Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland Review
Atelier Totori: The Adventure of Arland
About the game
Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland is a turn based RPG where completing quests and learning alchemy is the focus of the game. You start the game as a young girl who goes by the name of Totori. As the story progresses you discover that her mother was an adventurer who disappeared and had not been heard from in a long time. However, Totori desires to become an adventurer along with her home town friend Gino and they begin taking steps to acquire their adventurer’s license.
Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland is a very user friendly and easy title to play. It’s set up very nicely in regards to the battle system, the quests and performing alchemy. When it comes to the quests, you’ll have multiple areas where you will be able to accept quests. Obviously, at first you will start in your home town and work your way outwards. The quests are usually very easy and quick to accomplish. You start out accepting work where you will be given multiple quests to choose from. You can choose only a few or choose them all if you wish. The game runs with a time system as well, so each quest has a time limit for you to work within. As you travel around the map in this game, it will take you a certain number of days to get around, and as you rest you may choose how many days you sleep. Also, as you perform alchemy, it will take you a certain number of days to create whatever it is you are making and the larger number of items you create, the more days of which will go by.
The time system in the game works really well and is probably one of it’s better features. It actually becomes quite enjoyable as the game progresses. As I said, if you accept quests you will have a certain amount of time to complete it by. However, if you don’t, it will cancel on you even if you completed the quest a day before, yet it takes you two or more days to get home. You must turn in the completed quest before the given date passes. That is one thing you really need to focus on in the game, but if you get right down to business you sometimes really need not worry about it. Another interesting feature is that if you spend too many days taking a break from going out on a quest it will cause those who are in your party to become impatient with you. It’s important to keep a good balance of your time, although it’s not something you need to be overly careful about.
Back to the quests: A lot of them are really basic and you’ll be given different types of quests to accept. You don’t have to accept the ones you don’t want to do, but basically your quests will be to gather these items and hunt down a specific number of a monster. Or you will need to use synthesis to create a certain item, of which you will have to go out and find specific items with which to create them. One thing about the process of the quests is that they are designed very easily for the player to execute and is not too time consuming. You will visit a number of lands, each with it’s own type of monster, type of item and so on. However, these lands are often quite small. The battles are not random, as you can see the enemy in each land, so you are able to initiate the attack or avoid it. But usually there are no more than 4 or 5 battles to be had in each land and the same goes for items scattered around for you to pick up. You can explore each land and be done with that quest in about 5 to10 minutes of time.
Once you acquire your adventurer’s license you will be able to explore more areas. The map and areas that you are able to explore also expands as you rank up your adventurer’s license. Each time you complete a quest, defeat an enemy and simply explore, you will gain additional points which helps you rank up your license. That is one of the nice things as once you start to get slightly tired of the same monsters and material, you rank up and will be able to then further explore new lands. However, it still doesn’t change up too much since you are still collecting a certain number of items or hunting a specific monster. You will eventually begin to collect items for weapons and armor, of which you will still need to also seek out certain materials in order to create those.
When it comes to the story in the game, it’s interesting enough but doesn’t have much momentum behind it. It’s not very intriguing, although it does have enough intrigue to it that you are enticed to find out what happens. At almost every moment in the game, as you do something or while you are out on your adventure, there is always some kind of character interaction and dialogue. But it’s usually uninteresting to the point where you just don’t really care at all. However, they do try to keep it with a “real life” feeling or reaction on certain situations. Such as in the beginning with Totori and her sister when they discuss her becoming an adventurer. Sometimes though it’s just a little too monotonous and you want to skip forward.
As for the characters, your main character Totori is fairly likable and not too annoying. You probably will wish she was slightly older and more mature in her behaviors. I’ll admit the childishness of her actions in certain situations was somewhat annoying to me. You have a character named Melvin who is a main character from the beginning that is very likable and not because of what she is wearing. Gino also comes off as a pretty good character as well. Some of the character interactions aren’t the greatest but there are moments when character dynamics create a good feel in the storyline.
The gameplay is very simple to learn and pick up on in all aspects. The alchemy and how exactly it works may take you a minute to get use to, but it really isn’t complicated at all. The menus may also take you a minute to get down, and there’s a slight learning curve on how to equip items and use them correctly. The turned based battles are fun and solidified very well as you should end up enjoying that aspect throughout the game. Each character has their own abilities as well, which makes them unique to the battle.
Sound – Graphics
Visually the game looks very crisp and clean, with a lot of very lovely cel-shaded graphics for you to enjoy. The visuals are another one of the games best features and there is nothing to be disappointed with there. Now when it comes to the music, it is a major downfall but is still passable. But passable is something to strive towards and I wish that this aspect of the game was better. Voice acting is also another slight issue of mine when it comes to this game. Some of the characters are just fine, but there are others that will drive you absolutely crazy. Even some of the characters that are typically fine, given a certain situation happening in the game, will irritate you with moments of poor voice acting. The sound in this game is very much a major disappointment.
Enjoyment Level – Fun Factor
My overall enjoyment with Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland was fairly average. It never got to a low point except for when some of the questing got a little bit boring, but it was never that bad at all. The turn based battles kept it enjoyable and was actually a lot of fun, to the point that I looked forward to the battles in this game. I will stay with the word “average” to describe my overall enjoyment, but don’t regard that as a bad thing at all. There are a lot of aspects to like and have fun with in this game.
Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland can be seen as a “cute” title that is very simplistic in a lot of ways, which can be a good thing. If you are looking for something more hardcore in your adventuring and less “cute” than you will probably want to stay away. This is still a decent title and those who like the idea of a turn based RPG in which you can create a number of items based on collecting material, as it would be wise to check out this title. The quests are usually short and simple, and it also has a well done time feature that is used really well in regards to how the game plays. If it comes off as interesting to you then you should definitely check it out as it’s not a bad game at all. It has it’s issues, but that’s mostly in regards to the sound. The rest of the game is very solid.