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Game Info:

Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky DX
Developed By: Gust/Koei Tecmo Games
Published By: Koei Tecmo Games
Release Date: January 14, 2020 (original PS3 released on June 27, 2013)
Available On: Windows, PS4, Switch (PS3 as Atelier Escha and Logy, and PS Vita as Atelier Escha & Logy Plus)
Genre: Role Playing Game
Number of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol
MSRP: $39.99 (or $89.99 for the trilogy)
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you Koei Tecmo for sending us this game to review!

It is the first day of work for the government's Colsiet R&D branch newest alchemists Escha Malier and Logix Fiscario. Escha Malier was born and raised in this town, she learned alchemy from her mother who passed away when she was young, and now desires to use that knowledge to help others. Logix Fiscario (Logy) has only recently arrived from Central City to get a fresh start somewhere new. Their goal is whatever tasks Marion (their boss) can find for them to do; whether it is trying to fix the town's windmill, to purifying the drinking water of a neighboring city, nothing seems to be beyond the scope of what these two are expected to do.

The town of Colsiet's main source of revenue is their apple orchard, which they have been tending for over a century. Central City founded their branch of R&D in Colsiet in order to study Colsiet's main attraction, the Unexplored Ruins. These ruins have been floating out near the city for as far as anyone can remember; but so far, no one has been able to get to them due to the wind storms surrounding the structure. It has always been Escha's dream to one day reach the ruins and explore them.

In the beginning you are required to choose either Escha or Logy as your main character. Choosing one or the other does not change the main story; however, the main difference between them is some of the character interactions and the endings. There the two new alchemists prepare for their tasks and do all their synthesizing. Once you choose, the story for Atelier Escha & Logy takes place in Colsiet, mostly in the R&D Development office. It is here that Marion gives them a specific task that they both must complete together and once they complete that task, there are 24 more tasks that they are asked to complete in a 4 month period. Each 4 month period the R&D Department is graded on how well the tasks are performed, which as the story continues raises its grade and gives them access to bonuses that can be used throughout the game. If the character is able to finish all their tasks in the 4 months, whatever free time they have left they can do whatever you want; from synthesizing to completing requests to exploring.

Both Escha and Logy, being alchemists, can synthesize; however, they each synthesize different things. Escha focuses more on Adventure Equipment: bombs, healing items, search items, accessories and some extra storyline things. While Logy focuses on Battle Equipment: weapons and armor. It does not matter which character you choose to play, you will be able to use both to synthesize their specific items. The battle equipment that Logy makes and the accessories that Escha makes are equipable in the normal way, the adventure equipment must also be equipped on a special grid that both alchemists have. Both have their own grid so you must decide which adventure items each of them will take along while adventuring. The one thing to be wary of is that the grids only have a limited amount of space so not everything Escha makes can be taken with them.

Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky DX
Highlights:

Strong Points: Great story; good music; good voice acting; fun experimentations
Weak Points: Keyboard/mouse controls; multiple play-throughs to get all endings
Moral Warnings: Fantasy violence against mystical creatures; use of alcohol; some crude language and some cleavage; a character is a witch

Within the R&D building is the Administration office; in that office Escha and Logy can interact with the person in charge of requests. That man's name is Solle; his hobby is making candy. Solle offers a mixture of different requests: synthesizing requests, item gathering requests and monster hunting requests. The requests change every 10 days, so if there is a specific quest you want to complete but might take over the 10 day period, you will need to "Undertake it" basically telling Solle you will work on it. Whenever you finish a request, Solle will provide candy and also the R&D rank will slightly improve. The candy can then either be used as ingredients for synthesizing or it can be used to trade to the Hummuculi in exchange for duplicating adventure equipment or ingredients.

While out on their assignments, Escha and Logy often have to partake in battles. Battles are the only way to level up any of the characters, so it is highly recommended that you do not try to avoid them as there will be some that you will have that option. Also, there are some ingredients that can be only found by defeating certain monsters. Battles are turned based like most JRPGs and the order is determined by each character's spot on a grid at the top of the screen. There can be up to six characters that take place in a battle; three in the front row and three in the back. You can chose the order through the Formation section of the menu screen, the only caviat is that whichever character was chosen at the beginning must always start the battle in the front row. The characters in the front are the main attackers and the back row characters are support. Characters can be swapped out a few ways, by using a specific command or if one of the front row characters is knocked out, a back row character will be automatically swapped in. Back row characters can be used in follow-up attacks or to help defend a front row character. Each character in the front row has special abilities that can be used in battle, and eventually as the battle continues they will get a special attack that can do massive damage to enemies. Most battles are not too difficult, but some of the bosses do require some preparation.

