Top Critic Average
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.
I didn't think it would be possible, but Gust really has managed to craft three completely different Atelier games through 2018 - one for the traditionalists, one pushing new ground, and one purely for the fans - and all three have, in their own way, been of the astoundingly high quality and spirit that has made Atelier my favourite JRPG franchise for quite a few years now.
So between the new format in order to tell the story, the new alchemy system that lets you learn or modify things on your own terms instead of always needing to follow a recipe and the new battle system that goes much faster, Atelier Ryza: Eternal Darkness & The Secret Hideout is not only the best that Gust have ever given us, but it's an example of what JRPGs should be aspiring to be. These well balanced systems and a wonderfully written story mesh so we'll together that it's almost impossible to put down.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness and the Secret Hideout brings the Atelier series to a new trilogy and this time, the leap brings us towards a marvelous game that pushes the quality threshold to a higher level, thanks to its fantastic combat system, exquisite art style and soundtrack and an accessible gameplay that improves the experience for everyone.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
All in all, Atelier Ryza is a welcome breath of fresh air for the series with its overhauling of core mechanics, as well as its visuals – which look better than ever. This is yet another excellent game in the series, and makes me feel like Gust is thinking of ways to refine the formula even more.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout not only does enough to differentiate itself from the most recent games of the series, but also puts it firmly as one of - if not the best - titles in the 22 years of the franchise, using all of its strongest points to deliver a memorable experience.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Atelier Ryza is a journey about making the best of the here and now, and it is beautiful to behold for it. I felt incredibly engaged every step of the way, wanting to see the game through. I hope that this is the beginning of an engrossing new trilogy.
Overall I came away from Atelier Ryza very impressed and I think longtime fans and newcomers will be very happy with this game. The change to a more real-time combat system is good choice to me as it made battles far more engaging. Likewise some of the changes to the alchemy system make it more approachable to series newcomers while still having depth for those who are into this franchise. The graphics are beautiful and the story was satisfying despite taking a bit to get going. A few things here and there can be improved but overall this is an excellent new entry in this long running JRPG series.
As someone who’s long figured that the Atelier franchise just isn’t for me, Atelier Ryza comes as a huge surprise. It seemed like Gust had been resting on its laurals for so long, pumping out these feel-good low-stakes cute girl games year after year that just didn’t interest me. Ryza, though, shows that they’re willing to change things up and do something new.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout’s focus on character and world-building is unlike anything found in the previous entries. These characters face some real hardships, and it became my personal goal to see them through until the end.
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.
I have to say I really had a blast with Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout. The combat is fast and fun. The gathering and alchemy work more seamlessly and the story and characters are all top notch. If I had a minor complaint, I just felt this story wasn’t quite as strong as some of the others in the franchise, but it’s still top notch. I spent about 35 hours with the game and with post game you could easily get another 6 hours or so. It’s well worth the $59.99 asking price. If they built off the great mechanics found here for the next game, this series will only get stronger and better for years to come. I personally think that’s a wonderful thing, and very much look forward to the next adventure.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout not only turns a new leaf for the series, but is the perfect entry for newcomers as well. The revamped synthesis mechanics are just that much better. I personally feel that the new turn-based/realtime battle system is an improvement by being fast and feeling fresh, but may not be for all. It just takes a while to unlock all its best features. The cast of characters and the new visual upgrade really amplify the cozy slice-of-life nature the series is known for. The plot stays steady, but it's the slow burn of the main cast and people of Kurken Island that make it worth it if the slice-of-life genre is your jam. It's wholesome, jolly vibes all around.
Atelier Ryza is a great starting point for the series for those who have yet to bite the bullet. It kicks off a new saga and changes the formula enough to keep veterans of the series interested as well as attract a new crowd. If you're thinking of buying a relaxing JRPG on your console of choice to unwind after a long day, this is the title to pick up.
As an old-school gamer, there’s just something about Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout that checks a lot of boxes for me. Maybe it’s the game’s colorful visuals and fantasy setting. Perhaps it’s the ability to use alchemy to craft all sorts of gear and items from the materials that I gather from the field. Or it could be its likable cast of characters. Regardless, there isn’t quite anything out there like the Atelier series and Ryza builds on a lot of the things I like about the franchise. Give this game a shot and you just might find your own alchemical romance.
While keeping most of the series traditions, Atelier Ryza manages to stay fresh by making just enough changes to its gameplay that it doesn't outstay its welcome. This might not be the best game in the series, but it is one of the most enjoyable ones.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout has been a fun addition to the Atelier series. As a game that focuses on crafting, it has a wonderful crafting system. At the same time, it does not skip on the RPG and elements and questing. This was my first real playthrough of an Atelier game. With a great story and a deep crafting system and casual playstyle, it has been a joy to play.
Atelier Ryza is a delightful and visually pleasing Japanese RPG filled with vibrant colors, a variety of characters, beautiful open-world environments to explore, and tells a heart-warming coming of age story about wonder and adventure.
