to the adventures that await.
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