Getting a job is one of the mandatory objectives in most peoples’ lives. It pays the bills and structures their lifestyle. It’s no different for Escha and Logy in Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky DX. Although they aren’t paying living expenses, they have managed to acquire jobs just like a regular citizen.
The game takes place about 4 years after Ayesha set out to save her sister in Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk DX. Logy and Escha are hired as the newest members of their R&D division and they must work their hardest as alchemists to achieve their periodic goals, accompanied by lots of cutscenes, some of which can be humorous while a small amount might be worthy of the ‘fast-forward’ button.
Players can choose to read or listen to the voice acting for important event scenes. English and Japanese are both supported for voice acting, and it’s not painful to listen to the English voice acting in this game.
The story is simplistic, but the game truly shines when it comes to the conversations between characters. Most of the humor will almost be non-existent at the beginning, so it may take some time to warm up to it if this is an important aspect. A majority of the other interactions between characters can hold most peoples’ interest as they learn more about the characters and the world they live in.
Similar to Atelier Ayesha, players will find themselves exploring ruins, gathering materials from across the world map to use for synthesis, and fighting monsters that get in the way. Time-based assignments are heavily focused on in this game and players will have to complete them with each term that goes by. There are also a lot of characters, both old and new, that can be recruited and befriended.
You can choose to play as either of our barrel-loving protagonists, Logy or Escha. The story will be told from the chosen character’s perspective, even though you can still use the other character in your party. The game will provide players with guidance as they continue to play and it’s excellent at it.
The World of Dusk Sky DX
Lots of ruins are scattered throughout the world, waiting for people looking for adventure or the thirst for knowledge. Filled with monsters that will attack any boy or girl on sight, Escha and Logy will eventually find out that they are fated to explore ruins in the region.
New exploration areas are unlocked as the story is told and new assignments are given. Each area on the world map contains several different sections to run around in and explore. These sections are commonly small and some are even linked to new sections without having to return to the map. This is the type of exploring to expect in Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky DX. The small areas do not mean there is a lack of content. As a matter of fact, it makes it easier to jump straight into a specific part of the area and to avoid getting lost.
Gathering materials across the land and crafting new items are relaxing because there’s less stressing over time. A good memory isn’t required when your basket is full and you must discard items to pick up the new. This is because the amount of each item is clearly shown on the screen, making it easier to differentiate between quantity and the lack of supply.
Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky DX will have players completing assignment after assignment and reporting them. Each term has both primary and secondary assignments. These secondary assignments reward players for completing them even though they’re optional.
The assignments are generally fun to complete, however, it can start to become a chore at times. The late-game secondary assignments can also be tedious. A wrong decision, which might have seemed like a good idea at the time, could mean more work to be done at a later date.
They do give a full experience of the different aspects of the game by challenging players to complete them, such as synthesizing specific items under certain requirements, slaying specific monsters, exploring ruins, achieving certain goals, etc, adding more gameplay hours to the mix. It was designed in a way that insists the player gets the most out of the game. Skipping assignments can lead to finishing the game much faster than originally intended with the penalty of no additional stat buffs, new costumes, etc.
Time and Money Management
Atelier Escha & Logy is more lenient when it comes to time. Players will often find themselves with a lot of extra time after completing their primary and secondary objectives. There is also no severe penalty for skipping secondary objectives; the game lets you tackle them again in the last term.
Although the game isn’t strict with time, it isn’t impossible to run out of it when you still have tasks to finish. Poor judgment in building up your character and the routes you take back and forth can be your downfall. There are ways to cut the time taken for actions.
Getting paid for doing your job is nothing strange. In Atelier Escha & Logy, it’s the same. Players are paid in intervals during the game for completing their assignments. Poor use of money can result in the lack of funds to use toward purchasing important items to help complete assignments, therefore it’s critical to use money wisely when playing.
Enemies are presented on the overworld and they will chase you if you get close enough. They aren’t too difficult to avoid and they will never be able to catch up to you unless you stay still. Touching or striking them will engage them in combat.
