Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book
Providing a fairly monotonous story with a splash of colour, the characters seem to be the only bright spot in this otherwise dreary role-playing game. That's not to say that the constant rigmarole of finding and slaying isn't fun – it is - but considering what the storyline offers, the grind hardly seems worth it; the narrative's simply not engaging enough to warrant the repetitiveness found throughout Atelier Sophie: Alchemist of the Mysterious Book. If you've played other titles in the series, then this entry will feel like it adds very little to the experiences that you've already had, while leaving a much blander taste.
Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is a more relaxed entry in the series, and I enjoyed that particular aspect of it. Unfortunately, it’s also becoming clear just how little the series has grown over a whopping 17 entries, a condition likely due to the annual nature of its sequels. Loot-based open-world games have become immensely popular lately, making the flimsy, cramped levels of Sophie seem all the more dated by comparison. Still, I think series fans will enjoy the more deliberate pace of this entry, while newcomers have the perfect entry point thanks to the lack of a time limit. I won’t lie, though; alongside Neptunia, this is another series that really needs to slow it down with the constant follow-ups and re-releases. I’d love if Gust would take a little break from Atelier and come back in a few years with some fresh ideas.
Not the jump forward I was expecting for this series, but a light and entertaining RPG nonetheless.
Sophie herself is beautiful and adorable, and I hope she gets to come back in the other two games in this series come (we assume), because with her, Gust has a new heroine that deserves real attention.
Atelier Sophie: Alchemist of the Mysterious Book aimed to be the best of the series with its PlayStation 4 debut and found great success. With highly expanded and perfected scavenging, item creation, and battle systems, Atelier Sophie is a top-notch JRPG experience and might very well be the best of the year so far in the genre. Surprising, fun, and challenging, Atelier Sophie is a must own in the PlayStation 4 collection.
Atelier Sophie makes great improvements, especially with its rewarding alchemy and social systems, which always give you something to look forward to
Atelier Sophie is a wonderful change of pace from every other JRPG I've played. The simple, homegrown story is a breath of fresh air, and the unique focus on alchemy and item gathering over combat and grinding helps it stand out even more. Most surprising of all, though, is that a game all about picking up items, navigating menus and walking around the same town for hours and hours kept me more engaged than almost any other JRPG I've played. Atelier Sophie is a wonderful game, and if you're a new player like me, it's a great way to get yourself hooked on the rest of the franchise.
For anyone seeking out an RPG they can just play for weeks, Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is a solid choice, but for each of its highlights, it suffers a misgiving. The story is plain but is delightful and organically executed. The battle system has some awesome features that are locked behind story gates. The characters are beautiful, but the rest is hit or miss. And then there are the confusing or offensive writing and design decisions throughout. As I said, I loved playing it (despite the rush to meet embargo), but its faults keep it from becoming a classic in any sense.
While Atelier Sophie makes interesting changes to the dynamic of the series, it does not leave a strong impact.
Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is a game that can be played and enjoyed by both fans of the series, newcomers, and even people who would otherwise not even consider it. By being willing to open my mind and expand my horizons, I was able to very much enjoy a game that I initially overlooked simply by its cover.