|Pub: Tecmo Koei|
|Release: March 11, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Fantasy Violence, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol|
All of this takes place in a sunset-tinged world brought to life by Gust's talented artists. The game's character designs are beautifully elaborate, and the characters' faces are now animated during discussions. There's an appropriate hint of melancholy to the world design, along with some very menacing boss monsters to battle. The only real issue is that many monster models are recycled from Atelier Ayesha, and veterans of that game are sure to sigh when they learn that they will once again be slogging through slags for a good portion of the mid-game.
Gust continues to improve its sound design as well, and I was particularly fond of the soft jazz soundtrack that has replaced the usual overly bubbly in-town tracks. As always, it's possible to customize the background music, so most players should be able to find a workshop tune that they'll enjoy listening to while crafting. The voice acting, while not on par with the best casts out there, is largely (with the exception of one poor cowboy caricature) easy to listen to. For otaku purists, the Japanese voice track is also available.
With multiple endings depending on the player's actions throughout the game, Escha & Logy is meant to be replayable. It's somewhat unfortunate that the game is so similar whether you choose Escha or Logy as your character, but even a single play through offers a lot of value to gamers. It's one of those “one more turn” games in which you find yourself compelled to move from activity to activity, always looking towards meeting the next goal as hours of gaming drift pleasantly by. Whether you're exploring new territory, working to revitalize the land, chasing dangerous foes, becoming closer with the many loveable characters, or grinning because you found a new way to manipulate the alchemy system, you'll find this is a game that's easy to love and difficult to put down.
There are so many gamers out there who would love the Atelier games, but simply don't know about them. People who like the gathering and crafting in Minecraft, the planning involved in games like FarmVille, the turn-manipulation combat in Bravely Default... all of them would do well to check out Atelier Escha & Logy. Give it a try and spread the word if you like it, because this is an excellent title that deserves far more exposure than it has received.
Date: March 14, 2014