Atelier Shallie Alchemists of the Dusk Sea Review
The third and final entry to the Atelier “Dusk” trilogy has surfaced in the west brought to us by developer Gust. Atelier Shallie places the player into the shoes of one of two main characters (both named Shallie) in order to save the slowly receding water supply and figure out the mystery of the “dusk” more or less. The whole continent is slowly being dried out and turning into desert but no one really knows why. Thus your journey begins into discovering the truth about the water supply and the ominous dusk that is consuming everything in its path.
So as mentioned before there are two different heroines that both answer to the nickname Shallie. The first is Shallistera, a dignified princess traveling to the city in order to try and find aid for her village as its water supply is drying up. The second is Shallotte, an oddball with green hair who is more of a childish character. She is trying to provide for her mother and herself but constantly dreams of doing something bigger with her dull life. Both characters are dabbling in alchemy and go by the nickname Shallie but other than that are completely different in there own right. After the prologue you are forced to choose which character to “main” and the other Shallie isn’t really involved in the story until much later down the road. This also encourages multiple play through as both main heroines to catch bits and pieces you wouldn’t normally see depending on who you chose.
The battle system in Alchemists of the Dusk Sea seems simpler than its two predecessors. There were less mechanics to it (at least early on) and I didn’t feel the fights were as challenging as in Atelier Ayesha or Escha and Logy. This was not a bad thing however but if you have played the previous titles just be prepared for some subtle….back steps Ill call them. Character position was the most noticeable and immediate change with the lack of front row back row shifts apparent right away. The fights do develop as you move further into the game but it felt like it took longer than usual to obtain more in depth battle options.
Another thing that changed from the other two dusk games is the lack of time constraints. Both Ayesha and Escha/Logy had a rather strict time system in which you had alotted amounts of time to complete your tasks and battles to advance the story. Atelier Shallie is much more free with this as your not dictated by these type of time management constraints. It was odd at first being used to that but its definitely not a bad thing. The experience gain is also changed as battles often give you very very low amounts of exp. Most of the time you must complete “life tasks” which are simply a checklist of things to do within the game. These change every chapter and will consist of the main story goals to completing new alchemic combinations to picking up garbage.
Overall Shallie was a great if somewhat different entry into the Atelier Dusk series. The great musical score is there as well as the unique art style the games are known for. It is very easy to jump into and play and doesn’t have any confusing complex mechanics. The characters are likable and unique and you will get attached to them. If you are a fan of the Atelier series this is a great addition to your collection. Also definitely worth a play if your simply a fan of good JRPG’s. 8 out of 10. Happy Gaming.