Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey
Top Critic Average
Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey provides a great example of how a game can provide an entirely fresh experience merely by shifting around the mechanics that it already had, as opposed to piling on new ones.
While the world often feels lifeless, and the combat runs on the routine side, the cast of loveable (and hateable) characters is sure to keep you locked to the screen a few hours at a time wondering where everything will lead. The game could’ve passed with the title Atelier Firis: The Mysterious Journey, because that’s exactly what it is. When I’m wrapped up with Atelier Firis, I’m likely to go back and check out the rest of the series as well and see just how we got to this point.
A decent opening devolves into a directionless wander. The repetitive nature of many of the game's tasks and situations mean that the real meat of the game is hidden under a lot of padding that demands a huge investment of time and will to uncover. Unless you're a hardcore fan of the laid-back crafting loop of the Atelier games, there are many more engaging RPG's out there.
Once Firis has passed the exam and the game drops the time limit, Atelier Firis turns into a pretty good JRPG with some deep crafting mechanics but a fairly lacklustre combat system. To get to this point, however, requires a fairly substantial time commitment.
Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey is the latest in Gust's Atelier series and quite honestly one of the best so far. Set after Atelier Sophie, join both the new and old protagonists Firis and Sophie through a wonderful and open-conceived alchemic journey.
Atelier Firis isn’t a good game and the characters are very uninteresting. This game falls flat compared to past Atelier games.
I’m not sure if Atelier Firis will be the entry that introduces new players to the franchise. Its strengths are found in its charm, as well as in the adventure and concocting new items to play with. I can’t penalize a title too much for clearly not having a high budget, but there are some definite areas that need improved upon. For what it's worth, it's easy to lose track of your time when playing the game, but it's just overshadowed by the many stronger titles that are launching in the same quarter.
Overall, Atelier Firis is probably one— if not the most ambitious— entries into the franchise. Following Firis through her journey and seeing how excited she gets is a great reminder that games like these are amazing. The character interaction, battles, and alchemy all mesh together to create a story about a cute girl that seriously wanted some fresh air.
Atelier Firis tells a heartwarming story of a girl determined to forge her own path in life with the help of her sister and a few friends.
Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey's story isn't going to impress and combat will rarely, if ever, offer any semblance of a real challenge but Gust has tucked so much care into the overworld and crafting that the plot and action feels inconsequential most of the time, and the tense free narrative is a nice concept that can easily be realised fully in the next instalment. Firis is far from a perfect JRPG or high point for the franchise, but it's an admirable effort that shows that Gust still has a few tricks up its sleeves eighteen entries and twenty years in the game.