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Atelier Rorona
Atelier-roronoa.jpg Atelier Rorona original cover art.
Developer(s) Gust
Publisher(s) JP Gust
NA NIS America
EU NIS Europe
Series Atelier
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Release date(s) JP June 25, 2009
NA 2010
EU 2010
Genre(s) Console role-playing game
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) CERO: A
Media Blu-ray Disc
Input methods Gamepad

Atelier Rorona: Alchemist of Arland (ロロナのアトリエ ~アーランドの錬金術士~ Rorona no Atorie ~Aarando no Renkinjutsushi~ ?) is a Japanese console role-playing game developed by Gust. It was first released for the PlayStation 3 on June 25, 2009 in Japan, and is set to be followed by European and American releases in 2010.[1][2] Atelier Rorona is the eleventh installment in the Atelier series, and it continues the series' emphasis on item synthesis. The game is the first title in the series to be developed for PlayStation 3, and it is also the first to utilize 3D computer graphics as opposed to 2D sprites in earlier titles.

Contents

Gameplay

A battle in Atelier Rorona depicting characters Sterkenburg and Rorona.

Atelier Rorona consists of four different styles of gameplay: field maps, a battle screen, an alchemy system, and a visual novel system. Navigation occurs via two static map illustrations, which depicts the Arland town and its surrounding area in a scaled down view. Field map areas such as the town and forests are depicted as realistically rendered environments, in which the player can converse with locals, gather items, or encounter enemies. Enemies on field maps are openly visible to the players, and players can either engage or avoid the encounter. Contact with the enemies initiates a separate battle screen.

Battles in Atelier Rorona are turn-based and continues until either side is defeated or flees. The player may use physical attacks, items, or skills to either wound targets or heal characters. Each character and enemy has a number of hit points which depletes as he or she is attacked or performs certain skills. When a character loses all hit points, he or she faints; if all of the player's characters fall in battle, he or she is sent back to the game's town.[3] Certain items and skills also affect the battle's element, which, depending on the element, could either increase or decrease the efficiency of certain skills performed, or make additional skills available.[3]

Atelier Rorona's storyline is presented as a series of twelve tasks. Each of these tasks amounts to three months of the game's storyline, and requires the player to complete it by the end of the period.[4] If the player fails to complete the task, the game ends and must be restored from a previously saved game.[4] The plot develops as the player progresses through text conversations akin to a visual novel-style gameplay. Gameplay in this segment requires little player interaction as most of the duration is spent reading the text that appears on screen. There are fourteen main plot lines that the player will have the chance to experience. To view all of the plot lines, the player will need to replay the game multiple times and perform different quests for the game's various characters.

Development

Atelier Rorona was first revealed on March 13, 2009 in ASCII Media Works' Dengeki PlayStation magazine.[5] Yoshito Okamura, main planner for the Mana Khemia series, served as the game's director.[6] Ken Nakamura, who contributed to previous Atelier soundtracks, also returned as the sole composer for the title.[7] Mel Kishida, who also provided the game's illustrations, designed the game's characters.[8] Okamura appointed Kishida, whose work is the artist's first video game contributions, to serve the position after finding his work meeting his desires for a "modern and clean design in visuals".[8] Atelier Rorona is described by the development team as a recreation of the series' starting points.[7] It is the first title in the Atelier series to be produced for the PlayStation 3, and it is also the first to feature 3D computer graphics.[9][10]

Reception

Atelier Rorona sold quickly in Akihabara on its first day of release, and by 1:00 pm, the majority of the district's stores were sold out of the limited edition release.[11] This is because the majority of the stores reserved a limited amount of copies for regular sales to meet pre-order demands.[11] The game was the third best-selling title and sold 43,000 copies between June 22 and June 28, 2009.[12] It dropped to the ninth highest, selling 11,000 copies for the following week.[13] According to public sales information published by Gamasutra, Atelier Rorona was the best-selling PlayStation 3 title on the Japanese Amazon website for the week ending on July 9, 2009.[14] The game dropped to the second highest the following week ending on July 17, 2009,[15] marking its final appearance in the ranking; overall estimates from this time put Rorona at or near 70,000 copies sold, with low-level sales continuing since. This makes Atelier Rorona the fastest, and best, selling title in the franchise since at least Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana.

