Review: Atelier Escha and Logy Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky

Release Date
PlayStation Vita
Publisher / Developer
Koei Tecmo / Gust Co. Ltd.

Atelier Escha and Logy Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, originally released on the PlayStation 3, now makes its way onto the PlayStation Vita featuring new story chapters, new characters, new costumes and even more powerful enemies!? How does it compare to its home console counterpart and what do the new features add to an already great game.

Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky is the second instalment of the “Dusk Trilogy” and follows Escha Malier and Logix Fiscario as new recruits to the Colseit R&D division. Colseit is a small town, built near the floating unexplored ruins, in the hope that they could one day explore the ruins to which they have been unsuccessful. Escha’s family owns an Apple Orchard where she used to work until she decided to help the town due to her abilities in alchemy. Joining Escha is Logix, or Logy, from Central City who’s been trained in the latest alchemy techniques. The two have joined the R&D division due to a lack of manpower.

When starting the game you have the option to choose between Escha and Logy as your protagonist. The game features the same story whomever you choose but who you do choose will yield different perspectives on the game’s events, as well as personal events unique to that character.

The game focuses on assignments with each one taking four months within the game calendar. Each action will have an effect on the time that passes so it’s recommended to get the main assignment completed quickly saving minor tasks until after. As you progress through these assignments you will unlock events with other characters and it is these events that give you a great depth of story. The main story itself is rather weak but through the numerous cut-scenes with the townspeople, you’ll find a charming and engaging story. Unlike other games, you’ll never find these interactions overly tedious as they strike a harmonious blend with the game’s deep exploration and alchemy.

The game features an overwhelming depth in its alchemy and synthesizing, thankfully this is introduced in manageable bite-sized chunks plus you always have your journal to go back over anything you don’t understand. This is where the game really shines; everything you need can be synthesized; items, equipment, etc. Shops only stock items that you have previously synthesized so it’s totally down to you what you can create and with so many options available to you it’s easily the place you’ll sink most of your hours, it’s that addictive!

Combat at first glance seems like your standard JRPG but they’re a few differences that make it just that little bit more unique. You have three party members in the front row and three in the back row. Only the characters in the front row are capable of attack while those in the back can be used for support and defence when necessary. Characters can be swapped between rows, allowing for more diverse strategy especially against tougher enemies.

Atelier Escha and Logy Plus boasts a selection of extra content that the PlayStation 3 version did not, including new story chapters that focus on the relationship between Escha and Logy. Depending on your choices during the game it will affect how the new chapters play out. The game also adds some new playable characters such as Nio Altugle and Wilbell voll Erslied from Atelier Ayesha, the first game in the “Dusk Trilogy”. If you have save data from previous games in the series such as Atelier Totori Plus, Atelier Meruru Plus, and Atelier Rorona Plus, and even from the Deception series, then you can unlock some accessories related to each of the games.

Visually the game looks fantastic, there are a few issues with anti-aliasing but these are very minimal and do not impact on enjoyment of the game. Overall the port has translated well to the Vita, looking almost identical to its home console counterpart. It’s great to see games such as this making their way to the Vita and it’s a brilliant way to experience them too. I was immediately blown away upon starting up the game by the awesome opening video, I very quickly felt drawn into the game and knew that I’d be sinking a lot of hours into it.

Being able to choose between English and Japanese language audio from the start is a massive bonus in my eyes; too few games offer this option which is a real shame. Whichever audio track you decide to go with you’ll be in good hands as they are both enjoyable and the casts for each do a great service to the game. The music for Atelier Escha and Logy Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky is in a league of its own. It’s apparent from the outset that this game features one of the best soundtracks to any game and certainly the best one I’ve heard in some years. I’m not usually a fan of OSTs enough to go out and buy one, but for this game, I would in a heartbeat!

Atelier Escha and Logy Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky is an addictive and charming addition to the PlayStation Vita’s growing JRPG library. If you’re not hooked by the vast depth of the alchemy within the game then the soundtrack will definitely have you coming back for more. With one of the best soundtracks in recent years and the option of English or Japanese audio there’s something for everyone in this game and boy does it really grab you. If you haven’t played an Atelier game before then you owe it to yourself to try this one!