Your party consists of a formation of three characters in the front row and three in the back (if there are enough recruited characters). Members in the front row are meant to attack, while the back row supports them. Combat will hug your attention by having you monitor gauges, executing quick attacks when prompted, and ‘taking the bullet’ for teammates when the option becomes available. Even though the combat is turn-based, it gives off a slightly fast-paced feel when everything comes together with the stylish animated action scenes. The controls are easy to pick up and feels just right during battles.
The game has an acceptable amount of enemies. You won’t grow tired of seeing their faces or color rehashes. Bosses have also been thrown into the mix to make the gameplay even more challenging. Some are accessible earlier than they’re meant to engage in battle. The others make for an entertaining, prolonged battle, where you may feel you’re in control of the fight but can easily lose it if your gear isn’t in tip-top shape or common mistakes are made.
Atelier Escha & Logy DX takes a simple approach to synthesis. The user interface is user-friendly with all of the instructions laid out before you. Players can start the game with a carefree experience while learning more about the system and the advantages of it, while still having a good time. Minor knowledge will be required on how to farm for top-quality materials and to make better equipment late-game when more ferocious enemies disrupt your easy-going life.
Mass adding ingredients and making multiple items at a time would have been a time-saver, even though it’s not too inconvenient. There is a way to produce multiple of the same item, however, it’s limited to specific items. The way the system was designed makes it a paradise for experienced players to pass the properties from one item to the next, allowing them to make their perfect products.
A Dressing Room is available where you can change select playable characters’ costumes and accessories. The two protagonists have a decent variety of costumes, however, the same cannot be said about the other characters until near endgame. There is no shortage of accessories, which are available for everyone to use. Facial accessories, on the other hand, lacks in quantity.
A large number of options to choose from is available at the start of the game and it grows as you play more. Swapping through costumes and accessories is a smooth experience if you do not mind a simple button mash. A ‘new’ symbol would have been a much-needed improvement to differentiate the old content from the new, as more costumes and accessories are added.
Graphics and Soundtrack
The graphics are a shining improvement to the first game in the trilogy. Characters take on a glossy appearance with interchangeable uniforms to keep things fresh. The world doesn’t look bad and everything fits in well with each other. Motionless images from some of the cutscenes were draw well, and the background environment of the world has been sufficiently detailed.
It’s no surprise that Atelier Escha & Logy has an amazing soundtrack, just like Atelier Ayesha. Although not as impressive, it’s still fantastic nonetheless, and an ear-massaging experience to listen to. From the opening theme song to the world exploration music to the battle scenes, the composer surely outdid themself and made exactly what the audience wanted. Most of the music will play just at the right time, especially in cutscenes during dramatic moments.
If the current soundtrack wasn’t enough, you’ll be happy to know that music can be adjusted for different parts of the game. A large selection of music from other Atelier games can be listened to and swapped in specific parts of the world. Players have full control of the music they prefer to listen to while in the town, atelier, world map, battle, battle results screen, and boss battles. A rotation can even be set up so things never get old. It’s amazing to see stuff like this done in these games.
With multiple endings and a New Game+, the game does not end after finishing the first playthrough of it. The true ending can only be unlocked after playing as the opposite gender protagonist. Your friendship level with characters also influence the ending you will get and the additional content you gain access to. Raising the friendship levels of all characters will be a challenging task and not getting them high enough will cause you to miss out on events, forcing you to try again in New Game+.
A lot of optional bosses await the day you’re strong enough to challenge them. They aren’t associated with the main story of the game, but they will provide a challenge and force you to invest time in upgrading your gear to the best. From farming materials with viable properties to figure out the best way to make viable gear out of them. It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s actually fun once you’re determined enough.
Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky DX excels in combat and music, but takes a hit with some of its tedious assignments. It’s merciful with its countdown, giving players more time to relax while exploring areas and gathering materials. Its difficulty is balanced well for both casual and hardcore players. Some important character events can easily be missed and it may take a while to become entertaining, but there is still a lot of fun to be had with this game.
Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky DX gets an 8/10.