Atelier Lydie and Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings – Review
Follow Genre: RPG
Developer: Koei, Gust
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Platforms; PC, PS Vita, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Tested on: Nintendo Switch

Atelier Lydie and Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Good story, cheerful graphics and fitting sound
Bad: Weaponry isn't upgraded quite fast
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

If you’re into RPGs, you’ll surely have heard of or even played the Atelier games. The set-up is simple, you always follow the journey of one or more alchemists and the struggles they encounter, while conjuring items and fighting their way through hordes of monsters. This time, it isn’t any different although you’re now dealing with twins. In Atelier Lydie and Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings, the cheeky twins are here to take you on an artistical adventure, so buckle up.

ATELIER LYDIE AND SUELLE

Story

In a world where there are a lot of alchemists, it is hard to stand out. The twins Lydie and Suelle try their best to create several items so they can complete the orders their lazy-ass father accepts but never finishes. His artistic ideas are stronger, leaving everything to his daughters. They’re getting fed up with this situation and would love to finally fulfill their promise to their mother: be the best alchemists of the country. It seems fate smiles down on them, as the King has decided to set up an Alchemist Ranking System. This means that Lydie and Suelle can finally climb that ladder, although they still need to get better. They’re able to find a teacher, the talented Ilmeria (who already debuted in Atelier Firis), giving them hope to beat their rival Lucia. There are a lot of other known figures that join the scene, like Sophie and Plachta and even Firis and Laine. Together with the charming Mathias and a bunch of other people, they’re ready to take on anything.

Things gets even more magical rather soon. It seems that mysterious paintings are popping up, which hold many secrets. This surely is a gift from the heavens as a lot of special items can be obtained there. The question remains if they’ll be able to become the most successful alchemists the world has ever seen, even with all the support they’re getting.

Atelier Lydie and Suelle The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings (5)

The combination of all these story-related elements make the game rather enjoyable to play. You will see a lot of familiar faces, which is always a pleasant surprise. The twin sisters themselves are rather cheeky and the conversations will certainly make you smile, while you see glances of their past in certain cutscenes now and then. This Atelier game has just the right balance to give you that gentle nudge by teasing you with some new details regularly.

Graphics

This game is released on the latest consoles, but we were able to test it on the Nintendo Switch. When playing on the television, the quality of the visuals is decent but this deteriorates quite a bit when going mobile. At any rate, the style of the graphics is recognisable from the previous titles, so be ready to dive into a colorful world with cute and flashy designs. Some enemies will return to the scene, like the cute Puni. The environments are nicely done and will suck you right in, although some areas might feel a bit empty. Now and then there are small cutscenes that will definitely make you giggle, as the pretty colors and facial expressions makes it really relaxing to watch. Everything combined, you’ll be journeying in a fun and intense world.

Atelier Lydie and Suelle The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings (3)

Sound

In a world with special abilities like alchemy, some sound effects surely are a necessity and the game doesn’t disappoint you. A lot of the actions, like hitting rocks, are guided by some effects while the battles are fully sound-infested too. The tracks that blast through your speakers are topnotch and will help you with the immersion in the game. Certain locations have specific tunes, while the battle music is cute but deadly. Of course, voice acting can make or break a game and thank goodness the developers have invested in finding the right people. All the conversations are fully voiced, making it really fun to listen to.

Gameplay

Atelier Lydie and Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings is an RPG where you can follow the story of twin alchemists and all of the obstacles they have to overcome. In this title, you will have to complete several tasks to make progress or you could also invest time in side-quests to obtain money or other goodies. The choice is up to you, you only have to keep in mind that performing any kind of action (travelling, alchemy or even going around town) will have an influence on time. Some tasks have a time-limit, so you have to have your priorities straight.

The ambitions log is probably your most important item of the game. Here, all of the tasks to increase your rank and become the best alchemists of the country are located, so when you unlock this book, be sure to check it often. Other quests, both main and side quests, are located in the ‘to do list’. This asset is a nice guidance when you’re stuck during your story and you can get valuable information here what is specifically asked.

