Atelier Firis - Review @ GodIsAGeek
GodIsAGeek has reviewed Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey:
Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey Review
Walkin’, talkin’, fightin’ and alchemisin’
It might be easy to assume that Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey could coast on a wave of glory due to its title being the most JRPG name in history. Its cover and art screams high-Eastern fantasy, all elaborate, colourful costumes and youthful melodrama, but whilst the former is certainly true here, Atelier Firis is a far more chilled out, altogether lighter experience than you might assume.
The game’s heroine, Firis Mistlud, has lived in the town of Ertona all of her life and has never seen the outside, which wouldn’t be quite so bad if said town wasn’t inside a mountain and had no natural light. Her parents insist that it’s too dangerous, and it’s only until two young alchemists named Sophie and Plachta blow up the town’s gate that Firis finally has a way of breaking her metaphysical shackles. She makes firm friends with the pair and instantly starts practicing alchemy, and after a few unremarkable fetch quests, Firis is allowed to leave Ertona along with the company of her handily skilled fighter of an elder sister, Lianne.
Of course, there’s a catch; Firis has to pass her alchemist exam in one year or face returning home a failure. So, with the help of her sibling, and a few handily-placed auxiliary party members, she sets out to get three letters of recommendations from registered alchemists to pass her exam and continue on her journey through the world.
Given that Firis is the eighteenth entry of the Atelier series, it’s made without a trace of fatigue, and clear affection. Its desire to tell a tale devoid of standard apocalyptic tropes or any big bads is a nice change of pace from its genre’s typical histrionics, especially given that the bulk of the cast is made up of teenagers. Its world feels a bit bare at times, though, with each area and town often far too big with too little to see and sparsely populated, and its reluctance to point you in any sort of direction when it comes to key quest points is regularly infuriating. But its problems aren’t outweighed by its positives, and this is still a charming, enjoyable and bright JRPG with plenty to offer.
- Charming, easy-going story
- Alchemy is simple, yet fun
- Genuine, human cast
- Occasional lack of guidance on quests
- Timed approach doesn’t help
- Towns often feel bare
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