I finally had a chance to play the English copy of Atelier Annie: Alchemist of Sera Island for the Nintendo DS. So far, I’m pretty impressed with what this game has to offer.
For anyone who’s familiar with the Atelier series on PS2 will feel right at home with Atelier Annie. Alchemy is the key to mastering this game and you’ll spend a lot of time gathering ingredients for different alchemic experiments.
As far the story goes, you play as Annie, a lazy young girl that was sent to the Sera Island by her grandfather’s will to help the remote island turn itself around and become beautiful resort for people to practice using Alchemy.
Annie will face many challenges on her quest to bring Sera Island back to glory! Don’t expect deep story in this title, the Atelier series has always been a bit simplistic when it comes to storylines. The meat of the game is the alchemy system.
One of the few things that has been revamped is the battle system. Up to three characters can be used in battle. When in a battle, there are 6 squares that you must place your characters on based on their strengths and weaknesses.
I stated in an earlier post that Atelier Annie won’t be getting English voice over’s. I must admit that it is a pleasure to hear the original voices. The ability to skip though the conversations is also available by simply holding the Y button. Just like the other games, this game has its fair share of humor and isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself, so expect a good amount of jokes.
The locations are also a bit different than what we’ve become accustomed to in this series. Instead of having big towns that you can search and explore, you will have to choose where to travel in a drop down list, similar to the town exploration in Ar Tonelico. Options from going to your Workshop, Item Shop, or just outside the island, will have to be chosen in the menu. However, once you pick your destination, you will be given full control of your character and able to explore them. Dungeons and places to gather ingredients are not that small and may require a good bit of exploration.
Since I’ve only spent a few hours with this game, I can’t make a final judgment. I can say with confidence that fans of the Atelier series will appreciate this game and enjoy it just as much as the others. The humorous conversation and in depth item creation system are still in tact and will stand out the most.
Look for our full review of this game in the coming weeks