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Atelier Escha & Logy Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky
Score: 91%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: KOEI TECMO America Corp.
Developer: Gust
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: RPG

Graphics & Sound:
Atelier Escha & Logy Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky is the second story in the "Dusk Trilogy” (and the 15th game in the whole Atelier series. While it does follow a lot of the previous Atelier conventions, there are a few differences, which I think are an improvement.

If you played Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk, then you’ll already be familiar with the look and feel of Atelier Escha & Logy. Graphically, it looks and feels exactly the same. Since this story takes place not long after the end of Atelier Ayesha, you really want it to have consistence. You will get to see several familiar characters like Linca, Wilbell, and even Nio (Ayesha’s sister) and they look like they always have. The colors are bright and vivid and they all look quite different ranging from Linca’s conservative appearance to Wilbell’s very bright clothing and personality.

If you’ve played many RPGs, you’ll probably have noticed that a lot of them have really awesome music. Personally, I think that Atelier Escha & Logy follows this trend well and I love the background music. As a rule, I tend to turn down music and listen to something else, but I found that I leave it on in this game. Not only is the music good, but the voicework is in English so there’s no need to read the subtitles if you don’t want to. You can actually hear what the characters say in their own voices.


Gameplay:
At the beginning, you get to choose if you want to play as Escha (Escha Malier) or as Logy (Logix Ficsario). You will have this character the whole game. While you will be playing both characters in the game, they each have a different point of view on the story. This means that if you really want to see all of the game, then you will have to play it twice through, but it means that you (sort of) have two games in one. Which you choose to play first is up to you. It really doesn’t matter as you’ll probably play both in the end. Escha is a local girl who has just taken her first job, as a civil servant with the Colseit government. Logy is from out of town, but he has come to Colseit to work for the government as well.

Eshca & Logy are both alchemists and are assigned to work together on the Frontier Special Investigation Bureau. Marion Quinn is the research lead and their boss. Linca is another researcher and Marion’s bodyguard. Wilbell is a familiar face if you’ve played Atelier Aiesha or Atelier Shallie and she’s still amusing in this game. Personally, I think she’s a bit more powerful too. I find she’s one of my most used characters. Awin Sidelet is an engineer who will join you. Escha calls him brother, but they’re actually cousins. Katla is a merchant and later on she’ll join you. You will meet Threia Hazelgrimm after just a bit in the game. She’s a "historical researcher" and also a playable character. As you can see, they give you a lot of characters so you can decide which you like best.

Atelier Escha & Logy is a turn-based RPG where you will be roaming around the world with the characters that you have unlocked. Your home base is in Colseit. It’s a small city, unlike Central City where Logy is from. There are ruins near Colseit, but no one has been to them simply because they can’t get there. The ruins are floating and they can’t get there by airship because the air around the ruins is too turbulent. Escha has been wanting to visit them since she was a kid. Logy is fascinated by ruins that are discovered, but unvisited. You will be sent to other ruins and cities for various tasks. You will spend a lot of time at your atelier. It’s where you can save your game, synthesize items, and rest. It’s pretty much your house when you are in town. Once you exit town to explore, you will run into monsters to battle.


Difficulty:
When you are out exploring, you will have all of your characters to choose from. Once you get more than three characters, you’ll have to figure out how to best arrange them in formation. You need to equip items to take with you. There are two different spots to equip, Adventure Equipment and Battle Equipment. Only Escha and Logy can take adventure equipment. Each item has a cost associated with equipping it, so you will have to decide carefully what you need and where to put it. You have a basket that you use to gather items. When it is full, you cannot gather anything more until you either discard something or go back to the atelier and empty the basket. All characters can equip battle equipment. You have four slots, one for a weapon, one for armor, and two for items.

Your characters will develop more fighting skills as they go along. These skills can be really handy, but they will consume your MP so make sure to keep an eye on it. Don’t forget to use your Support Attacks too. Those can really make or break you. If you do it right so that all 6 battling characters get to attack, the last one will do a much more powerful special attack.

Synthesis is very important in all of the Atelier games and Atelier Escha & Logy Plus is no exception. Synthesizing items is easy to learn how to do, but to get the best items, you’ll have to really pay attention and work on it. Items can have attributes and elements. You’ll have to figure out how best to add the correct items to make your synthesized product have the elements and skills that you want it to. Luckily, the game does a pretty good job of explaining it to you.


Game Mechanics:
Atelier Escha & Logy is also time-based. Like Atelier Ayesha, Atelier Escha & Logy Plus has a specific time frame that you must meet. At the end of the time, the game ends. The time period is much less strict than Atelier Ayesha though (I still have yet to beat Atelier Ayesha before I run out of time). In Atelier Escha & Logy, you are given an assignment three times a year and you will have four months to complete the assignment (similar to Atelier Rorona Plus. It’s much easier to manage your time that way. You get assignments in April, August, and December. You must complete the main task in the time period, but there are also side tasks that you can do as well. You do not have to complete these to continue the game, but completing them will earn you money. After completing an assignment, return to Marion to check in.

Once you complete your main goal, you are on Free Time until the end of the term. You can use this to do whatever you want. The side goals that were previously shown as a ? around the main goal will be revealed. Once you get those completed, the outer rim goals will be revealed. You can do them and any other side quests that you want. The more quests that you complete, the better. You will get paid on the first of every month and you will get paid more based on your performance so the more quests you have done, the more you will make.

You can take requests from Solle. He will pay you in treats that you can use to pay the Homunicli to make things for you. You can also use his sweets in synthesis (or eat them). Requests to the Homunicli take 10 days to complete. All of Solle’s requests must be done before the end of your term. They will be cancelled then and you will get more for the next term.

I have really enjoyed Atelier Escha & Logy Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky. While I loved Atelier Ayesha, I had trouble making the time limits as I just like to explore. Atelier Escha & Logy seems to have a great balance of a time limit, but a more manageable one, so that you do still have time to explore. If you’re a fan of the Atelier games, you’re definitely going to want to pick up Atelier Escha & Logy Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky.


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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