Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DX
Top Critic Average
Overall, Atelier Sophie is a pleasant and comforting experience that Atelier fans will know well. Newcomers to the series will find a cozy and welcoming endeavor that highlights the hidden wonders of the mundane. The story, light yet still having purpose, is strengthened by the DX version’s additional scenes surrounding Sophie’s grandmother and her importance to the community. There is a theme of growth and self-improvement while emerging from the shadows cast by those before. Sophie is an upbeat, positive, and wholesome protagonist surrounded by a grand cast of colorful characters, each with their own ambitions. By the time the game is over, Kirchen Bell will feel like a home away from home. It’s small, but it has a lot of heart, much like the game itself.
Atelier Sophie DX plays it safe and might seem too familiar, but its charm and superb crafting system make it worth the while.
Its gameplay is supremely rewarding and streamlined, its music is incredible, and it's genuinely funny at times. What's not to love?
I had a great time with Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DX. I love the story, characters, and the alchemy was a lot of fun to play around with. The new quality of life additions such as new cauldrons, battle speed up and a dash button were very welcome additions. The fact that this release has a new outfit for Sophie, added photo mode, some new story bits, a great digital artbook and all the DLC from the previous release, is just icing on an already delicious cake. It took me right around 45 hours to finish the main story and the post-game. At the $39.99 price tag, if you have never jumped into the wonderful world of Atelier, now is a great time to do so. Folks that own the previous version, I would still say pick this up cause I feel like the upgrades are worth it, but maybe wait for a good bundle sale.
Overall, Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Book DX was a lot of fun. The combat had an interesting take to it, the alchemy was really well done, if not incredibly daunting for the first half of the game, and I really liked the trait conferral and effect creation aspect. While there is a really low character level, it is supported by a stat increase system, although limited, to supplement you if you can't create the equipment you want or need. While late game alchemy may start feeling like a bit of a slog, the ease of which you can gather materials by that point makes it more reasonable than would first seem. The characters may be a little bland in personality for the most part, but are varied enough to at least be entertaining. No time limits allow you to craft freely, but does result in a sense of little to no urgency to actually carry on the plot. While I wouldn't be able to recommend the DX version to somebody who has already completed Atelier Sophie previously, especially not someone who has purchased the DLC, it definitely won't feel particularly lacking in the lineup of Atelier titles I have on my shelf.