When Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea released in 2015 it was one of the best games in the Atelier series. It’s been over a year and we finally have a Playstation Vita version of this adventure.
The final game in the Dusk Series is here and it is a well-made one. In Atelier Shallie Plus the world of Dusk has dried up and there is a water crisis. You get the choice to play the story from two perspectives, Shallistera and Shallotte aka the two “Shallies.” Shallistera is a princess and a descendent of the chief from her tribe. She goes off trying to find help for her tribe (They are almost out of water.), but in order to do so she must help a town, Stellard, that her crew and she stumble upon. Out of the two Shallies, she is more humble and warm-hearted.
Shallotte is a poor street sweeper and young alchemist. She basically cleans up trash off of the streets. Shallotte wants to become a better alchemist. She also does not have the same luxuries as Shallistera and does everything she can to help out her mom. Eventually in the story, you will get to have both Shallies in your quest party.
Once again the day-time system is gone and I love it. You now have more freedom and less stress in your life. You no longer have to worry about how many items you pick up when adventuring or fight so many enemies. I also appreciate that you don’t have to worry about getting a bad ending because of having to worry about how much time you spent doing everything. So instead of having the time system, we now have a goals setup where you have a very easy to use and simple system. You have main, mind, person, body, and skill goals. The main goals are the only ones that you must complete and the rest will go towards specific areas of your stats.
The alchemy system is easy and fun. You can create anything from armor to ice bombs. The possibilities are almost limitless. The synthesis process in this game is perfect and it should not be changed (Even though they made it more complicated in Atelier Sophie 😦 ).
There are three difficulties in this game: Story-Watcher, Game Fan, and Hardcore. So in Atelier Shallie Plus, you can change the difficulty at any time. Hardcore difficulty will give you an experience booster, increase enemy health, more money and rare combat loot can be obtained. It’s for the more experienced JRPG fans. Another nice feature is that you can change the voices from English to Japanese. The towns also have lots of people to talk to and are very desert-like. You will also see characters from past Dusk games like Escha.
The battle system is turn-based and just as easy as Escha & Logy. You can have up to six characters at a time in battle, 3 in the front and 3 in the back. You will have attack, skill attack, item, defend, and run. The only ones that can have items are alchemists which is the only problem that I had with the combat. Essentially, this makes it hard to heal some of the characters when these are the only ones who can heal. Burst is something that was added to the game where you can do about twice as much damage once you raise the meter far enough. Attack assist is also something that makes a return in this game.
Graphics in the Plus version of Atelier Shallie are worse than on the PS3 version. I had issues with it on that version too, but there is screen tearing, dropped frame-rates and a worse overall quality on the Playstation Vita version of the game. At least we know they worked on it for the next game in the series, Atelier Firis because that game looks pretty good compared to the previous games in the series. In Atelier Shallie, everything could be improved and in the Plus version it looks downgraded.
Overall, Atelier Shallie Plus is a downgraded version of the Playstation 3 version that comes with all the dlc and no cross-save system. There is a cross-save system for Atelier Sophie which is the most disappointing game in the series, but not in this game. It’d be nice to take your progress from the PS3 over to this version and vice-versa. The gameplay and alchemy are fantastic, but the graphics are decreased tremendously compared to the Playstation 3 version.
8/10 – Same great gameplay and alchemy, but has a worse graphical fidelity. Koei Tecmo compensates a little bit by giving you all the dlc content right off the bat.
Original Atelier Shallie PS3 Review: