REVIEW: ‘Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe Pack’ is a Perfect Bundle for Fans (PS4)

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Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe Pack

KOEI TECMO and developer GUST Studios has released Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe Pack. The popular trilogy bundles together Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk DX, Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky DX, and Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea DX, as a special deluxe pack containing all three games for a discounted price available on the Nintendo Switch, the PlayStation4, and Steam. The trilogy of alchemy focused titles from the fan-favorite Atelier series, is attributed to its steadily deteriorating Dusk world and the enchanting characters that live there.

First off, if you plan to purchase the deluxe bundle digitally, be prepared to have space on your Nintendo Switch, and be patient for it to download. When you buy the Deluxe Pack bundle, the games are not packaged together as one game file. Instead, you get three separate game files that will take between at least two to three hours for everything to download. I chose to play this bundle on my Nintendo Switch, which in my opinion, made it easier for me to make room for all of the files. However, once the files are downloaded, then your adventure can begin. Since I was new to this series, I chose to play the games in the order of their original release.

Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk DX is the first title in the Dusk series. It takes place in the ruined continent that was once enjoyed the height of prosperity through alchemy. You play as a young girl, Ayesha, a herbalist who embarks on an adventure to learn the secrets of alchemy and goes on a journey to find her missing sister, Nio and unlock the secrets of alchemy and the bright flowers. An interesting feature in Atelier Ayesha was the “wave memories system” that allows players to keep track of Ayesha’s adventures.  When players perform in-game actions, such as completing tasks, requests, synthesis, and or speaking to people, they can be granted memory points to fill Ayesha’s diary.  At first, you have to get diary entries to complete the story events, but as you continue to progress through the game, they will get entered into the diary for an additional bonus. The bonuses help to increase Ayesha’s stats, but some also include experience points for characters when they aren’t in battle, alchemy recipes, or items from syntheses.

Next up was Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky DX, the successor to Ayesha. It builds upon the mythology that was introduced in Atelier Ayesha and introduced two new protagonists that you can choose to play as, Escha and Logy. Depending on which character you want to play as you will have different perspectives on events in the game. Regardless of who you play as the main story remains the same. However, certain events and endings are only available and based on the character you chose to be your protagonist. I would Escha’s story as being more focused on day-to-day life scenarios, while Logy’s story involves more serious situations.

Logix, aka Logy, is an alchemist who left his old life in The Center due to mysterious and unfortunate circumstances and traveled to Colseit to join a development project. Escha is a young alchemist who lives in Colseit and ends up being partnered with Logy when they both enter the development team.  They make a promise to one another that they will work together to make full use of alchemy to help the development team. A big focus of the story is the construction of an airship that will be used to journey to and explore The Unexplored Ruin.

When I played Atelier Escha & Logy, I noticed the difference in the combat system from Atelier Ayesha, which in my opinion, did not feel like much of a challenge or didn’t give me the same level of strategy that I prefer in these types of RPG. In this game, your battle party can have up to six characters, with three on the front and three on the back. The three front members are your first defense and the front line, and much like most turn-based JRPG, they can use all of the battle system’s mechanics such as attacking, using skills, using items, or fleeing from a fight.

My biggest gripe about Atelier Escha & Logy is that your camera doesn’t rotate when you navigate your character when you are exploring. And while this is minor, I found it slightly annoying the more I played when I was trying to look around for materials and keep an eye out for monsters when your exploring different areas.

Lastly, there’s Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea DX, the third and final title in the Dusk series. The game follows two young girls, Shallistera and Shallotte, who share the same nickname Shallie. Shallistera is an alchemist and the daughter of the village chief. She travels to Stellard to help find a way to save her village from a harsh famine. Meanwhile, Shallotte is also an alchemist who lives in Stellard and is excited to prove herself beyond meager tasks and chores. After meeting, they decide to work together to uncover the secret of the Dusk to fulfill both of their dreams.

Just like in Atelier Escha & Logy, you choose to play as Shallistera or as Shallotte, and while the main story remains the same for both characters. You will have a different gameplay experience depending on which character you choose. For example, if you decide to play as Shallistera, you will have a better synthesis. On the other hand, Shallotte is better at combat. These differences in their skills compliment them well as they work together throughout the game.

Synthesization is a cornerstone in the Atelier games, and it is one of my favorite parts of this franchise. All three games share a very similar interface for synthesizing materials, but I would say I enjoyed synthesizing the most in Atelier Shallie. It is a pretty simple approach, which will be helpful for new players. But it is nowhere near as challenging as the recently released, Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout, but that doesn’t mean isn’t fun. You can easily spend hours mining for ingredients and experimenting with crafting and synthesizing new materials to achieve objectives or improve character stats. 

By far, one of my favorite features of this deluxe pack is the fast-forward feature. Usually, I love RPG games with lots of plot and story; however, in the Atelier series, the stories and character dialogue can sometimes feel a bit too wordy and little redundant. Especially in the beginning, when I’m ready to get the adventure started. However, there are times when I still want to follow along with the stories, so I thought it was a nice touch instead of making players having to choose between skipping scenes or sitting through them. 

Another added bonus about the Deluxe Pack is all of the additional features and downloadable content (DLC). One of my favorite DLC’s that I enjoyed the most was the ability to customize the characters with different outfits and accessories. The clothing options range from battle, casual, formal, swimwear and much more.

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the artwork and character design in the series. I loved it, which is no surprise for an anime fan like myself, but the artwork in this series is excellent, and I appreciate the effort the artist puts in making each character feel like an individual. Whether that’s through their physical features, accessories, and clothes. Hidari is the talented illustrator behind all of the characters in the Dusk series. He works in various fields, including character designs for mobile and console games, light novels, and concept designs for anime series. His work in Atelier Escha & Logy was so popular that it was turned into anime. Some of his other notable character design work includes Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Fate/Grand Order.

Overall I think old and new fans alike would agree that the Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe Pack gives you an appreciation for each game’s features,  the shared world-building, and the improvements each installment contributes to the Dusk series. I especially liked playing these games on a portable console like the Nintendo Switch. It helps you make lost of progress even when you have to be on the do. And for $89.99, this three-game bundle is a real bargain. In my opinion, this is the perfect bundle for new fans to be introduced to the Atelier franchise while still being an enjoyable time for old fans to enjoy the re-release of this series on current-generation platforms.

Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe Pack is available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam now.*

Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe Pack
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

Old and new fans alike would agree that the Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe Pack gives you an appreciation for each game’s features,  the shared world-building, and the improvements each installment contributes to the Dusk series. I especially liked playing these games on a portable console like the Nintendo Switch. It helps you make lost of progress even when you have to be on the do. And for $89.99, this three-game bundle is a real bargain. In my opinion, this is the perfect bundle for new fans to be introduced to the Atelier franchise while still being an enjoyable time for old fans to enjoy the re-release of this series on current-generation platforms.