The third and closing a part of the Nightfall trilogy of Atelier video games, Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Nightfall DX is one other beneficiant serving to of sunshine JRPG motion with the collection’ trademark deep alchemy system at its core. Telling the story of two very totally different younger alchemists, Shallotte and Shallistera, it sees you select from considered one of these two younger women as you got down to resolve one more ecological drawback caused by the Nightfall. Shallotte, a resident of the city of Stellard, is headstrong and outspoken and longs to be freed from her low paying job, assured that fame and fortune lay in wait in her not-too-distant future. Shallistera, alternatively, is completely not the fame-seeking kind and has made a protracted trek to the Stellard so as to discover a resolution to a water scarcity which is threatening to destroy her residence.
As is all the time the case within the Atelier collection – this entry is the sixteenth entry, in case you have been questioning – it isn’t lengthy earlier than one particular person’s drawback turns into everybody else’s and the water scarcity that is affecting Shallistera’s village have to be stopped from ravaging Stellard. Selecting both of the 2 primary protagonists right here will see issues play out in several methods and, as common, there are a number of endings, cutscenes and bits and items of dialogue which open up relying on who you’ve got settled on taking part in as. Nevertheless, by way of precise gameplay, for essentially the most half you may spend your time right here operating errands for Stellard’s union so as to develop extra highly effective and assist cease the drought risk.
After a short pre-credits sequence which will get you acquainted with the 2 heroines on provide, this entry within the collection jumps pleasingly shortly into motion, avoiding the relatively turgid opening few hours of its predecessor in favour of letting you get out-and-about in your world map and crafting away to your coronary heart’s content material because it teaches you the ropes alongside the way in which. And there are a couple of relatively good new ropes to get acquainted with right here.
In addition to being the primary Atelier recreation to function a freely-moveable digital camera while out within the wilds – one thing that basically makes it really feel way more trendy – this third half additionally switches up a number of the normal gameplay loops of the franchise, this time utterly excising the time restrict which often sees your characters having to finish their varied duties and missions inside a set interval or fail. To be truthful, the final two Atelier video games had made it so lax that it wasn’t actually a lot of a problem to maintain inside your allotted time, however by utterly eradicating it right here, this entry permits gamers to chill out, taking on a regular basis they need to discover its varied areas, collect and uncover new assets and battle monsters.
With the time restrict mechanic now utterly gone, Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Nightfall DX implements a brand new ‘Life Duties’ system which sees you verify off a bunch of duties so as to unlock progress to the following chapter within the storyline. Leaping into your character’s menu by way of a press of the X button permits you to monitor your progress, and it is one thing you may have to do very often as you may all the time have a protracted checklist of issues occurring at anybody time. Life Duties can even change on the fly relying on the way you select to play your recreation. If you happen to’ve been out battling monsters greater than crafting then it will cost you with going after sure sorts of enemy, whereas if accumulating assets is your jam, it will repair you up with loads of errands to swimsuit.
It isn’t a nasty system total, though we did discover it somewhat irritating simply how a lot we ended up having to go out and in of the menu to verify what we have been doing or how way more we would have liked full so as to transfer on. For positive, these video games have all the time been about operating fixed errands and checking issues off lists so as to progress, however one thing concerning the Life Duties system right here actually attracts consideration to all of it in a approach that makes it really feel way more like a chore.
Nevertheless, away from this, it is largely all excellent news for followers of the collection. The turn-based battle system has continued to be beefed-up and improved upon and now, in addition to your staple transfer units, particular expertise and help actions that allow you to stack assaults and leap in to protect weaker members of the staff as you fill your help gauge, there is a new introduction within the type of the Burst Gauge. Efficiently attacking enemies fills the burst gauge up while getting hit drops it down once more; by filling it proper as much as 100%, you may unleash burst mode, enabling your social gathering members to assault way more ferociously, doing tons extra injury to their foes. It is one other good little wrinkle in what’s a fairly old-school however actually relatively satisfying fight system, and it definitely sees the preventing aspect of those video games in the perfect form it has been up till this level.
Elsewhere the alchemy, the very coronary heart and soul of any Atelier recreation, has additionally had a lick of paint and some tweaks right here and there. It is nonetheless the identical absorbing and addictive minigame-style system because it’s all the time been; straightforward sufficient to become familiar with, however with sufficient depth to it that it actually does turn out to be a fairly engrossing timesink – particularly as soon as you’ve got levelled-up and unlocked sufficient talents to allow you to actually begin to tinker together with your creations. In addition to all the same old variations in ingredient varieties, purities and rarities, this time round it’s also possible to add traits to your elements so as to give them bespoke properties akin to further injury or therapeutic energy, or maybe the flexibility to generate a larger yield of no matter salve or offensive merchandise you occur to be crafting. It is a versatile and enjoyable system into which each different aspect of the sport feeds in a really satisfying method.
World traversal and exploring stays largely the identical as ever right here; you may blast round a map accumulating elements and battling monsters in small, tightly-contained areas – though now we have to say Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Nightfall Sea DX does higher on this regard with areas which might be bigger and barely extra attention-grabbing to take a look at than the earlier entries on this trilogy. Make no mistake, nevertheless, that is nonetheless not anyplace close to the kind of open-world roaming you may be used to from a full-fat JRPG, so if that is the type of deal you are on the lookout for, the Atelier video games most likely aren’t actually for you. The story as soon as once more retains issues fairly small-scale and ties into the trilogy fairly properly; there are many returning cameos from the earlier two Nightfall video games, however relaxation assured, if that is your first Atelier outing you will not wrestle to leap into this third half because the plot is just about self-contained, save for some overlapping threads right here and there.
Efficiency-wise, the entire thing runs completely easily in each docked and handheld modes, and for our cash it is simply the best-looking of the three entries within the Nightfall trilogy. Framerate issues, which hampered the PS Vita model of the sport, are non-existent and that is, as soon as once more, a title that basically does swimsuit transportable play fantastically nicely; blasting by means of your checklists of life duties in small chunks right here and there if you discover the time is sensible stuff.
This DX model, as with the opposite two video games within the trilogy, comes with all of the additions from the PS Vita launch of the sport – together with that reworked storyline – and in addition packs in quite a few high quality of life options akin to the flexibility to quick ahead by means of swathes of dialogue, velocity up journey on the world map and switch up the speed at which fight encounters play out. There are three totally different problem settings – together with a story-mode which helps you to sit again and chill out totally – and total, as with the opposite Nightfall video games, that is an entry which bends over backwards to be accommodating to gamers.
Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Nightfall Sea DX is the strongest entry within the Nightfall trilogy. It provides a pleasant new digital camera, spices up the alchemy, strengthens the turn-based fight system and offers you two heroines to play by means of as, every with a journey distinctive sufficient that it is greater than price your whereas taking part in by means of the entire thing twice. World exploration is simply as tightly managed as in earlier Atelier video games and will not maybe swimsuit these hoping for an actual sense of journey or the need to get utterly misplaced within the wilds of the world offered right here however, for followers of the collection or these wanting to leap in and test it out, that is one other strong entry within the long-running franchise that performs excellently on Change and fits transportable play completely.