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Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy

Posted by GG Goblin On February - 8 - 2021

Ryza sets off to the big city to start all over again.

 
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout launched back in 2019 and proved to be very popular with fans of the long running series. Now, in a twist on the usual Atelier series formula, GUST and Koei Tecmo have released Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy, allowing players to rejoin Reisalin Stout and friends on a brand new adventure.

 


 
Those returning from the previous game will be pleased to know that not much has changed for Reisalin Stout, known as Ryza. Atelier Ryza 2 is set some three years after the conclusion of the first game, and while Ryza has continued her alchemy work, friends have all moved on with their lives. The comfortable tranquillity of Ryza’s life soon bursts though as an old friend gets in touch and Ryza leaves her small town to head for the city. Why? Well, let’s just say there is a small, cute fairy creature involved, along with a nice selection of ancient ruins. All of that excitement to one side, it also gives Ryza the chance to begin her alchemy journey once again, meet up with old friends and new, and get used to the far more chaotic life in the city.

 
The whole “fish out of water” setting for Ryza may not be the most convincing reason for her apparently losing all of her hard won alchemical skills, but it is what we have here, and setting up shop in the city will give Ryza plenty of chances to work on those skills and get them up to scratch again, especially as the little alchemist jobs that Ryza takes on are required for her to keep her new living quarters, which also act as a hub of sorts for the game. The little jobs come along nicely and see Ryza gathering the materials needed to pop into the cauldron and create item after item.

 


 
Despite the new setting and story, Atelier Ryza 2 plays very much like its predecessor. While this means that returning players will be able to slip easily into the flow of the game, newcomers need not panic too much. The systems in the game can be a little complex, but there are tutorials to explain the most important stuff, and this is a self-contained story for new players to enjoy. They will miss out on the former relationships with returning characters, and the new characters don’t seem to have as much depth as the old ones, but it is all perfectly playable. That being said, given the nature of the Atelier games, Atelier Ryza 2 does seem like a strange place to begin.

 
The alchemy, gathering materials and combining them into new items, takes centre stage here. This system is just and complex as ever, but is easier to work out than the games prior to Atelier Ryza. The system has not been changed much here, with the player dropping materials of varying quality onto nodes for a given item, tweaking the quality of various effects in the completed object. Once again though, for those who find it all a little too much dealing with the many hundreds of different materials types that will be gathered, there is an option to do all of this semi-automatically, which is a great inclusion for those newcomers to the Atelier games.

 


 
Much like the alchemy system, the combat remains more or less the same. It is a real-time system in which the player controls one character, but can switch between available team members, and has to wait their turn, making basic moves to collect points to activate special moves, leading to chains and combos. The system worked really well in the first game, and does so here in the sequel, providing more dynamic and enjoyable combat than the earlier Atelier games.

 
There are some nice wide open areas to explore, for gathering materials and fighting monsters, although some of the areas do feel a little overwhelming with the sheer amount of stuff to gather. When it comes to the actual story, the player will be exploring ancient ruins and the dungeons they contain. These dungeons are actually quite nicely designed and interesting to explore, thanks both to some new tricks for Ryza, such as being able to swim, and memories to find that uncover the back stories of the location. This all makes the exploration far more involving than in any of the previous games.

 
Visually, Atelier Ryza 2 looks just as good as the previous game. Unlike earlier games, Ryza and Ryza 2 both pop with colour. The animations are nice and the locations, while not always very interesting, are very well done. The soundtrack is equally good, with some really catchy tunes and great voice work, although there is no dub here so subtitles will have to do for non-Japanese speaking players.

 


 
Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy makes a few, small adjustments over the first Atelier Ryza game, while giving a new location and new adventure for the main character. As always, the crafting is very easy to get lost in, in a good way. The combat it good and the story is fun. I would recommend anyone who hasn’t played an Atelier game start with the first Ryza game, but for those who enjoyed Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness and the Secret Hideout, Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy just makes sense.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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