• Member Since 6th Sep, 2012
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Jetto


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More Blog Posts81

  • 253 weeks
    Comments on Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero

    I've been doing those not-reviews thing for a while. I don't always have a lot to say (one time I had NOTHING to say at all), but at least I had some information to share with you. This time it will be a little different. This won't be a story about magical girls. It's a story about a very dumb person who ruined his own experience. Sit down, relax, and let me tell how Jetto experienced the tale

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    3 comments · 513 views
  • 263 weeks
    Comments on Little Witch Academia

    Funny story, I completely forgot that this title exists until recently, when Netflix used their magical algorithm to remind me that yes, I watch anime, and that I still haven't seen their greatest original show. Thank you Netflix. You did good (for once).

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    5 comments · 434 views
  • 270 weeks
    Comments on Rozen Maiden

    Talk about a blast from the past. Rozen Maiden is on the list of "barely counts as Magical Girls, but I've done worse" titles that I watched way back in the day and only recently remembered when I heard that song again. Dat song tho...

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    2 comments · 381 views
  • 274 weeks
    Season 9 Finale Predictions

    Having seen "Twilight's Seven" (a fantastic episode, leave this blog post to watch, there will be spoilers) I would like to make a prediction about how the story might come to a close. I'm doing it for bragging rights, therefore it's very important!

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    1 comments · 382 views
  • 275 weeks
    Quick Story Idea (that I won't write, because find out below)

    I'm pretty sure I wasn't the first one who thought about it, but I still have to share it. No title yet, but the reason I'm not writing this EVER is because <drum roll>

    I don't write clop. This is the moment you can leave safely, anything below is your fault.

    Setting: Equestria, between seasons 8 and 9, Ponyville, Twilight's Castle

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    0 comments · 337 views
Jan
10th
2019

Comments on Atelier Series (mostly Sophie) · 8:20pm Jan 10th, 2019

I know it's not a magical girl per se, but when has that stopped me before?

I played a lot of jRPG's, but for some weird reason I never stumbled on a single game from Atelier series. I knew it existed, I never avoided it consciously, it just happened on it's own. Until recently I finally played my first one and I'm in love with a new series (btw, yes I know that company made Blue Reflection, which is about magical girls, I'll get to it some day, maybe).

What's the Atelier series about? Alchemy, of course! Each (with exceptions) is named after it's main character (sometimes two) and focuses on creating stuff via alchemy, as well as gathering ingredients from adventuring, fighting monsters and exploring the world. Most of them have a very chill story, on a smaller scale than saving the world, but they have a lot of charm put into them. I'm a new guy to the series so I won't comment on it as a whole, instead I'll guide you to the lovely Valkyrie Aurora, who made a surprisingly brief but well written overview of the series, if you're ever interested in going in yourself.

Now onto Atelier Sophie, which is my first game from the series, if only because it was the cheapest one available on Steam (a few more appeared since then).

This is a story of a girl named Sophie, as she is learning to become an alchemist from a living, talking, flying magical book named Plachta. And that's pretty much all the "main" story that you need. There is no heavier plot until much, much later, as the game mostly consists of Sophie, Plachta and their friends living their chill lives in a small town. The bulk of the game is, well, learning alchemy- mixing stuff to make more stuff, taking that stuff into battles that you'll need to fight to get more stuff so you can unlock more places to get better stuff and so on. It's supposed to be boring and get stale fast, but everything about the design of this game is just right. It's not a single thing that makes the quality package, but a combination of many tiny elements. I'll name only a few.

For one, all the characters, both main ones, party members, vendors and other NPC's- all of them are such nice, honest characters that I'm enjoying every scene with them. I want to learn more about them, I want to help them overcome their problems and overall I just enjoy having them around. While I have characters I like more (Corneria :heart:) and some I like less (Oskar), I don't hate anyone. I don't even dislike any of them, especially after seeing a little deeper into their personalities (yes, even Oskar!). It's not Game of Thrones by any means, but that's exactly why I find it appealing- I can trust those people with my life and it's a nice feeling to have once in a while.

