Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland Review
Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland Box Art
System: PS3
Dev: Gust
Pub: NIS America
Release: September 30, 2011
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol

While Totori's story and systems are mostly improved in comparison to its more limited predecessor, there are a few oddities and weaknesses to be found. Despite taking place over five years and marking every day on the in-game calendar, the game plays a bit fast and loose with time. At the very beginning of the game, Totori is told that she has a month to raise a certain amount of money in order to receive her Adventurer's License, but the game actually allows several months to go by before Totori is asked to produce the money. This makes the beginning of the game rather confusing and boring, as Totori only has access to two simple adventuring screens at first. Fortunately, it opens up swiftly once Totori finally gets her hands on that license.

Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland Screenshot

Additionally, since Totori starts the game at age thirteen, she should be seventeen or eighteen by the end. Unfortunately, the game makes no visual or story-related references to her maturation. Totori still looks like a pre-teen at the end of the game, and though she's told that she's "grown up" a fair bit, there's no indication that she's actually grown any older. Though she has gained experience and become more confident in herself, she doesn't begin to experience the kind of maturation that occurs throughout one's teenage years. This is a definite weakness in a game that is all about the journey from innocence to experience. It would have been easier to take if the game had simply taken place over two or three years with a reduction of the amount of time it takes to perform every action.

Finally, although Totori has three basic endings and additional added-on scenes available after meeting , the game gives no indication as to how to obtain these different endings. It would have at least been helpful for the game to indicate when and where a character event is available, as the only way to see many events is to happen to speak to a particular character or walk into a particular location during the correct time frame. Especially on the first playthrough, most players are only going to be able to obtain the "normal" ending for the game rather than the "true" ending and the additional mini-endings without the help of a guide, which is a bit of a disappointment.

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Still, for fans of this kind of personal adventure story, Atelier Totori is a great game with a ton of replay value. The open world conveys a great sense of adventure and exploration, the player has a lot of choice in how to play out Totori's adventure, the characters are a great deal of fun to get to know, and the multiple endings will have many players coming back for more. Gamers who are looking for a fairly laid-back adventure with plenty of things to do and lots of fun characters to meet should definitely give Atelier Totori a try.

By Becky Cunningham
CCC Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
Atelier Totori features beautiful cel-shaded models and environments, along with lovely 2D art during conversations and events.
3.4
Control
The battle system is simple but workable. Players could use more guidance in order to make the best use of time in the game.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The soundtrack is excellent and evocative, though the English voice acting is hit or miss. The Japanese voice track is available for those who prefer it.
4.5
Play Value
Atelier Totori is meant to be played through more than once, with three basic possible endings, character-based add-ons to these endings, and far more things to do than can be done in one playthrough.
4.0
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • The small fishing village of Alanya on the Arland Republic's southern border is home to the young alchemist-in-training Totori Helmold. One day, she resolves to make the journey to Arland, become an adventurer, and explore the world beyond her hometown.
  • When Totori's quest comes to a close, your actions over the course of the game will dictate whether she finds the answers to her questions, forges unbreakable bonds with friends, or takes a different path entirely.
  • Atelier Totori features gorgeous cel-shaded graphics that will bring the characters and the expanded world to life, with the cast of Atelier Rorona returning to help the adventure.
  • The deep item synthesis system has been streamlined and now offers full item customization.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland Screenshot - click to enlarge Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland Screenshot - click to enlarge Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland Screenshot - click to enlarge Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland Screenshot - click to enlarge Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland Screenshot - click to enlarge Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland Screenshot - click to enlarge Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland Screenshot - click to enlarge Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland Screenshot - click to enlarge Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland Screenshot - click to enlarge Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland Screenshot - click to enlarge

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