Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland Preview Shows a Game True to Form

The Atelier series has a long history of RPGs that date back to 1997 and started out on Sony’s original PlayStation console. Sega’s Saturn and Dreamcast consoles also got a taste of the games, but these were all limited to the confines of Japan. It wasn’t until 2005 that the series made the jump across the Pacific onto the shores of the U.S. with the PlayStation 2 release of Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana. All told, there have been 20 previous releases in the Atelier series and Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland is the overall 21st release. There have been more than a handful of side games, but officially Atelier LuLua is considered the 21st.

Who’s Who

Atelier Rorona marked the beginning of the Arland series. And now, following the events of Atelier Totori and Atelier Meruru, comes Atelier Lulua. The latest title is set in a world proceeding the story of Atelier Meruru. The title depicts how characters and locations have changed over time.  While you don’t need to know the history of the game, knowing it adds depth to the overall adventure. This leg of the journey follows Elmerulia (known to her friends as Lulua) the daughter of the famous alchemist Rorona, as she comes of age and grows to become an alchemist in her own right.

As Lulua is walking through town one day, a mysterious book drops from the sky. Upon opening the book she finds that only she can see the text written in it and it is written in some sort of archaic dialect. The book becomes the focal point of the story as you are tasked with deciphering clues from within it in order to further decipher hidden text. I was able to decipher the first page within the hour given, so it’s not too hard to figure out, at least early on.

Gameplay

The gameplay is split into two distinct types. First there’s the explore and interact mode where you can talk to NPCs and gather items you’ll need for your alchemy and then there’s the battle system for when you run into a bad guy, and initiating that mode means literally running into a bad guy. The battles can be a little difficult at first, and I made the mistake of taking on someone above my paygrade near the end of the video above and it cost me dearly. An hour is nowhere near long enough to build up your defenses so I can’t wait to spend a considerably more amount of time in Arland in order to do so.

The graphics for the game are gorgeous on the PS4. The anime style that the series is known for is beautiful to look at, with environments and enemies that fit nicely into that same style of art. The music is also pleasant on the ears, with a friendly tone until you get into battle, and then ramps up to match the intensity of the fighting. I’m really hoping a soundtrack is released with the game, as ist can be very relaxing to listen to.

Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland is set to release on May 21, 2019 and from what I played, it stays true to the Atelier formula and promises fans of the series a lot of fun.