With the recent release of the “20th Anniversary game” from Gust and of course my review of that game in particular, I can’t help but wonder if I was playing a Neptunia game or an Atelier one. The fact of the matter is there’s barely any difference to it.
Sure the battle systems is somewhat different but with a lot of similarities here and there. Now first of all, it’s turn-based (duh!)… Second, you have a pairing system and with that you can do combination arts too! Closely similar to a Neptunia game. But then again, Neptunia has more of an advanced system that even has combination attacks for their vanguard formation itself and transformations to their HDD or rather Goddess forms and Atelier having alchemy to give them some distinction as well as the addition of using even more “alchemical innovations” in the form of battle and extra mix. Sure! Let’s synthesize an item in the middle of battle… the enemies can wait, after all, ITS STILL MY TURN! And I’m not simply trying to find some logic in a game about synthesizing everyday objects to be able to craft something that can even kill the gods! After all, Sophie from the previous title just made a tent that defies all logic by making it larger than it should have been.
Now before we get off-track, I would like to take this moment to say that I honestly enjoyed the game, Neptunia is a fairly good game IMO! (Nah! Just kidding, I like them both) And with that, there’s even more similarities between these two. From dungeons to even the jump option within it. While I should admit that I completely enjoy pressing the jump button a couple of times to hear their cute little Japanese voices, the honest truth is… why the hell do we need it? There are a few reasons to use it as there are a couple of instances where you can’t go to a higher point like a less than a foot of elevation. But from another perspective, I can’t find any reason to justify the need of it. So anyway, nice addition but not as necessary as it looks.
Before anyone chews me out, the main difference is the crafting or rather synthesizing in the Atelier games and its rather time-based world. In which the time in the game is barely an issue now, as I can just do whatever without a care for it. As the game ends once you do your final task and not when you spend the stipulated time to put this to a close. With that being said, the whole idea of adding a time seems pointless, since even some minor events with the other characters present can still be accessed later on even in the final chapter making their dialogue a little seem out of place. Atelier Ayesha had that going pretty good, IMO, just because I need to be on specific towns at specific dates to even have the specific events pop up.
As I don’t want to make this toooooooo long, let’s end the comparisons here and talk about what I think they should consider. Or at least just here out my wishful thinking for a second or two.
As an atelier game, having an atelier itself is not enough, I feel the need that there should be a way we could utilize gathering materials like plants, flowers and fruits from trees in making our own backyard garden at which we can expand throughout the whole playthrough.
And forget about dungeon-based adventures, what I would really like to see on the next main entry is something along the lines of an actual adventure, connected areas that doesn’t need to be open world but bigger maps, and honestly, a cart is necessary… to traverse the area and place all the materials you’ve gathered. With some casual thugs, bandits among a few others like monsters that would try to ruin your adventure of being the greatest cart puller in the kingdom. Now this is where you get the other materials at which you can’t plant in your garden.
With all that being said, we can’t go back to the press X to gather mechanics either. That is if we’re going as innovative as we can get. We might as well have a completely different way of gathering to make it sort of a mini-game whenever you gather stuffs whether it’s rummaging through dirt or debris or simply picking up plants, cutting up flowers and mining ores. Fishing and bug catching should also be revised to make it less of a grind and more of a fun activity, with an addition of being able to have your own pond to gather up fishes along with other aquatic animals to having your own bug containers to let them propagate. This way, the only reason to go on an adventure for materials would be finding rare ones instead of hoarding everything, clearing the land, like a madman without care for the environment 🙁
Then again, this is just my opinion and isn’t influenced in any means by external factors. *cough*harvest moon*cough* Okay, I may have been influenced a bit by that game but the truth is I honestly think it needs to happen! But whether it becomes a reality or a complete fantasy depends on where Gust wants it to go. Although to even make that a reality, it’s going to be a long project that would take more time making their annual releases end this year or when they decide to start innovating and going out of their way to start on a fresh note.
“AND THAT’S ONE CHANGE I’LL GLADLY WAIT A LIFETIME FOR.”