Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg Review (PS5) – The Atelier franchise has managed to carve out a nice piece of the RPG pie amongst the juggernauts of Final Fantasy and Persona. The Atelier franchise has had many titles with a vast array of characters but fans in the West never got to experience where the franchise began until now.
Atelier Marie was the first Atelier title, and fans of the franchise will finally get to experience the game that brought the franchise to life. The Marie Remake updates almost everything about the game to provide quality-of-life changes. And updates to bring it up to modern standards.
Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg Review (PS5) – A Charming Remake Of The Atelier Franchise’s Origins
A Simple Story That Constant Nipping At Your Heels
The game’s story is simple. Marie is the worst alchemist in her university, and her instructor has given her a task. Create a unique, high-quality item through Alchemy, and Marie will graduate with a passing grade. Marie will have four years to create this item, using all her skills and knowledge to survive the next four years and craft a unique item.
Marie has access to various crafting tools she must acquire from her university for coins. Each tool allows her to craft newer and better items and build up her skills to begin crafting the more advanced items.
Currency is hard to come by, and though you start with a set amount of currency, you must take on requests from townsfolk to acquire more currency to buy better crafting tools and manuals that unlock more recipes.
Create The Best Alchemic Items That You Can
Alchemy isn’t as complicated or advanced as it is in newer Atelier games. This time, you place the materials you need to make an item based on your recipe and produce the item. There is no experimenting with items this time, as you must have a recipe to create a specific item. Materials are found across various locations that Marie can visit.
One thing to note about Atelier Marie is that the game is on a timer. After four years of in-game time, your story ends, and the game is over whether or not you have produced a rare item. The remake provides a no-time limit mode so you can play without the four-year restriction, but the timer is still there. Even playing in this mode, you are constantly hounded by time.
Whenever you move to a new location, time passes with days. The closest location you can visit from the main town takes about three days to reach. Worse, every time you enter combat or collect material, it costs you a day. When you pick up a request in town, you’ll have a set number of days to complete to request.
Time Is Your Enemy And Is Constantly Haggling You
This is where the game starts to give you anxiety. At least, it did for me. You can pick up a request that has a thirty-day limit on it. It takes about eight days to get to where specific materials are located to craft the item the giver requests.
You collect about six of those materials, which costs another six days. Then it takes another eight days to return to town and begin crafting the requested item, which also takes several days.
It may seem like thirty days are plenty of time, but in reality, you’ll only finish the quest if you’re lucky, with only two or three days remaining, depending on how good your alchemy skills are. The better they are, the faster you can craft items. You won’t make the deadline without leveling up your alchemy skills.
Simple Combat Is Fun And Rewarding In Its Own Way
When it comes to combat, you can’t do it alone. You can hire people throughout the town to help you in the field. Of course, this costs you the currency you must pay up after their services are no longer required. Combat can get quite difficult if you don’t have a strong party, and leveling Marie is as essential as leveling the people you pay to join you.
The stronger they are, the more money it will cost you, but the payoff is that they can take down foes in a single strike. Combat is simple with basic skill attacks, basic attacks, using items, and defending. It’s not anything special and is pretty easy to learn.
Every time you enter combat, it takes a day from the schedule, which means it’s another thing to pay attention to while collecting crafting materials.
Although competing requests is your primary way of making money, there are times that the down has various events going on that you can participate in. There isn’t a quest marker that appears; instead, it’s in your journal that tells you what day a specific event occurs. You must ensure you’re at the location on the correct date and time.
Participating in these events can net you rare recipes and an abundance of experience points for Marie.
A Visually Charming Experience
Visualy Atelier Marie is adorable. The chibi character models are cute enough for you to grab and squish. The environments are also vibrant and colorful. The visual design is easily one of the strongest aspects of this remake.
The game’s soundtrack is remastered from the original, but that doesn’t help us here in the West since we never got to experience it in the first place. If you’ve played any of the Atelier games in the past, you’ll know what to expect here.
It’s again a shame that there aren’t any English voiceovers, especially since the Atelier developers said they might start dubbing the games if fans request it. I feel like a remake of the first title would have been the perfect time to do so.
Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg is a charming remake that advertises a calm and relaxing experience but provides the opposite with all the timed quests forcing a lot of stress and planning into completing the simplest tasks.
Atelier Marie isn’t the best in the franchise, but it’s an excellent remake for fans to check out where it began.
Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg releases on July 13th for PS5 and PS4.
Review code kindly provided by PR