Atelier Ryza is a great game slightly marred by a poor port, lack of enemy variety, and hard-to-find ingredients. But anyone who likes crafting games absolutely owes it to themselves to play this, as it's a huge amount of fun.
Atelier Ruza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is a rather meditative story about friendship and mutual assistance, which abandoned timers, cruel search for rare components and a too complex system of alchemy. All errors can be corrected, death in battle returns you home with a slightly reduced number of components collected, and songs and dances on the background of the fire will fill you with the warmest feelings. Atelier Ryza is a great choice for beginners, but also potions veterans will not be disappointed for sure.
Review in Russian | Read full review
Gust has done a brilliant job of taking this long-running franchise and making it appeal to the mainstream more than ever here and, if you’ve ever been tempted to give the world of Atelier a try, this is a perfect jumping-on point.
In a lot of ways Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is an improvement. Here we have someone who is getting into alchemy because they want to, plus a mysterious plot that is building in the background, making it one of the better stories to date.
It will keep you busy for hours trying to craft better gear and foraging throughout the map for that much-needed material. Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is a cutesy, time-consuming monster for the Switch, and it's worth getting.
With Atelier Ryza, Gust took some risks, and it definitely paid off: this is, in our opinion, the best entry of the franchise so far, thanks to a quicker battle system and improved alchemy one. Don't miss it if you fancy the series.
Review in Italian | Read full review
In the grand scheme of things, Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hidout is just another entry in the series, which doesn't have what it takes to be declared the absolute best amongst its many siblings. That said, and although a little more emphasis in alchemy and storytelling, as well as a more open-ended structure would be more than welcome, this is definitely one of the best Atelier titles ever. It's an immersive, beautiful, and relaxing journey, which smells like summer and childhood adventure.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is a solid by-the-books Atelier title. It does everything pretty well, and its only real flaws are a somewhat lackluster story and an overall low difficulty level. If you like the Atelier titles, then you'll like this one, and if you're interested in getting into the franchise, this is a solid starting point. There's no lack of Atelier games to play, but Ryza is one of the more enjoyable ones available. Besides, who doesn't like crafting a bomb so powerful that it blows up a dragon?
Atelier Ryza is the best place for new fans of the series to jump in and a relaxing entry for older fans. Not the easiest game to get a handle on but once it clicks, you won’t want to put it down.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is a game that may not go down in history, but it does its job: to propose an interesting story alongside the alchemy so normal in the saga. It is a perfect game for all those new to the saga, as it offers certain new aspects. However, I'm sure the traditional player will also like it, as it's, above all, a very solid game.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
The pacing of the story wasn’t the best in the world and the characters weren’t as charming as some other titles, but it was a relaxing journey with well developed characters and an interesting world. Overall, the gameplay is one of the better systems I’ve experienced for a JRPG too and it comes paired with a beautiful world and character design.
In a bid to move the series forward towards a new direction, Atelier Ryza presents a new exciting combat engine and one of the best takes on alchemy yet, but falters with its plodding pace and a cast of forgettable characters.
Atelier Ryza is an excellent addition to the Atelier game series. A fresh new world, complex crafting system, and a new real-time battle system all work together creating a very compelling game. Combine that with the traditional Atelier heartwarming story as well as a magical setting and you have a JRPG that is well worth your time and money.
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.
The best thing that can be said of Atelier Ryza is that it is accessible. Down to its core it is meant to be enjoyed by new players or by series veterans who might be looking for a nice light addition to the franchise.
Though it may require a bit of patience to get to the sweet stuff, Atelier Ryza is a wholesome and addicting experience that RPG fans will gleefully gulp down, even if they've never dabbled with the Atelier franchise before. Thanks to the strong visuals and countless gameplay features, now is the best time to jump in on this niche series, which may end up becoming much more recognizable thanks to this latest solid entry.
With its delightful novelties and visual improvements, Atelier Ryza would have been a must-have if only Gust had put more effort into its characters, story, and building a more interesting world in general.
Ryza herself may be among the best heroines in the Atelier series. She is chock full of determination and humour; she is sensitive and has empathy, offering players a heroine who is multifaceted in a way that the previous entries lacked.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout makes some fundamental changes to the core mechanics that may get under the skin of long-time fans but are welcome for those looking to jump into the franchise for the first time.
Big booties aside, the easiest way to sum up Atelier Ryza is: an absolutely great game framework, waiting for a game. The battles are interesting enough, the gathering okay, and the alchemy very good, but it all fails to connect on a purposeful or coherent level. With no driving narrative or reason, pretty rapidly the whole point becomes to simply battle, gather, alchemize, repeat; all of which fails to pull the player into something deep or meaningful. The is a great casual-friendly title, but it lacks any serious staying power.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness and the Secret Hideout feels like a massive step backward, both in terms of gameplay and story. Although GUST attempted to inject some real-world themes into this tale, it's unfortunately just more of the same.