Publisher: KOEI TECMO
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 26/01/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy is set just 3 years after its predecessor. This outing sees our title character Ryza setting out on another adventure. She has left Kurken Island and has travelled to the capital Asha-Am-Baird. Where Ryza and some familiar faces set off to investigate the local ruin. and how their flying friend Fi is connected.
The story throws you right in to the action, with a lot of story thrown at you and dungeon diving almost as soon as Ryza gets to Asha-Am-Baird.
Luckily for new players, there is no need to have played Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout (why does Gust like such long title names?).
Atelier Ryza 2 has everything the previous installment has and just a little more… A lot more! As in all Atelier games, there will be gathering ingredients, synthesising, battles puzzles, and exploration. Here is no exception with new abilities Ryza and the gang get to explore in alternative ways. Ryza can swing at some points, opening up more ways to explore, and swimming and climbing. This all comes together to make for a better experience while traversing the dungeon areas.
As a staple of the Atelier series, Ryza will spend a massive amount of time gather ingredients and synthesising new items. With my time with in the game, I am sure I spend at least 1/2 my time either in the Atelier or gathering ingredients to make items. It felt I was doing this more than in the previous title. There are three key parts to Synthesising;
Part One: Have a recipe or unlock the recipe. We see Ryza given them throughout her adventure. As well as gaining an ability to mutate an item into something else, this will unlock new items to make.
Part Two: Have the ingredients for the item to be made. We can buy the ingredients at shops or Ryza can gather them. This aspect of the game is definitely the grind for this JRPG, in order to become stronger weapons armour accessories need to be Synthesised. So there is no way of getting around this at all you HAVE to collect ingredients. I found myself wishing I could set up an NPC to find these items I need for me. It was tedious, more so when the basket was full, seeing Ryza go back to the Atelier to empty it. It gets easier as you make it a habit to collect as much as you can.
Part Three: Synthesising, here we see Ryza combining the ingredients to make the desired item. There are two ways to complete this: first it can be automatically done and you pick if you want the item to be high or low quality. This has one draw back you have no control over the traits of items. I recommend you pick the ingredients yourself, not only will it make the item with the traits you want, but it can save you ingredient doing so.
Atelier Ryza 2 has battles aplenty taking a more battle minded take on this venture out. It feels as if there are more battles in this version than any other so far. But fear not Ryza and her friends are totally bad-asses on the battlefield. The battles are like most JRPG turned based can only control the character you are controlling. The other party members will act independently, however, you can switch freely between character at any time. This has both advantages and disadvantages. The AI in battles is simple: the non controlled party members will never block. Meaning you have to watch what direction enemies are facing before an attack and switch to the character about to be attacked and hope that you can use a block. As after an attack there is a small cool down before block can be used, meaning if you swap and that character has just attacked you won’t be able to block the attack, anyway.
The AI characters will ask for a physical or magic attack, if the attack is performed then the AI character will follow up with a massive attack. As you swap, you will be asked for these attacks again, this will give you an edge in the early battles. If I am to be honest, I don’t really block unless it was a powerful attack; I preferred to heal through the attacks. THe battle system is deeper than before with new moves and abilities that can devastate enemies.
When in a dungeon, Ryza will end up using the Compass of Recollection in order to find the memories in each dungeon in order to solve the mystery it holds. I loved this addition to the game; it gave a reason to go back in and explore every nook and cranny of the dungeon. This aspect was a breath of fresh air and was fun and interesting as it added to the games lore.
Even with a few minor annoyances Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy has outdone its predecessor in everyway. There is so much content added and new things to do and ways to explore I thought what else can this game offer, then boom something else. Also, it is newcomer friendly.
This is an absolute buy.