REVIEW: ‘Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy’ is Packed with More Action and Adventure (PS4)

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Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy

Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy is a Japanese role-playing game from the GUST Studios’ popular Atelier series published by KOEI Tecmo. It is a direct sequel tAtelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout. The JRPG takes place three years after Ryza’s secret adventure on Kurken Island. Now Ryza is the only remaining member of her group on the island.

One day she receives a letter from her friend telling her about ruins that might be connected to alchemy, along with a mysterious request involving a glowing stone. News of the ruins inspires Ryza to leave her hometown and head towards the royal capital, Ashra-am Baird. Unbeknownst to Ryza, this will lead her to the beginning of a new adventure as she and her friends uncover the ruins’ mysteries and meet a strange creature that will change her life.

The plot overall is intriguing and gets engaging the more you progress and uncover mysteries. The object of the game is relatively straightforward and gives players an immediate objective. You go on an adventure as Ryza to discover the ruins’ secrets, the small magical creature, and whether or not they are connected to alchemy. I like that the objectives of the game are clear and concise. It helps to stay focused on tasks and continue progressing through the game without feeling like you are wandering around aimlessly.

Speaking of wandering, navigating in the game at the beginning was a bit frustrating. My most significant issue with the game is navigating the map at the beginning. Even though the map has markers for buildings, the map isn’t labeled with the building’s names or provides directions toward areas, which makes it challenging to navigate at first. However, it does get better as your progress once the World Map is introduced to the game. Traveling from one area to another becomes so much easier and faster with the World Map. It also adds to the game’s world-building because you can genuinely see how vast and extensive it is the more you progress. My favorite thing about the world map is that I could use it to go directly to the quests’ locations instead of traveling by foot. 

The architectural and environmental designs of the various areas in the game are gorgeous! I highly recommend playing this game on a large screen so that you can appreciate the level of detail the developers put into designing the various areas in the game. I highly recommend playing this game on a big screen to take in the full effect and immerse yourself in the game world. Besides the beautiful background designs, I like how the game has specific theme music for each location. I especially like how the tones change throughout the day. For example, when the sun sets, the music becomes more mellow and calm to match the setting. 

As for the character designs, for the most part, they retain a lot of their original design elements, nonetheless are they still look great. I especially like the slight changes the designers make to the characters to show how they have changed over the three years. For example, some characters might have slightly different attire but still, have the same color schemes. Or to show they have aged, they either gain more muscle or get a growth spurt. I think these changes to the characters’ design were done well in a way that feels natural and does alter the characters too drastically, so they are still recognizable.

For the most part, the gameplay hasn’t changed much since Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & Secret Hideout. The familiar grid-based synthesis system, real-time battle system, and tools for mining materials are included in this game. However, the game’s developers did make some notable improvements by adding new features that weren’t available in the previous iteration.

I especially liked how the developers improved the real-time tactics battle system. Compared to the previous game, the battles in Atelier Ryza 2 are much faster, which makes for a more exciting challenge. During the battle, you need to think quickly and strategically time your moves with your party members. Additionally, it’s essential to pay attention to your party members’ directions during battle.

For example, when a party member tells Ryza to use magic or physical attacks, it will trigger the character to perform a special move. This can result in doing some severe damage to your opponents and even lead to rare item drops. It can be a little tricky to get the hang of at first. Still, there are plenty of weak monsters you can build up experience and adjust to the battle system for taking on more challenging enemies.

Synthesizing items is always my favorite part of any of the games in the Atelier franchise. I loved unlocking recipes and experimenting with different ingredient combinations. So I am thrilled to say that Atelier Ryza 2 did not disappoint me and delivered a fun experience with new features in this game’s synthesis system. Atelier Ryza 2 includes a new intuitive Linkage Synthesis that is great for new and experienced players. With the Linkage, Synthesis materials are put in cells called Material Loops to create and customize items easily. 

Additionally, the items that are created can be combined with the Evolution Link system. I thought the Evolution Link system was another exciting addition to the game because it allows the player to combine existing items to increase stats, add traits to the first item, or even create new items that unlock specific recipes.

Lastly, the most exciting features of the game are the new abilities Ryza can perform. In Atelier Ryza 2, as you progress throughout the game, you can earn new abilities to access different areas within the magical ruins, inside dungeons, and across fields. The latest actions include using plants to climb rock walls, diving underwater, using magical ropes to travel across separated areas, and riding a monster to travel faster. I absolutely loved these new additions! 

In my opinion, the game is so much better with these new field actions. By adding these new features, the developers greatly improved upon some of the issues I had with the previous game. For example, in the last game, Ryza couldn’t jump over some of the smallest obstacles, such as fences and rocks. Obstacles like these may the game feel very limited in what actions Ryza could do in the field. Now, in Atelier Ryza 2, many of the limitations are gone, and it is so much more fun to try these actions on this new adventure. 

Overall, Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy delivers an exciting adventure JRPG game full of more action and adventure than the previous game. It brings back a majority of the original gameplay, making it accessible for newcomers and longtime fans of the game. In addition to bringing back a lot of the original gameplay, Atelier Ryza 2 also introduces new features that open up more movements and actions in the game that adds to the adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed this game so much and could play it for hours on end. And for $59.99, it’s reasonably priced for the quality of the game you get. 

Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy is available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, and Nintendo Switch on January 26, 2021.


Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy
9/10

TL;DR

Overall, Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy delivers an exciting adventure JRPG game full of more action and adventure than the previous game. It brings back a majority of the original gameplay, making it accessible for newcomers and longtime fans of the game. In addition to bringing back a lot of the original gameplay, Atelier Ryza 2 also introduces new features that open up more movements and actions in the game that adds to the adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed this game so much and could play it for hours on end. And for $59.99, it’s reasonably priced for the quality of the game you get.