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TheSixthAxis: Review: Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland

TheSixthAxis: Developed by Japanese studio Gust, best know for its dedication to the JRPG genre, Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland is a direct sequel to last year’s Atelier Rorona and is the second instalment in The Alchemist of Arland series. Picking up the trail five years after the events of the previous game, players now assume the role of Totori Helmold; a young alchemist in training from the small fishing village of Alanya, and one-time student of Rorona Trixell. Being one of the only three Alchemists in existence, Totori decides to embark on an quest in order to find Rorona as well as her lost mother, Gisela, a famed adventurer of Arland who is believed to be dead.

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Canary2241d ago

Too positive a review, at least compared to my experience with the first short portion of the game.

There's a nasty bug w/ opening doors that shuts off the game and goes back to XMB, and several other glitches, too. That's really keeping me from getting very far with the game at all.

Environments are tiny. They would have been embarrassingly small in the PS1 era.

The timed gameplay clashes with the narrative structure HORRIDLY. For example, the first part of the "plot" has Totori getting in an argument with her sister, then spending an hour or two in the woods venting/tutorial'ing, and goes home later that night intent on apologizing. In the narrative, only a few hours pass.

In the game's calendar, it's more like FIVE DAYS.

Really highlights what an outdated (and poorly-implemented) thing their execution of the timer-concept is.

Redempteur2241d ago

and that's why you just don't get it ...

The day systeme is part of the gameplay experience , not the narrative.
Also Atelier games arenot about the plot but the alchemy system .

What's more ..you're just spouting nonsense after playing only part of the opening sequences ?
Since why should they give you huge area at the start when they're trying to explain the mecanics to you ?

The 4 Atelier games on PS1 are like this and it's far from being embarassing ...

Canary2241d ago

I never stated how long I played. I'm two months in, by the way--and would you rather I criticized the game WITHOUT qualifiying my opinion?

As for the day system, yes, it is completely divorced from the narrative. THAT'S THE WHOLE PROBLEM. Timed systems are not inherently bad, but they really managed to screw up the execution in Totori. Couple that with the amount of bugs, the small environments, and the deliberately bland storyline and characters, and you end up with a mediocre game that will only appeal to a very small niche of gamers.

But no, go on, tell me how I don't get it some more. Explain to me why it's completely wrong to dislike 5 minutes of play time equaling 5 hours of narrative time equaling 5 days of in-game calendar time.

Redempteur2241d ago (Edited 2241d ago )

Because that's not it works ..you complain about silly things ..the day counter is not here to move the plot , your actions are ..

You're looking at the game the wrong way .Have you played any Project A game before ? This is the 13th project A game..and this is a system that works ( 18 games uses this system as a base ).. so please don't tell me that it's broken ..it's working freaking fine ..Since the PS1 days

"my experience with the first short portion of the game. "
You weren't clear The first protion of the game ( meaning the tutorial and starting sscenario ) are small and that's the goal of such sections

Neckbear2241d ago (Edited 2241d ago )

That's interesting, as I, nor other peple I've talked with, have experienced such bugs. Hell, the only known bug is when entering the Wharf while you're early in the game, which can make the game freeze.

Perhaps it's your PS3?

Enviorments are fine in size; they don't drag on for too long (which, let's face it, wouldn't work in this game. Spending days only in battles would be a huge drawback) in fact, they're standard size for the series.

Totori's narrative structure is fine: while it indeed does have a few oddities like the one you mentioned, in the game itself, when it opens up, events are only available at a certain date. Most of them, anyways.

The only other instance where the timed gameplay clashes with the narrative would be when you renew your Adventurer's License, where you travel to Arland instantly despite where you may be in the game. And even then, it's quite easy to overlook otherwise.

Also, to quote you in your reply to Redempteur:

As I said, the date system is NOT completly divorced from the storyline; hell, it even plays a huge role in it. There are indeed oddities that could've been fixed easily, but as it stands, even those inconsistencies are easy to overlook. Far too easy to overlook, rather.

There are no bugs to speak of, outside the one I mentioned. Seriously, I question how you found these- and if it's your copy of the game, or your PS3 itself. Otherwise, there would be more people speaking about said bugs- which are inexistent.

How can you talk about the storyline when you've barely seen anything out of it? The concept, at best. You haven't even gotten the Adventurer's License, for crying out loud!

And while indeed Totori is aimed towards a small niche first and foremost, it's not like it's trying to be otherwise. It's simply doing its own thing, something more games should try to do nowadays.

And let me explain you why five minutes of play time, equaling 5 hours of narrative time, and equaling 5 days of in-game calendar time isn't enough to judge the game in the way you've done so: You barely know anything about the storyline, the gameplay mechanics, the areas, and whatever other thing you might criticize. It's like playing Persona 4 and crying that there's no battles in the beginning- it's setting up the stage, dude.

@Xof

Hm, really? I haven't found the bug at all. Hell, it's honestly the first time I hear of such bug.

Yeah, the enviorments are rather small. But hey, it speeds up things a little. Then again, larger enviorments wouldn't really work in the game, unless they slow down how fast time passes.

Albeit as I said, the calendar doesn't really clash much with the storyline, outside certain key elements that suffer from the fast passage of time. Which, indeed, could've been fixed easily.

Xof2241d ago

I've encountered the XMB bug twice, w/ about 7 hours of gameplay. Both times it was with the workshop exit door was "pressed."

As for the environments, yes, they're small.
As for the calendar stuff, yeah, it clashes with the storytelling way, way more than it ought to.

The latter of which could have been easily fixed by changing the scale.

zerocrossing2241d ago

Gamers really are whiny little bi*hes these days aren't they?.

The glitches are minor and not everyone has encountered them, like you say the game was intended to appeal to its "niche fanbase" so if some people don't like it they shouldn't be surprised.

tiffac0082241d ago (Edited 2241d ago )

Do you have a Phat PS3? I've read that there are some new games that freezes or exits out of the game if you've been playing for a very long time with a Phat PS3.

I've encountered freezing on Atelier Rorona after playing like 6-8hrs on it but never the exit out to the XMB one.

As of now I've played Totori for a few hours now, roughly 2-3hrs per day (around 10hrs of gaming time) but I have yet to encounter these bugs.

zerocrossing2241d ago

I have a Phat PS3 D: crap! I wonder If I'll get a bunch of glitches too.

Redempteur2241d ago

This bug didn't happen in teh japanese version of teh game ( out since last year ) ..it's probably a localisation bug ( even AT3 had several of those , nothing gamebreaking ) and nothing to whine about either