GUST continues working and giving life to its classic sagas, among them Atelier. His final chapter has just landed, an episode that raises new playable experiences within the franchise as you will see throughout this analysis of Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World.
The Atelier series continues with celebration after it reached 20 years of life last year. And to continue commemorating such an anniversary, GUST wanted to make a new delivery that reaches different platforms such as PS4, Switch and also PC through Steam. The result is Nelke and The Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World, a name so vast that it competes with the same ones in the Dragon Quest saga! But the important thing is obviously not that, but it is content and playability, aspects that I found quite enjoyable and, most striking, have been almost completely renovated.
In fact, it should be pointed out that this edition stands out clearly from what was previously established in the previous chapters of the Atelier series. Instead of being in a more or less traditional JRPG as was the usual norm in the series, in this case, the videogame offers us a concept in plan city building, a drastic change by all means. Therefore and more than a new edition within the franchise, it is more accurate to qualify Ateliers of the New World as a spin-off.
The argument that has been elaborated to give life to this adventure is quite simple to explain. The new protagonist, the aristocrat Nelke von Lestamm, intends to turn the small and half-abandoned Westwald village into a prosperous and lively city. And for this, he has the help of several allies, from his inseparable assistant Misty to the carpenter of the town (Hagel) … and a huge number of faces well known by the followers of this saga that are joining the adventure gradually! Meruru, Lilie, Shallotte, Escha and other protagonists of past installments of Atelier make an appearance, a detail that surely the fans of this franchise of GUST will appreciate a lot.
Once in the adventure, before we are opened many tools, menus, possibilities, options and other elements that those who are not familiar with this type of productions can even feel “intimidated”. And it is also necessary to point out that, although all the concepts and game elements that take place in Ateliers of the New World are duly explained through tutorials, they are all in English.
In broad strokes and as it happens in the vast majority of the games of conception city builders that are seen in the market, the main slogan is very simple: create a city as big as possible that is sustainable and that reports the greatest amount of income. A goal that, however, is well supported by a really wide amount of game possibilities that give many hours of entertainment if you take the taste.
Ateliers of The New World is divided into two distinct phases or times and, depending on each of them, allows us to perform some tasks or others. The first of them is called Weekdays and during this phase, it is possible to erect a vast amount of constructions. Shops, ateliers, land to cultivate all kinds of food, streets and roads, monuments and other elements can be built as long as we have enough money … and also materials. In addition to this, we also have to take into account which characters to assign to each of these stores, something fundamental because the difference in benefits that we can obtain depending on our choice can be very remarkable.
During this phase, it is also possible to select the items that we want to be available in each store, as well as carry out customer requests and other similar tasks. And as the days go by and if we are good at things, we can expand the city in its different sectors as well as begin to expand the mapping and do the same in other locations near Westwald.
When this period ends the so-called Holidays, which allows us to do almost everything … less rest, ironically. We can take advantage of these moments to perform other tasks very different from those that can be undertaken during the previous phase, such as visiting our friends to talk with them, accepting new orders and suggestions, etc. A very pleasant way to strengthen our relationships with each other.
More importance has the excursions that it is possible to carry out outside the perimeter of the city. And why is it necessary to do it? Well to obtain new materials, minerals, fruits, raw materials and other elements and ingredients that are found in unexplored lands. The way to pose these attacks outside the city is somewhat particular, given that during them it is possible to contemplate those characters we have determined for this purpose walking along linear paths in which, from time to time, enemies appear randomly.
These battles take place in turns and their dynamics are similar to those embodied in any JRPG (like the Atelier saga itself ) but much more simplified. In the upper part appears the order of movements of the characters and adversaries, and can both act manually and leave everything in the hands of the CPU to accelerate things … something I recommend. Yes, because from my point of view such contests are rather sluggish and do not contribute much to the game as a whole, so it is advisable to invest in them as little as possible.
What else does Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World offer us apart from what I have already explained to you? Well enough. Synthesize objects, obtain and use recipes, study weekly reports with our advances, dialogue with a multitude of characters and many other tasks also have their place in the gameplay, giving as a fruit a title that has a very slow development and with many texts by medium but, equally, full of possibilities. It is clear that its characteristics are not a title for everyone, but within its niche character, it has many virtues.
In technical terms, I’m sure you already know what you can expect from this production. Manganime aesthetics, well-profiled characters, very colorful environments, and quite a clear menu screens are the most outstanding elements of a facet that does not stand out for anything in particular. It could have been something more lustrous (it seems a game of the last generation of machines), but it is also true that this type of proposal does not need big graphic boasts either. The sound is somewhat better thanks in particular to its excellent dubbing in Japanese, which has been accompanied by cheerful melodies and merely testimonial effects.
Far from being a continuation delivery within the Atelier franchise, GUST wanted to offer users of PS4, Switch and PC a clearly different title. Although still present, the role component so characteristic of the saga has gone into the background, gaining all the prominence resource management and the gameplay in city building plan. Its rhythm is very slow and the fact of being in English (voices in Japanese) does not help, but in return, it offers very interesting and varied gameplay that gives a lot of itself if you dedicate enough time. A pretty original title.
- If it hooks you, it has many game possibilities.
- His proposal is quite refreshing for the saga.
- The presence of well-known characters from the series is appreciated.
- The development of the battles is too simple.
- It’s a very slow title, maybe too much.
- Technically it is modest, but it does not need big boasting either.