And while I like the secondary characters, the one who steals the show is Sophie herself. She is such. A. Sweetheart! Gust (devs) are master alchemists themselves, because she is a distilled perfect main character, with just enough depth, pluckiness, niceness and competence to make her appealing as all hell, but not so much that she becomes a Mary Sue or gets on my nerves. YMMV but Sophie is a top tier waifu material and I wouldn't take her of my party even if I could.

Second reason, is that the game is super duper chill. There is no time limit (unlike some other Atelier games) on anything, so you're free to do whatever you want- explore, make more stuff, get sidequests and all, but so far the game has made a great job of giving me freedom while rewarding the progression of the main storyline, in forms of more places to visit, more characters to recruit, more crafting options etc. All the while having an adorable anime designs and music that's pure brilliant and catchy as heck (as well as an option to use BGM from previous games!).

And three, and this was my biggest worry completely cured, is the pacing. It's hard to explain, but sufficed to say that the game doesn't waste your time and takes you, the player, seriously. I'll try to explain by example.

Once the tutorials are over and you actually have to TRY to win a fight (as opposed to spamming basic attacks and skills), you'll realize that the items like bombs and healing items are really, REALLY important and you can't just buy them, only create them yourself. So I made a bunch of bombs and healing items and it went pretty well... until I got overwhelmed by the time and materials I had to waste on just surviving, thus halting my overall progression. Most games would call it a day and let you suffer, but not this one. Shortly before it became a real pain in the ass, you are introduced to a shop that lets you copy some of your stuff for a small fee and GOLLY GEE that was a lifesaver! Having a slightly bigger stock of my most often used items (as well as most used materials like cloth or ignots) made a difference, but it didn't stop there! Some time later the same shop unlocked the option of re-filling my used items (most of them have charges and could be used a few times before expiring) for a tiny fee, without a need to even visit the place, so I was encouraged to pull my best ingredients into them, instead of saving them for "important" stuff. This WAS the important stuff, just like everything you create yourself.

And while it made THAT part of the game get easier, it balanced it by introducing new elements, to keep the players from growing complecent or getting stale. There was always something new to do, always something better to create, an item to upgrade and you NEED THEM, because when the monsters decide to stop messing around, they STOP MESSING AROUND! I had a TPK quite a few times, thankfully you don't get game over, but lose some materials, which is a pain in the neck, but still worth the occasional risk.

Also, almost no grinding.I got to max level very early and while there was still progression, it wasn't as big as to force you to spend time in a singel location and beat the same stuff over and over again. Most of your power comes from hand-made equipment and alchemy is the biggest power of them all. Yes, you need to hunt for materials, but it's way more sensible than beating same mobs and hoping for a legendary.

I'm enamored with this game. It has flaws, but I don't feel like naming any of them when I'm enjoying myself so much. And don't listen to steam reviews- the game runs perfectly fine on PC, though you need a controler, but seriously, why would you play a jRPG on a keyboard? It's almost as dumb as playing FPS on a controller, BOOMSHOTSFIRED! (it's a joke, no offense meant)

And then I hear from people that this game is actually one of the weaker from Atelier series... huh. Consider me hooked.

Report Jetto · 294 views · Story: Magical Girl Sunny ·
Comments ( 4 )
Dan

You ever play Opus Magnum?

Everything I know about the Atelier series comes from the rare videos on them by Unskippable (long-dead series, unfortunately, though I think the LRR crew are still around) and I similarly never felt the compulsion to look into it further, so this was informative! Got plenty to keep me occupied as it is right now, but if they're ever on sale, I might give Sophie a look. :pinkiesmile:

To be fair, DOOM 2016 works well with a controller. Damn fun too.

Dan

Nevermind. Ignore this.

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