Nelke & the Legendary Alchemist ~ Ateliers of the New World – Review
Follow Genre: Management, RPG
Developer: Gust
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Platforms: PS4, Switch, PC
Tested on: Switch

Nelke & the Legendary Alchemist ~ Ateliers of the New World – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: New type of gameplay, meeting all the Alchemists
Bad: Empty environments, 2D graphics
User Score
9.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)

The Atelier games are mostly known for their alchemy part, where you need to gather materials and synthesize several times to progress the game. With Nelke & the Legendary Alchemist – Ateliers of the New World, things are slightly different. Gust wanted to give their fans something special for the 20th anniversary, so they created a management x RPG game, all in the familiar style the Atelier franchise is known for. Instead of getting the cauldron out, it’s time to brush off those management skills.

Story

We follow the story of the young noblewoman Nelke and her trusty maid Misty as they depart on their new adventure. Nelke traveled to the town of Westwald where she is looking for something special. In this world, there are legends about the Granzweit Sage. He used his mysterious powers, later to be known as Alchemy, to help people. Even more, there are tales that he created Sage Relics which are spread all over. Our noblewoman wants to find one of these in the small town she is now the official administrator of. Her father is the lord of this area but this doesn’t mean he approves of her decision. He wants her to fulfill tasks and if she fails, she has to return to the city. It’s the job of Nelke to make the town flourish while attracting Alchemists to help her with the relics, all while keeping her father at bay.

Even though the gameplay is different than the rest of the Atelier games, the story elements feel really familiar as it’s all related to alchemy. If you’ve played the previous games, you’ll certainly recognize a lot of familiar faces while venturing the town of Westwald and the areas surrounding it.

Graphics

Colorful and exquisite garments will certainly be what pops into mind when you think about the Atelier series. The alchemists mostly stand out compared to other characters and it’s not different now. The characters stand out against the environment and each-other with their splendid costumes. Truth be told, the surroundings do feel a bit lacking in this title, as it all looks rather generic and basic. Normally certain areas stand out, especially as you can walk around in them, but this title doesn’t provide this kind of functionality. Investigating and gathering materials is all done in a structured manner so you’re not able to roam areas freely. It’s also a shame that the conversations are done in static 2D again even though the rest is in 3D, which feels a step backwards these days.

Sound

Having a game filled with girls means fitting high-pitched voices and you won’t be disappointed. There are several voiced parts in the game and these are rather enjoyable thanks to the voice acting. Of course, the music and ambience play a big part in here too. You can expect different music for when you’re in the management part or when you’re out investigating a nearby forest. Smashing enemies and other actions are guided by a fitting tune, helping the immersion into the game a lot.

Gameplay

Nelke & the Legendary Alchemist – Ateliers of the New World is a management game with RPG elements. There is still alchemy involved but it’s not necessarily you that will be performing it. Your function requires you to think of other matters, like expanding and managing a flourishing town while also trying to find more information about the Sage Relics.

The game can be divided into two parts: weekdays and holidays. During the first, you can do several things like building new houses or checking for requests to improve your village. For this, you need to keep in mind to put the building at a road and so on. Even more, you can ask the alchemists in your town to make certain items, if they have the right materials of course, and you can check with the shops and change the wares they’re selling. Also, you can keep an eye on the tasks you need to perform for your father as well. With management comes that you can order people around too. You can change the working area of the inhabitants or send some of your friends on missions to salvage goods. After each set of weekdays, you get a report that shows you how the population and earnings grew or decreased. It also shows what you need to maintain a good flow of in your town, like more materials or employees.

During holidays on the other hand, you get a different set of activities you can do. There is a time limit as a holiday is rather short, so these events will cost you. First of all you can visit inhabitants, increasing the friendship with them. This will give you certain perks and opportunities, so it’s a good idea to invest time here. You can also research or investigate the places for salvaging yourself to find items. This will take up all your remaining time, so do this after you’ve done everything else. You can also just end the holiday without leaving your house.

Going on an investigation means you need a party, as these roads and areas are infested with monsters. You start at the beginning of the area and you just follow the path automatically. Walking will give you the chance to find items, running means you won’t find anything but there is something waiting at the end of each location. Battling can be done (semi-)automatically and manual. The alchemists act as support while the others are vanguard. You can attack or use skills, depending on the setting you use. There can be up to five people in a team and depending on the bar on the top, some will attack faster than others as it moves over time. Just like in the other Atelier games, there is an extra bar that fills up over time, called Burst in this title. When it’s completely full, you can activate this to increase the attack power of your party, which can top the scales in your favor. Defeating enemies gives you some nice perks like some more materials for example.

And that’s all that there is to it, next to the storyline that is. The gameplay is totally different than you might be used to and although it’s a nice change of pace, it also feels a bit lacking sometimes as you can’t really run around yourself.

Conclusion

Nelke & the Legendary Alchemist – Ateliers of the New World will take you on a whole different path than the other Atelier games. Be ready to manage a town and make it flourish together with your alchemists at your own town .. or the one of your dad that is. The graphics and sound are fitting for this franchise although the change of gameplay makes it feels like an older game with the 2D conversations and empty environments. Altering between managing and salvaging, you’ll be focusing mainly on that instead of swirling inside that cauldron.

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Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Nelke & the Legendary Alchemist ~ Ateliers of the New World - Review, 9.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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Chun-Li


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