Are you a crazy story fan? Do you love anime? And are you interested in around 100 hours of great storytelling? Fear no more! Atelier Dusk (trilogy) by Koei Tecmo Games Co has you covered. But you might wonder: Maarten, why are you so positive in the intro? To put it simply, for those interested in a fair bit of anime, even if you are not an anime fan yourself, you can find joy in this game. So if you want our entire review on the game, grab a bag of anime pops, and let’s go over this together, shall we?
What we liked!
- The story: Well, for a game of this genre, it seems important that the story is well crafted out. For those unfamiliar with the Atelier franchise, it is a JRPG, which means Japanese story, mostly focussing on exploration, gathering materials, some combat, and further crafting. The game is mostly a lay back in the sofa type of experience which includes a whole lot of nice music, and entertaining sound effects. You follow Ayesha on a trip full of exploring all while trying to save your village from a disaster.
- The characters: In my honest and quite new experience, I do freaking like the way this game has its characters and personalities laid out and drawn. Some of them seem very playful and pleasant, while some feel a tad too serious.
- The music: The game does an amazing job of choosing the right soundtracks in the entire series. You get some hype/anime vibe music during the fantasy moments, some really intense music during battle themed scenes and a whole lot more different tunes during the rest of the game. Which for the first time in a story game, didn’t make me turn down the music during a story. Some developers can learn something from Tecmo Games here.
- Low system requirements: This game is one of the first that I ran off my NAS, whilst streaming it’s gameplay directly to my TV. So the virtual machine I was playing the game on didn’t have the best performances, yet the game ran in a solid 60 fps, without any difficulties. Which makes it suitable for all situations!
- The combat system: This game didn’t have the most in-depth combat system, which I am aware of but, it was certainly remarkable. The combat is turn-based, and dependant on an action bar, which tells you who is about to do the next move. You can compare it also to a mana bar, in a sense that certain “moves” cost you more points on that bar than others. Overall a really solid experience!
- The control system: On a keyboard, the system feels quite OK on the default settings. Whilst you get the option to customize every key before use, the game does just hands-down play a lot better with a controller. It does also advertise itself that way, so no hard feelings. Still, I would have preferred that certain things would be pointed out in-game with the corresponding buttons. For example: during the menu’s, if you don’t remember what button to press, you will be told what button to use of an Xbox controller, and not the corresponding key (not even the default one)
- Scale-ability: The game has it’s an option to display full screen, yet for me, this option has not worked. When, during the setup stage, I selected the option to display the game on full-screen, I was just greeted with a crash. So after running the game in 1080 windowed, all these problems were resolved. It is worth noting that I am running a 2560×1440 display, so that might be the issue since the max resolution is 1920×1080. If I tried running the game on full screen on my 1080 display, everything was perfectly fine. Nothing too major, but can be a real bummer.
What we disliked
- Absolutely nothing!
Whilst the game isn’t perfect in any way, I do think that the Dusk Trilogy is an amazing addition to a collector’s steam library. All 3 of the games felt good during their entire playthrough, and credits to those who deserve it, the character design was miles ahead of what I have reviewed so far. For those who just want an amazing weekend laying back in the sofa, with a wireless mouse and keyboard, or just those who just want some laid back story presented in a way that is suitable to all ages, Tecmo Games has you covered.