A review of Atelier Rorona Plus

Since the following year at school is going to be rough going, I decided to cram one more game into my summer schedule, one that was recommended to me specially. Atelier Rorona Plus is the latest in the long-running Atelier JRPG series by developer Gust. This title is a Vita download-only game, meaning you won’t find it on the shelves. As the “Plus” suggests, it’s also an extended remake (and judging from a video I’ve seen of the original, a vastly improved remake) of the original on the PS3. A better title for this game, though, might have been Cute Girls Doing Science, or maybe Deadline Simulator, because those together describe everything about Rorona.

When you own a game with a cover like this, you know you've entered the true depths

When you own a game with a cover like this, you know you’ve entered the true depths

The plot of Atelier Rorona is tied into a much larger web of stories and characters that I don’t understand because I haven’t played any of the other 15+ Atelier games out. The basic gist, though, is that you are Rorona, a girl who is forced to study alchemy under her master to pay off debt or something. Luckily, Rorona seems to enjoy alchemy, although her master, who owns the local alchemy workshop, is a real pain to work for. She’s such a pain to everyone she meets, in fact, that her laziness and bitchiness has caused the government to declare that they will shut down her workshop unless she can fulfill twelve government orders over a period of three years in three-month increments. Naturally, the very same day your boss hands over ownership of the workshop to you and palms the whole task off on you. Despite all this, she’s still your boss somehow and still hangs around the workshop.

Atelier Rorona Plus is a fantasy game, but even in this world your boss is an asshole.

Atelier Rorona Plus is a fantasy game, but even in this world your boss is an asshole.

So despite the flowers and cuteness and everything, this game is not exactly for little girls (I imagine a kid would get bored of this game within one minute, in fact.) It is all about gathering ingredients and cooking them up into new things that you can learn how to make by reading alchemy books, and a lot of those things can be combined to make even more things. To keep the workshop from closing, you’ll have to fulfill government orders before each deadline by gathering and crafting certain required items and bringing them to the government office for evaluation and collection. Are you excited yet?

You'll be looking at screens like this one a lot.

You’ll be looking at screens like this one a lot.

No, actually, this is a pretty fun game. It incorporates a lot of typical RPG elements – you have friends in town that you’ll be able to bring with you to look for elements and ingredients in the various field areas. There’s also a pretty basic turn-based RPG combat system that activates when you meet enemies while on your ingredient hunts. The nice thing about combat in this game is that you can use items you create in your workshop to kill enemies in the field.

Rorona, dressed properly for the battlefield

Rorona, dressed properly for the battlefield

Atelier Rorona Plus has enough optional content to hold your interest, and there are plenty of jobs to take alongside your required tasks. There are apparently also lots of different endings that depend upon how well you do in filling your orders and increasing the popularity of your shop around town.

So my verdict is this: it’s a good game. You have to have a high tolerance for cute ditzy anime girls and stuff like that, and it helps if you’re an obsessive-compulsive of the sort who has to collect everything and unlock every secret in every game you ever play, but Atelier Rorona Plus stands well on its own merits.

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6 thoughts on “A review of Atelier Rorona Plus

  1. I recently completed the PS3 version and am planning to post my own review in the near future. I’m a fan of the Atelier games and enjoyed playing through this remake even though I beat the original back when it originally came out. Yeah it does look rather girly, at first glance, but its quite deep in terms of making items and planning out how to beat the deadlines. Did you know that the original game used HP to power abilities? You could lose health by casting a healing spell!

    • So what was MP for? That’s a pretty rough system.

      After getting those rings on my whole party in Plus from the voucher prizes, they turned into killing machines and combat became simple. Still, it’s fun. I’d be interested to see the opinion of a fan of the series; the only other Gust games I’ve played were the Ar Tonelico series, and those games are really different from this one.

  2. Wow to be frank, i didn’t like the Atelier Anime you know Escha & Logy I don’t know if they are in the same series but its in the world of alchemy as well. This looks promising, interesting and yeah i kinda want to play. Nice review bro and thanks.

    • No problem! I haven’t seen the Atelier anime, but anime adaptations of game series don’t work out so well often, so that’s no surprise that you say that.

      • Yeah I got bored the first 2 episodes but i said i’ll give it 3 more episodes maybe it’ll get better, but it didn’t but I didn’t know there was a game though. I watched the anime because I think the concept was good. Now that i see it has a game form it make sense.

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