Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy

  • Genres : RPG
  • Publisher : KOEI TECMO EUROPE
  • Developers : GUST
  • Players : 1
  • Consoles :Nintendo Switch
  • Languages : Anglais, Français
  • Release date :29/01/2021

Hey everyone,

Today, a new test which has been possible thanks to a copy of the game being sent to me by Koch Media from Atelier Ryza 2 – Lost Legends and the Secret Fairy. I would like to thank them for allowing me to discover this game. I really wanted to discover game saga which already counted 21, now 22 games with Atelier Ryza 2.

The saga of the “Ateliers” are games that generally work by trilogy and that rest on a mix between a JRPG and craft. Indeed, the games propose a mix between phases of resource gathering, alchemy for the crafts and finally a scenario in which your character and his team have to complete diverse quests by facing monsters and bosses. All what I love in MMORPGs gathered in a JRPG on my nice little Switch!

Without further ado, here is my test on this atypical JRPG!

Help I didn’t play the first game!

The game will give you a little recap of the first game to help appreciate the 2nd opus, so you don’t necessarily have to play the first game before playing Atelier Ryza 2!

In the saga of the “Ateliers”, you incarnate an alchemist who in general is named after the game. So here you incarnate: Ryza, a young girl in her 20’s coming from the small island of Kurken. The game takes place three years after the adventures of the first game. Ryza lands on the island of Kurken to re-join the capital. A few allusions are made about the scenario of the first game.

Here is what we can find on the first opus of this trilogy that takes place entirely on the island of Kurken: Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout:

“The main character, Ryza, is an ordinary young girl.

Tired of her rural life, she escapes from her village and joins her friends in a secret place to talk about their dreams for the future and prepare exciting adventures.

One day, Ryza and her friends soar, determined to explore the forbidden island and the other side of the shore for their first expedition.

Beside the alchemist and other friends met during their trip, they live a summery adventure that will stay engraved in their memory for ever.”

Indeed, every character will be quickly introduced when you meet them. The only thing that you will miss out on will be the fact of remembering them as well as a few mechanisms present in the first game concerning the usage of certain crafts that are not really explained. But nothing too terrible as an encyclopaedia will detail every elements of the game.

The story of Atelier Ryza 2 takes place 3 years after the adventures of the first opus and begins with the arrival of Ryza in the capital. In fact, she is the only one of the group to have stayed on the island of Kurken in order to specialise herself in the art of Alchemy. But after receiving a letter from Tao, one of her old friend she goes to the capital to help him in the exploration of the ruins thought to withhold secrets on alchemy.

Let’s go for the adventure!

Atelier Ryza 2: a JRPG with a unique concept!

Atelier Ryza 2 proposes you a unique gameplay for a JRPG that reminds you of MMORPGs. Indeed, you will have to do many combats, quests to complete… You will also have to take care of your character’s equipment, but most important of all, collect materials to craft objects thanks to your alchemist skills.

This particularity makes the game very complete and enjoyable to play, leaving the choice to the player to make a pause in the scenario and taking time to craft some things or explore looking for quality ingredients.

The game is split in 5 phases that you can play in the order that you wish:

  • Gathering materials for your job as an alchemist,
  • Creating objects in your workshop to complete secondary quests or for your own equipment,
  • Combats against monsters to improve your experience level and gather some ingredients,
  • Chatting phases with the inhabitants of the town which will help you advance in the story and improve your reputation,
  • And finally, exploration phases in the ruins which will allow you to fight monsters and improve your experience, finding new alchemy material and discover the main story.

This last phase is the most intense and the most important one as it allows the story of the game to unfold, but the other aspects are not to neglect! If your alchemy level is not high enough, you will quickly find yourself stuck against the bosses or even in the scenario. And if you do not go further along in the story… you will be stuck in your alchemy levels… So it is your choice as how you want to balance those five aspects of the fame, but know that they are all important.

Those five phases offer the player a range of diverse activities that follow on from each other perfectly and give the player objectives at all times and that they will be able to complete depending on what he feels like doing at the moment. I really liked the little moments of the story made with short scenes explaining some functionalities or tips as you go along your adventure.

It is really enjoyable and what gives this JRPG a softy feeling: we are not constantly in a dungeon hitting monsters even though Ryza looks more like the fighting type !

Let’s discover those 5 phases/aspects of the game!

Those phases each have their own characteristics that allows the player to evolve into the game be it in an offensive way or a “social” way. They contribute in making this game really complete!

The most evident phases are the one I would call: combat phases.

They allow your group of characters to win experience and improve their fighting skills. As in every game, each fight will make you gain experience and eventually items for your alchemy. You can confront monsters and bosses either on the map by walking around the different places around the capital or in the ruins that you will visit and that correspond to the dungeons.

The combats are the most dynamic phases of the game. They are under the form of a turn by turn combat but where you only play one of the characters. The gameplay of those fights is more dynamic thanks to an action bar that will define at which moment each of the participants of the fight is allowed to attack: monsters as well as allies. No pauses on the combats, you will have to think while waiting for your turn on the manner you which to attack your enemies: direct attack with your weapon, usage of an object or of a technique/spell.

Different gauges are available in the right corner of your screen and show you the numbers of hits that you will be able to give on your next turn as well as if you are able to use an object or a spell. You will have to watch over four of those gauges as well as your life gauge, but it’s very easy to master.

During those combat phases, you only play with one of the characters, the others will act by themselves following the directing line you gave at the beginning of the fight: support mode or fighting mode. You can change of character at any time if you’d rather play with one rather than the playing with Ryza. You can also trigger combos with your allies by attacking at the right moment.

I hope that I didn’t confuse you too much with all those details, but honestly, the combats are very intuitive and dynamic. It’s a real pleasure to get used to and unwinds well between two crafting phases.