As mentioned earlier, there are more playable characters in Atelier Escha & Logy. Each of them have their own events the higher that their friendship gets with the character of choice. All events start in Colsiet and most end there, but some of the characters ask Escha & Logy to go into a certain area of the map. A few of the characters have them fight an optional boss, but some just have the characters go to a different location to trigger an event. To get certain endings, Escha & Logy must complete events for specific characters. It is not too difficult to get all the events for the characters, but sometimes it does require the use of a walkthrough.

Atelier Escha & Logy takes places in the same universe as Atelier Ayesha, about 4 years after the end of that game. While it is not necessary to have played Atelier Ayesha first, I would highly recommend playing it before, if not soon afterwards as there are points in Atelier Escha & Logy that the characters mention events from Atelier Ayesha. That being said, I think that Atelier Escha & Logy is a far more enjoyable game. Character-wise they are about equal, though there are far more usable characters in Escha & Logy. Gameplay-wise is where it really shines through though, everything from combat to synthesizing has more depth. You even have easier access to playable characters than Ayesha had.

As for the game itself, I think it is an extremely enjoyable experience that anyone who has played the other Atelier games would enjoy. If this is your first dive into the Atelier world for any reason it might be a bit overwhelming at first with the amount of stuff you have to balance at first, but the game does very well with its tutorials. Even the first year's tasks leave you plenty of time to finish and do other things that you may enjoy such as level grinding or synthesizing. Tasks do start taking a bit more time to complete later in the game, but even then if you devote your time to finishing them you will still have over a month of time to do other things not related to the main story. So all in all, I do not feel that even with the time limits that anyone would be rushed for time.

Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky DX
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 90%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 10/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 75%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 8/10
Sexual Content - 8.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 5.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8.5/10

 

The soundtrack for the game was exceptional, I especially enjoy the opening. The voice acting is great, I think they do a great job capturing the feeling of the moment. Control wise, the keyboards controls are typical for this kind of port, but I would highly recommend using a controller with it. The resolutions did not seem to change much on my system and the graphics were not exactly top of the line. Atelier Escha & Logy is an older game that was ported from a hand-held so I don't think it detracts from the game at all.

Now to talk about Morality. The female characters all are very modestly dressed; most are fully clothed, but some of them did have some exposed skin around the upper thighs or midriff like they do in a lot of anime-style type games. There are not to many cleavage shots other than some of the art that the game gives after a certain event occurs. Overall the dress code was very mild. There is definitely fantasy violence throughout the game as the characters are forced to fight monsters. The only monster that looked even remotely realistic though is the wolf. The main types of attacks are physical from a varying array of weapons. The main characters also use bombs within combat.

There is a witch in the game, that uses magic in battle and can also summon spirits to assist. The witch talks about magic during all of her events, though it is never shown on screen. Most over-age characters consume alcohol throughout the events of the game, and some even get drunk. No under-age drinking was involved at all and I cannot remember any instance of a character smoking.

I didn't catch any swearing going on, but I may have missed it as this is my first attempt at a write up like this. There are definitely some almost vulgar things talked about, like the owner of the bar in town is trying to attract women because he thinks his bar has become a sausage-fest. Also during a conversation between NPCs, a shorter female character asks a taller female character what she should do to become bigger. Of course there is the standard misunderstanding and the taller of the two thinks she is talking about bust sizes. The smaller shorter of the two eventually runs off and the taller one gets admonished for talking like that, but throughout the conversation the view did focus on the women's chests.

Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky DX so far has blown all the other Atelier games I have played out of the water. Both Escha and Logy are interesting characters, neither are portrayed as being dense (different than many other protagonists in this series). Escha might seem a bit naive but only because she has lived in that town her whole life and never really traveled. The game itself isn't too long, I beat it in a little over 50 hours.

As always, consider any appropriateness issues before making a choice as to play this game or not, but if the things mentioned do not bother you, then I think this would definitely be a good choice for any RPG fan who isn't looking for the normal trope of trying to save the entire world.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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