If you haven’t heard of the Atelier series, there are very few who would fault you – it’s undoubtedly more of a thing in Japan than it is here. That said, the now almost 17 year-old JRPG franchise has quite the storied history, spanning many years and 7 different systems. The newest entry, Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, has been out in Japan since June, but will finally be arriving stateside this Spring. To celebrate, Tecmo Koei has made the game’s opening movie available online, and more importantly, opened up preorders for those who feel the need to put down $5 before March. Hey, you never know – this thing could be flying off the shelves come Spring! Shelves? More like digital shelves. Zing! (I say “zing” after compliments.)
In terms of how the newest entry differs from its predecessors, well – it’s difficult to say. This time around you’ll have two main characters at your disposal, and though both will feature similar storylines, key plot elements and events will differ (and potentially result in alternate endings) depending on who you choose. The events of the game take place roughly four years after those of Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk, so if you’re looking for an Atelier brush-up before Escha and Logy releases in March, Alchemist of Dusk would make a fine choice.
Like most Atelier titles, gameplay revolves around alchemy and its use for any and all of your JRPG-ing needs. Food, weapons, clothing, and most everything else your quest demands are created by alchemical means, and the more useful ingredients you can obtain or create, the better off you’ll be. That’s about as far as my noob-ish Atelier understanding extends, but I’m hoping to change that when Escha & Logy finally hits American PS3s.
Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky is slated to arrive March 11th of next year, so feel free to preorder if you’re prone to anxiety. Otherwise, I don’t think you’ll have a problem snagging a copy.