Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout
Top Critic Average
It's a refreshing change of pace from moody protagonists saving the world from unambiguously evil villains. While I like to poke fun at fashion issues like Ryza's butt hungrily devouring her shorts, I had fun with Atelier Ryza. It's not quite enough to get me to run out and pick up the rest of the series, but if I'm ever in the mood for some more anime crafting hijinks, I'll probably give them a look.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout reinvents the wheel on a series that felt like it was beginning to grow stagnant. Fresh combat and an engaging new protagonist help this entry usher in a remarkable new era for the long-running Atelier series, and other improvements like great Switch performance and gorgeous music are just icing on the cake. I never thought that Atelier Sophie could be out-done, but Atelier Ryza has thoroughly made the case to be my new favorite game in the series.
If you can look past its obvious pacing issues – and some of its more gratuitous character designs – Atelier Ryza is a solid slice of JRPG comfort food that goes down easy and might just leave you asking for more. If you’re part of that in-group – and you likely know if you are – you’re in for a thoroughly enjoyable experience.