Atelier Totori: The Alchemist of Arland 2 – E3 Preview

NIS America is always looking to give their fans out here in the West plenty of great Role-playing games to enjoy. Atelier Totori: The Alchemist of Arland 2 is that next game and we recently got a chance to sit down and play it at the NIS America booth. With a lot of upgrades over the previous title in series, Atelier Rorona, we were very eager to see just how much had changed with Totori.

In the demo time that we got on the game we were shown just a tiny part of the overall map to be found in the game. And from that we could see that this will be one hell of a huge game. While on the topic of the world map, this has seen a huge change from Rorona and for the good; it looks beautiful and allows for much easier traversal from place to place. While traveling you will have your friends with you but thankfully paying your friends traveling expenses has been taken out of the game, making it a bit easier to explore the world.

The characters and environments have seen a huge improvement over the previous game. The characters look much more crisp, and close attention detail has been paid to each individual character, making for a better overall experience. The environment around your characters as well as the towns in the game have also received a nice level of polish – heck even the menu’s look gorgeous in the game. Totori also includes dual-audio for those fans who like to hear the voices in their native Japanese tongue.

However you don’t really play an RPG for all of this, you play it for the deep story and engaging combat. We cannot tell you a lot about the story because most of our hands on dealt with the combat, characters, and new features. However the combat is a lot faster than it was in Rorona and feels a lot more fun and needed. In the combat you have your basic attacks, magic and item attacks, and then your joint attacks where you call in a teammate to assist you in doing damage or blocking an attack. The music played during combat was extremely cute and enjoyable, adding a nice bonus to engaging enemies on the field of battle.

Gone in Totori are the main timed missions which moved along the story. In fact the only time specific mission that has to do with the main story is that your character must obtain a certain license rank by your 3rd year or the game is over. Licenses play a huge part in the game as you can take on various quests to fulfill certain licenses, thus ranking you up and providing you with more destinations on the map. You still have missions in the game that you can accept which will have you finding specific items to turn in or quests to kill specific monsters. As you continue to fulfill the quests you will gain popularity and in turn will gain more money. Raising your popularity with specific characters in the game will also affect the kind of ending you will have. Events will still unfold in the game at specified dates and with specific characters in your party.

Item creation is back in the game and while it is basically the same from Rorona it does have a feature a bit more elaborate customization. First off you must select the item you want to create in the end and then select the ingredients that you want to add into the pot for creation. While in Rorona traits added to your final product were randomly selected for you; in Totori you can actually select which traits you would like applied. Each item you want to create will have a cost level at the end and here you can select the traits you wanted added but you cannot go over the cost level of the item. So if your cost level is five, you can only apply traits that add up to but do not surpass that five.

We walked up to the NIS America station hoping to see a game that would be fun to play and walked away from a game that felt addicting. The characters we saw looked great, the combat was fun, and all the things that held Rorona back were gone. This is a game that has a lot of upside and unless something drastic changes before it releases, it is a game you will need to pick up.