Lets me start off with just saying that I was never a fan of the Atelier series and only really enjoyed Atelier Iris on the PS2. The series was a bit too happy go lucky for my taste. Trying to get back in to the series I had my eyes on Atelier Escha & Logy for a long time, a major reason being that I missed playing as a Male protagonist. Atelier Escha & Logy stars not one but two Alchemists, a girl named Escha and a boy named Logy.
When you start off the game, much like of Tales of Xillia, you have to choose between the two title protagonist. Escha, pronounced Eska is a traditional country girl who lived her whole life in the city of Colseit where the game takes place. Logy one the hand, pronounced Lodgee, is fresh of the boat from a big city resulting in his style of Alchemy to be more modern. In the starting sections of the game there’s a scene where the Logy is surprised that they still use Cauldrons in the city of Colseit. He obviously had no experience of them from the big city so had Escha help him. In return Logy helps her with mixing of ingredients which he was more experienced in. This sense of partnership continues throughout the game and is done excellently. Both Escha and Logy are quite different characters so the dynamic is definitely there, but both of them fall under genre stereotypes which is quite disappointing. Escha is the happy go lucky clumsy girl, while Logy is the quiet but caring boy.
Choosing either character has the game put more emphasis on their personal stories and thoughts. For example if you choose to play as Logy you would there would be separate dialogues showing what Logy is thinking in conversations, and vice versa. Although I didn’t finish the game a second time as Escha, I did play a bit and it was interesting to learn what she was thinking. Escha’s story is more focused on Alchemy while Logy’s portion is more about battling monsters. Thankfully this leads to enough content to warrant a second playthrough of the game.
Atelier Escha & Logy stars off with Logy arriving to the city of Colseit, where there’s the standard introduction and meeting the game’s characters and learning of your role in the city. The opening of the game is extremely slow. The characters themselves aren’t something to write home about either, but by the later half of the game I was pretty contempt with them. The introduction is so dry that I fear many players will consider stop playing the game, but to them I say keep on going!
The art style of the game is pretty great and the character models are very detailed. There is a subtle lack of focus on the game’s animation though. In battles the characters mouth would often move while there would be no sound coming out. I also found the lack of the ability to change camera angles quite annoying. The soundtrack was pretty decent, it’s what you would expect in a JRPG.
Atelier Escha & Logy does tend to throw a lot of information at players in start, which will definitely overload player’s brain. The last Atelier game I played was Atelier Ayesha so I have some idea of what was going on. The gameplay mechanics are simple, Escha and Logy are Alchemists and they have a set period of tasks to complete in a reporting period. At the end of the reporting periods you have to report to Marion, who fans may remember from Atelier Ayesha. Each reporting period has several sidequests and one major assignment, which usually is related to story progression. These assignments require you to travel to other locations, which is done on the World Map. Navigating the World Map is similar to a board game, where you have to move your character to other spaces on the board. After getting to these aforementioned locations most of the time is spent collecting items for Alchemy and participating in battles.
All this collecting items and battling tends to get repetitive after some time but I kept on going thanks to the Atelier Escha & Logy’s excellent battle system. The combat system is pretty simple at the start but things start to get complex later on. You have three party members that are usable at once in battles. There are two types of attacks, basic attacks and support attacks usable via the Support System. The Support System allows players to chain support attacks along with normal attacks or defend yourself from tough enemies. Each character has their own Special Support attacks too with unique animations. Thanks to the Support System players can strategize on how to go with their battles adding much depth to the game.
Like previous Atelier games, Alchemy plays a huge role in Atelier Escha & Logy. As players progress through the game they’ll find different kinds of items which can lead to hundreds of different recipes. Alchemy items can also be used in battles, like bombs and the like. Later in the game players will be able to strengthen their weapons and break down items for alchemy raw materials. I found myself spending more time doing Alchemy than grinding, it was just so much fun!
Atelier Escha & Logy is a very decent game, in fact it’s my favorite Atelier title so far. The game’s awesome battle system coupled with the expansive Alchemy sections make an awesome duo and had me coming back for more. So if you still have the trusty old PS3 lying around, then we definitely recommend you check it out.
Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky Review