I picked Atelier Rorona in Akihabara back in 2009, I couldn’t imagine it would come to our shores. While being extremely pleasant and innovative, sales remained low in Japan (around 80K). We are therefore really lucky to have a publisher like NIS America, ready to take risks to please the fans, bringing us Atelier Totori this year.
oAtelier Totori inherits the game system from its predecessor while changing it slightly. You’re still taking different types of orders (item creation, pick material or monster hunting) to be achieved within a certain number of days. Besides travelling and alchemy, battles and item gathering takes a certain amount of time. Deadlines are less tight than in Rorona, I just hope it doesn’t make the game too easy. Alchemy now takes MP and not HP, which is much better since you don’t have to waste too much time resting.
The most striking improvement is the 3D modelling of the characters. Character design being the immense strength of the game, it makes Totori even more enjoyable than Rorona, which unfortunately had poor character modeling. Backgrounds sadly remain a bit empty and don’t really change from Rorona. Music and character design are still top class, like only NIS America can deliver. Totori is awesomely cute and strong-minded, and the title doesn’t lack this particular sense of humor that makes Atelier Rorona so charming.
After playing only 2 hours, I can say that I love this game at least as much as Iliked Rorona. Some clearly don’t : French reviewers were particularly brutal towards Totori just because they prefer Dark Souls. Their heart is as dark as NamcoBandai’s title and their close-mindedness is pitiful. Fortunately, anglo-saxon site are here to do the game a little justice. Because if people start bashing Japanese games that barely makes it to the west, publishers will be quick to withdraw and JRPG fans won’t have anything to play. Don’t trust them, don’t even trust me : make your own opinion, follow your your curiosity and your heart.