Atelier Lydie and Suelle The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings (6)

Alchemy hasn’t changed in comparison with the previous games. To start the process, you need to select a recipe of a certain item, with the right amount of materials of course. The next step is to select which ingredients you’re going to use, as there could be multiple items that are suitable. Each ingredient has its specific stats and color scheme. The end product could need mostly green and yellow tones, it’s in your best interest to find items that match this color. Also, there are certain patterns per material type, some will fill one or more squares with that specific color. There is also the quality level and the effect the ingredient will transfer to the end product, all factors you need to keep in mind. When the selecting progress is over, you can start the mix’n’matching. You need to fill the field with the squares of the several items you’ve selected. It’s better to fill as much as you can, especially the colored tiles, as it can increase the effect of the end product. Happy with your choices? The magic can actually begin then. Time will pass by and in the end, you’ll have your conjured item ready.

Sometimes you might want to spice things up and choose a catalyst to change the field. This can increase the size, add more colored tiles or even a new variety of effects you can obtain. Combine this feature with the new ‘Enhancing agents’, which can change the colors on the field for example and you can experiment to your heart’s desire. Both of these processes can result in some interesting items, so be sure to check if you can use this system to obtain something special.

Atelier Lydie and Suelle The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings (2)

Things would be nice if you could buy all your supplies at the local store, but you will have to go on several trips to the nearby locations or dive into the mysterious paintings. Here, items are just on the ground or you can fish, catch bugs or break some rocks to get some special materials. You’ll need specific items to perform certain actions, which must be equipped beforehand. Of course, these areas are infested with monsters so you will need to have your weapons ready and items on hold.

You can initiate battle yourself by hitting enemies before they can get to you, leading to a turn-based battle. You can choose between a normal attack and skills, which cost MP. Depending on the type of attack you perform, you’re put lower on the timeline. Some attacks can influence the attack rate of the enemies, so use these wisely. Also, abilities can hit multiple enemies at once, sometimes in a column or a row. It is easy to fall back into the idea that you can solve everything by attacking, but as alchemists, you will also have to rely on items. These are mostly made by you beforehand but have to be equipped in the Battle Equip. Some of these deadly weapons are only usable by specific party members, so keep this in mind when planning your next moves. When you’re victorious, you gain some experience and if you’re lucky, some nice loot. You can always leave the area, which is useful when your basket is completely full or if you’re almost out of HP.

Atelier Lydie and Suelle The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings (4)

New in this game is the collaboration battling. Up to six members can engage in a fight and the vanguard is in charge, while the supporting ally in the back can help with certain attacks. Alchemists surely are a nice asset to have during battle, as you can now also use battle mix (when unlocked). This means that helpful items can be conjured right on the battlefield, but you need the right amount of materials of course. It might be an idea to stick to making items beforehand too, just to be sure.

If you want to get an advantage during battle, be sure to go to the smithy. You can buy items or you can choose to craft weaponry and armor or customize the goods you’re currently working with. Before you’re able to do so, you’re in need of some gal and suitable materials to fuse. Truth be told, in this title it takes a long time before you’re able to get a new tier of weaponry to buy or the upgrades from customizing are so small it barely doesn’t have any effect. In the end, you’ll be facing some heavier enemies with not that much firepower, which shows that you also have to invest in making battle items.

Atelier Lydie and Suelle The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings (7)

Next to harvesting materials, slaying enemies and gaining ranks, you can also change the appearance of the lovely twin sisters. At the beginning of the game, there is one other set for each of them. Even more, as there are two protagonists to choose from, you can also switch the character you’re playing with. You fancy Lydie more than Suelle? Sure, just switch that character! Although, some recipes are only producible by one of the two sisters, so you will have to get back to Suelle anyway.

Conclusion

If you liked the previous Atelier games, then this one is surely one up your alley. The story is something different compared to the previous titles but it will surely feel like coming home. This can also be said about the graphics, as everything has that splendid bright color and cute look, while the music and effects help to get immersed into the world. There are some new elements gameplay-wise which gives everything a new gloss. Of course, if you’re new to the game, don’t be scared to dive in. The game provides more than enough tutorials to bring you up to speed, so get that cooking pot ready and let’s conjure some new items.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Atelier Lydie and Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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