Atelier Rorona has generally received positive reviews since its inception, receiving 90/85/80/75 in the Dengeki PlayStation magazine, and 8/7/8/7 in the Famitsu magazine.

References

  1. ^ Yoon, Andrew (2009-09-17). "NIS localizing Atelier Rorona for English audiences". Joystiq. http://playstation.joystiq.com/2009/09/17/nis-localizing-atelier-rorona-for-english-audiences/. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  2. ^ Zook, Nao (2009-09-30). "NIS Re-Releasing PSP Titles, Plus Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! UMD Poll". PlayStation Blog. http://blog.us.playstation.com/2009/09/nis-re-releasing-psp-titles-plus-holy-invasion-of-privacy-badman-umd-poll/. Retrieved 2009-09-30.  
  3. ^ a b Gust, ed (2009-06-25). Rorona no Atelier: Aarando no Renkinjutsushi instruction manual. Gust. pp. 19–20.  
  4. ^ a b Gust, ed (2009-06-25). Rorona no Atelier: Aarando no Renkinjutsushi instruction manual. Gust. pp. 23–24.  
  5. ^ Hinkle, David (2009-03-11). "Exclusive PS3 RPG Atelier Rorona revealed". Joystiq. http://playstation.joystiq.com/2009/03/11/exclusive-ps3-rpg-atelier-rorona-revealed. Retrieved 2009-04-23.  
  6. ^ "Atelier Rorona's official blog" (in Japanese). Gust. http://atelier-ps3.jp/rorona/d-blog/index.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-12.  
  7. ^ a b "PlayStation 3 Software Rorona no Atelier: Aarando no Renkinjutsushi, Conversation with Digitalis' Mineko Yamamoto and Composer Ken Nakamura!" (in Japanese). GameRabbit. 2009-06-21. http://gamerabbit.jp/2009/06/rorona.html. Retrieved 2009-08-12.  
  8. ^ a b "Creator Interview with Mel Kishida" (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. http://dol.dengeki.com/school/school2009summer/contents02.html. Retrieved 2009-08-12.  
  9. ^ "New Video Game Preview: Rorona no Atelier to Feature on PlayStation 3, Emphasizes Item Synthesis as Starting Point" (in Japanese). Mainichi. 2009-06-23. http://mainichi.jp/enta/mantan/archive/news/2009/06/23/20090623mog00m200008000c.html. Retrieved 2009-08-12.  
  10. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (2009-03-19). "PS3 Alchemy Game Out This Summer". Kotaku. http://kotaku.com/5172956/ps3-alchemy-game-out-this-summer. Retrieved 2009-08-12.  
  11. ^ a b "Collectors Bound to be Out of Cash Even on Payday. Over Thirty Telephone Cards Released as Video Game Extras" (in Japanese). ASCII.jp. 2009-06-26. http://ascii.jp/elem/000/000/431/431120/. Retrieved 2009-08-10.  
  12. ^ Graft, Kris (2009-07-02). "Japanese Charts: Wii Sports Resort Logs Big Sales". Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=24281. Retrieved 2009-07-02.  
  13. ^ Graft, Kris (2009-07-10). "Japanese Charts: Wii Sports Resort Tops 500,000". Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=24387. Retrieved 2009-08-10.  
  14. ^ Cowan, Danny (2009-07-10). "Saling The World: Wii Sports Resort Leads U.S. Sales/Preorders". Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=24377. Retrieved 2009-08-10.  
  15. ^ Cowan, Danny (2009-07-10). "Saling The World: NCAA Football 10, Dragon Quest IX Head Worldwide Charts". Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=24471. Retrieved 2009-08-10.  

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