One of the many benefits of a new console generation is returning favorites a new chance to shine. Over the years, what exactly made up an Atelier experience has changed, something that really stands out in Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy. Continuing from the previous entry, Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy combines a number of delightful changes, the beloved crafting system, and some new faces.
Taking place three years after the events of Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout, we see an older Reisalin Stout, or Ryza for short, getting ready to explore a new city and meet with some old friends. This adventure starts off in the usual way, meet some friends, build on some future stories, such as the mysterious man in a hat who helps you at the start of your adventure and builds into a story of self-discovery and greater mystery.
Fans of the franchise should know what to expect but for any newcomers, it’s a sweet story that is filled with important life moments, quirky characters, and a few exciting twists. All of this happens between fighting monsters, gathering materials, and ultimately improving your craft. The biggest change in this adventure is further enhancing gameplay.
In addition to making a bit more of a robust world, the core gameplay mechanics are the same. Most of your time out in the world will be spent gathering resources to craft items for one reason or another. Enemies will appear on the field and can be engaged at either an advantage or disadvantage depending on how they’re approached. Once a fight starts, things start to shine a bit more.
While Atelier has never been the premier RPG combat experience, things feel a lot more dynamic in Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy. Since combat is turn-based, actions are dictated in a relatively set order but there are dynamic elements. For example, players can block and timing grants a bonus. Skills look a bit more elaborate and the overall experience is relatively more robust. Everything feels far more natural, with certain moves having a bit of flair to them, making the overall experience far more engaging. Unfortunately, the overall difficulty can be a bit front-heavy, meaning it gets easier over time, though it also acts as a way to push players to get into the larger crafting system.
Similar to the previous entry, a number of improvements when exploring the world are present. These include mounting creatures, climbing, swimming, and far more to bring the world to life. All of this is also important to collect important resources to craft a wide variety of items to aid your journey. As a result, a good part of the journey will be focused on grabbing plants, water, and other such items.
If there is really a downside to Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy, it’s that the experience is relatively familiar. There is nothing wrong with Atelier remaining true to the franchise, it’s just stuck in such a narrow category that those who love the franchise will keep loving it and despite being more accessible, it doesn’t break enough walls to stand out for newcomers.
On a high note, after some rather rough ports and iffy experiences, the PlayStation 5 version looks stunning and runs fairly well. This is a nice bonus, given it’s one of the nicer looking worlds, complete with lush color and pastel colors. It won’t blow anyone away, not quite yet, though it was something that stood out.
Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy Review – Verdict
Overall, Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy is what you’d expect from a sequel. It builds on the base, continues Ryza’s adventure, and holds true to what players love about the franchise. The performance boost found on the PlayStation 5 is welcome, as is the more dynamic gameplay, though it is still going to be an adventure that appeals to that specific demographic. If that is fine, odds are you’ll have a blast seeing what the future holds for Ryza, whereas everyone else might want to sit this one out.
[Editor’s Note: Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret FairyAtelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy 2 was reviewed on PlayStation 5 and provided to us for review purposes.]