Now let’s talk about the exploration of the ruins

They are at the heart of the story and give a dungeon aspect to the game. Made of a exploration and combat phase, you will also have to gather “clues” to understand the story of each ruin and unlock new alchemy abilities. Each solved enigma will heighten your exploration percentage of each ruin until you reach a 100% once you’ve discovered everything!

You will also find new ingredients during your explorations as well as items and alchemy plans that will allow you to access to new zones that you couldn’t have reached before. You will also unlock story scenes with the characters.

The alchemy and gathering at the heart of the game

Two aspects that are intrinsic to the game: without gathering no craft!

Those are aspects I love on that game, I am a huge fan of wandering and gathering. I really like exploring different maps of a video game and if I can also gather materials, it’s simply perfect! Ryza’s bag is quite large, but you will nonetheless have to go back and forth from your workshop to gather as much material as possible or throwing some of the stuff away to make space for better materials.

In short, I am not going to draw you a picture, but all the places that Ryza is going to visit, even the town, propose a large amount of resources more or less important that you will be able to gather directly or thanks to a tool. For a same source of material, you can gather different items depending on the gathering method that you will pick: axe, hoe, stick…

Once you have gathered enough materials, go to your workshop. Thanks to a recipe tree and alchemy skills, Ryza can create all sorts of objects from simple materials like “Uni’s”: chestnut bugs.

To unlock a recipe, you need to use alchemy points and/or be sufficiently far in the story for some of them. To get alchemy points, nothing more simple, you will have to craft things or complete small quests (available at the town’s café).

The tree recipe and skill system is very well thought out; it allows the player free to develop it favouring the recipes that interest him. This freedom is really pleasant.

Once you know a recipe, you just need to go in front of your cauldron and test out your alchemy skills.

Here also, the system is very thought out. You choose the item you wish to craft and a new tree system appears showing you which material is necessary to its crafting. Each sphere of the tree represents a material and shows you the element the most adapted to the recipe (water/fire/wind…). It’s very intuitive.

Then as you go further and further in your progression, you will learn to improve the quality of your crafts by taking into account the quality of your basis material. Everything comes one thing at the time and the more you craft objects the more you want to improve yourself and make more of them.

Other than the craft you can also use materials that you gather to complete quests in the café or improve the local commerce thanks to Romy that will sell your findings.

Let’s talk about the talking/story phases of the game

They are little scenes that take place alongside the main story and allow you to unlock additional elements, develop your affinities with people or simply learn a little more about your friends and the people living in the capital.

They are cute and allow from time to time to unlock places of very interesting stuff for our characters like a blacksmith for example. They take mainly place in town.

Let’s talk about the talking/story phases of the game

They are little scenes that take place alongside the main story and allow you to unlock additional elements, develop your affinities with people or simply learn a little more about your friends and the people living in the capital.

They are cute and allow from time to time to unlock places of very interesting stuff for our characters like a blacksmith for example. They take mainly place in town.

What does it look like in terms of execution and atmosphere?

The game is nice and fluid be it during the combat phases or when you explore a zone. It is dotted with enjoyable cinematics, although very centred around Ryza’s feminine attributes and of her friend’s on a shooting level. If at the beginning we really notice it, we end up by getting used to it which pleases some of the players.

The characters are manga typed which pleases me a lot and the main characters have an atypical dressing look, but which I really liked.

The spells are really nice during the combats and reinforce the dynamism of them. I didn’t note any slowing down during the combats.

The scenery and the monsters are also very nice and make us want to wander in this universe. And that’s really nice for the gathering aspect of the game! Every large zone is available after a small loading time between each of them. A very nice thing is that every zone is accessible through teleportation from the map of the world. A real gain of time that I really enjoyed.

The soundtrack is just wonderful! We just want to listen to the ambiance music even without playing, they are really peaceful and cute. Thing that I did by pausing the game while I am in the workshop, allowing me to do something else while I listened to the music.

Concerning the Japanese dubbing, it is very nice and manga oriented in the intonation of the characters. I took the voices down two notches before even starting the game and I really don’t regret it, because I could then enjoy the music as much as possible while listening to the Japanese cinematics (with English subtitles).

I am going to make a small digression to talk to you about the different game’s menus that sort all the information in a very useful way. You have an encyclopaedia, a quest following menu (main and secondary quests), a character menu… They are really nice and allow to obtain a multitude of really useful information.

Yunicia adore !

Conclusion

Atelier Ryza 2 – Lost Legends and the Secret Fairy is an atypical JRPG that blends scenario, combat, dungeon exploration, gathering and crafting perfectly. It possesses a rather slow rhythm allowing the players to enjoy the game while proposing very dynamic combats and a large content: there is always something to do and it’s very enjoyable to be able, with the same game, to go from one phases to another depending on the mood you are in.

The crafting and gathering systems as well as the fighting system with team combos are well thought out and intuitive. Actually, the game is intuitive for the players that enjoy discovering this unique universe of the Ateliers saga.

Some say it is possible to finish the game in 25 hours, but personally I played for more than 20 hours before writing this test and I am far from seeing the end of it. I still discover many little things that I didn’t talk to you about in this test in order not to spoil the game experience to you. I think I still have about 20 hours of game before finishing it, which is absolutely correct for a game like that.

To conclude, Atelier Ryza 2 reminded me a lot of the MMORPG aspects: crafting and gathering. Furthermore, the game includes all the good ideas of a JRPG to dynamic combats. I really like the fact that the scenario is light allowing as such a cool and interesting game with a consequent content that promises hours upon hours of gaming. It’s really a nice discovery. Now that I know this license, I will almost certainly play Atelier Ryza 1.