Review – Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland

By: Michael Cardwell

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Publisher NIS America decided to wait an extra week before they released Gust’s latest game to be localized to North America.

Was Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland worth the wait? Read our review to find out.

 

 

 

“I’ve come across something that could change the world.”

Arls Kingdom – this tiny nation is located fat to the northwest of the Arland Republic. Compared to Arland, with its highly developed machinery and alchemy, Arls is rather quaint, but with unlimited potential for prosperity.

Gio, leader of Arland, proposes to Lord Dessier, King of Arls and Gio’s longtime friend, that Arls join the Arland republic. But there are many tasks to be completed before their goal can be realized. In order to minimize criticism from opposing parties, Arls begins a development project to increase the kingdom’s influence.

To begin, they decide to dispatch a number of skilled adventures to Arls from Arland. Among the delegation is the alchemist Totori Helmold.

Meruru, the Princess of Arls, soon encounters Totori, and alchemy, for the first time. With aspirations of becoming an alchemist in her own right, Meruru forces her way into becoming Totori’s apprentice..

In Atelier Meruru (the sequel to Atelier Totori and the third installment of the series) you play as Merurulince Rede Arls, also known as Meruru, the Princess of Arls. She wishes to be an alchemist though her father forbids it. Meruru is taken in as an apprentice by Totooria Helmold (Totori) who guides and teaches her to one day being a great alchemist. With the help of her friends, Meruru can become that alchemist and develop the land of Arls as she’s wanted.

Exploring the World

When exploring, you can go to gathering areas near town to obtain materials and ingredients for your synthesis. Developing the land and raising your Kingdom Rank opens up new locations to explore on the map. Remember just like the previous game, moving across the World Map will always take up a certain number of days. So don’t just be out there running back and forth for no reason haha.

In the gathering areas, you gather ingredients for your alchemy and you are also able to fight monsters there, monsters also drop items you may use to synthesize.
While exploring , you will find somethings like a well where you can gather water or do other things. There are a certain number of places where you’ll find such things, just walk up and examine with the X button.

In Town

When in town, you can press the START button to select a location that you have previously visited to go there directly.
There are several shops in the town where you may purchase or sell items. As you proceed through the game, you will be able to register items you’ve synthesized.

  • Weapon Shops: sell equipment and materials, such as ore and bombs.
  • General Stores: sell medicines and daily necessities.
  • Wholesale Stores: sell items created through synthesis.

Questing

There are Front Quests and Friend Quests.

  • Front Quests: are jobs the are given to you by the townspeople at the tavern. Completing these will grant you monetary rewards and increase the popularity you have with the people, which is important as you continue with the development project.
  • Friend Quests: Also can be accepted at the Tavern. You will also report back to the Tavern after completing them.

When you become closer to a character it can trigger specific events and also make the Assist System more likely to show up in battle.

 

Synthesizing

Synthesizing is a lot like the previous games

  • Select the item to synthesize: Select the item you would like to synthesize from the list. You cannot synthesize an item if you don’t have the proper ingredients.
  • Select the ingredients: Choose which items to use as ingredients. The quality and effects of the finished item will be based off the ingredients you have chosen.
  • Days pass, and then results: The number of days required to synthesize the item will pass, and you’ll find out if the synthesis was a success or a failure. Failure is more likely to happen if your Alchemy level is low.
  • Select traits: After a successful synthesis, you can select traits from the ingredients to carry over onto the new item. What you can carry over depends on the level and Trait Level of the ingredients.

Equipment Synthesis: At some point in the story, there will be a guy named Hagel that can create equipment for you. You will need to use items in the category of Ingot or Cloth to make the equipment. Synthesizing equipment is pretty easy, just Select an item to make, choose ingredients, then BAM item complete.

Each piece of equipment you make may have intrinsic effects, also possibly traits inherited from the ingredients used. This allows you to customize the equipment you use for specific uses during each battle.

 

  • Additional Effect: Gives a special effect that will be useful in battle.
  • Stat Boost: Gives a stat boost for whom so ever wears the piece of equipment.
  • Traits: These depend heavily on the ingredients used to make the equipment. When synthesizing your items, keep an eye on the traits so you select the best ones to pass on to your equipment.

Development of the Fields and Kingdom

Meruru will have to develop her kingdom before they merge with the Arland Republic. Completing tasks and obtaining Development Points will increase the Kingdom Rank.  You can use the development points gained through field development to construct various facilities within the kingdom. Makes said facilities will cost some time to complete. But once done the effects and rewards will activate with the created facility.

Control Scheme

The control scheme is about the same, move with the left thumb stick and for the Action button press the X button.
Combat is turn based and is about the same as the previous games, Alchemists are the only ones who can use items and you may Attack, Use Items, Skills, Guard and Flee.

 

Assist System

The Assist System allows other characters to assist Meruru in battle. Also when everyone in the party is K.O.’d you get sent back to the Workshop and loose days instead of losing the game. So make sure not to die.

Overall the graphics, game play, story, actions, movement etc, are all basically the same as the last game in the series. New characters and a new story breath new life to the series. Still the fun adventurous game as Atelier Totori, more for the younger generation. So if your fond of the series so far then this is the game for you. I do have to say I love the concept of the land and kingdom development. Pretty neat idea that adds on to the challenge and adventure.

 

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