Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World is the Atelier 20th anniversary title that provides a new and different experience while also combining this with some old favourites. The game by Koei Tecmo Games is a celebration of the popular RPG Atelier series. The beloved characters are put together in this new adventure taking place in the Ateliers world. Before getting an all-new Ateliers game, players are treated to this spin-off, so let’s take a look at Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World.
- New take on the Atelier game: Okay so usually you’re playing as an alchemist in the Atelier series, but not this time! In this spin-off you play as Nelke, a noble. You still get the help of various alchemists, but the main focuses are now town-building, exploring and combat. This is a fresh take on the genre for sure, and it’s quite enjoyable!
- Cute graphics: As is the case with all Atelier games, the graphics are adorable. The characters are bright and colourful, filled with detail, and fitting in with the anime genre perfectly. The same goes for the town, items, and opponents you encounter.
- Returning characters: For the fans of the series, this game is a real treat. Characters from all the previous games are included, making you go OMG IT’S YOU when a new villager enters the town. Not to worry though, you’re also getting to know some new characters along the way, you know, to add some new elements.
- Good economy system: Quite a good economy system is
provided, which I enjoyed very much. It’s not just your typical ‘buying,
producing, selling, etc”. At the end of every week, you get a weekly report
that shows your population and how much it has grown. It also shows income and
expenses, as well as earnings and assets. This really helps you keep track of
your progress and whether or not you’re doing a good job. This more elaborate
kind of economy system is a very nice addition.
- Voice-acting: Even though it is provided, it seems a little over the top sometimes. There’s some pitchy voices, and okay, this fits in with the genre but it can get on your nerves a little. This aside, there’s quite some voice-acting implemented in the game and I’m sure this took a lot of work, so good job there. There also seems to be some parts of the voice-acting missing for some reason? I don’t know if this is how it’s meant or if it’s a bug, but it is something you immediately notice.
- Combat: There’s some combat that takes place but it feels as if this takes up a very small part of the game. This really is too bad. Besides this, the combat system is very basic. There’s a turn-based strategy for up to five characters where characters turns are very shown on a bar. It’s all very simplistic and a little more challenge and engagement would’ve been welcome.
- Game over: So, you get like tasks to complete. There are main and sub tasks. The thing is, if you don’t complete the task in the given amount of turns, it’s game over. Simple as that, bye bye hours of work. This can be quite frustrating, let me tell you. IT IS NO FUN. This isn’t quite fun for players, I feel like there should be a way to save your game and then go back to a certain save when you don’t succeed a task. I mean, I MISSED ONE FREAKING TASK, GIVE ME SOME SLACK.
- It feels more like a visual novel than a game: There’s a lot of waiting involved, sometimes making this feel more like a visual novel than a game. But then again, it’s not story-driven enough for a visual novel so it’s not fully either of these. Nevertheless, there’s so many times where you’re just waiting for something to be done, so you can click something new again. This doesn’t really sound, nor feel like engaging gameplay now, doesn’t it?
- Feels more like a mobile game: Since it’s basically all clicking, and not too engaging, the game tends to feel more like a mobile game, not making it worth paying 60 bucks for. Add to that that feels rather static, the many conversations, and simplistic style, and it definitely could be a mobile game.
- You don’t feel like you’re part of the town: You can’t walk around in your town or anything. I mean, you basically look from above or something and work on your town. This is really too bad, since you are able to visit the villagers but still, it feels a little unpersonal. I mean, you’re running the town and you can’t walk around and enjoy it? Sad, sad, sad.
- Tutorial: Usually it’s a good thing that there is a tutorial, right? Not really the case here. The tutorial feels more as a long story you’re forced to read. Okay, the given instructions are useful but oh man, did I think “I just want to play, this is taking so long”. In all honesty, I used the fast forward button during the conversations to get to the actual gameplay parts, and I’m pretty sure you will too if you play this game.
To be honest, I expected quite a lot from this title, seeing as it costs 60 Euros. The game did feature some nice aspects, such as the graphics, economy systems, and the new take on the series. However, this doesn’t make up for all the mediocre and bad points that you can find while playing. It feels as if this game was more a way of making a quick buck than actually celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Atelier series. Nevertheless, fans of the games will enjoy this one. It’s just that if you’re not familiar with the Atelier games, you probably won’t like this game that much.
Developer: Koei Tecmo Games Publisher: Koei Tecmo Games
Played on: PC Also available on: Nintendo Swich, PlayStation 4
Time to beat: 31 hours
Steam Game Store link: click here