Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland Review
Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland Box Art
System: PS3
Dev: Gust
Pub: NIS America
Release: May 29, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol

The game also makes the soundtracks from the entire trilogy available, allowing the player to pick and choose background music. I personally enjoyed Meruru's overall soundtrack the most, as some of the pieces in the earlier games could get annoying after a while, and Meruru's tracks are more subdued.

Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland Screenshot

One of my major criticisms of Atelier Totori was that it was very difficult to get anything but the disappointing "normal" ending to the game without following a guide. This has largely been corrected in Meruru. A player who has worked hard on the game shouldn't have trouble finding and completing one of the sets of events that leads to an interesting ending. Character storylines seem easier to complete as well. I completed a number of them during my blind playthrough of the game simply by raising my friendship level with my favorite characters and running around town regularly whenever I wasn't out adventuring. Some endings (particularly the one that requires completing all character storylines) will still probably require a guide, but it's nice to see Gust letting up on the obscurity a bit.

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In the end, Atelier Meruru is a great topper to what is likely to become one of Gust's most beloved alchemy series. All three games, but particularly the polished Totori and Meruru, are great for young teenage girls and fans of anime, as well as gamers who enjoy series like Harvest Moon and Rune Factory. It's great to see a company work hard to improve on a formula throughout a trilogy, and it's obvious that Gust has been listening to fan reaction to each of its games. With this kind of track record, I'm very much looking forward to what the company is going to do with the upcoming Atelier Ayesha.

By
Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: May 30, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.7
Graphics
Gust continues to refine its gorgeous cel-shaded graphics, with a more consistent look between characters and backgrounds.
3.5
Control
Although there's still room for improvement, the combat system has had interest added and the interface has been refined.
3.9
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Players have access to the entire trilogy's background music, and the voice acting is the best yet.
4.5
Play Value
There's plenty of alchemy and adventure in Meruru, with less filler travel time. There are fewer endings than Totori, but they're easier to get.
4.4
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:

  • New "Development" system: develop new areas and facilities in Arls to gain access to even more lands to explore.
  • Developing new areas and facilities will change the appearance of the in-game world! How you develop the kingdom will alter the outcome of the story.
  • Classic turn-based battles feature a Time Card turn system, making the battles even more strategic.
  • Master item synthesis with the help of the ever-popular Homs.
  • Fan-favorite characters from previous Atelier games return with more stories and mysteries to uncover.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland  Screenshot - click to enlarge Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland  Screenshot - click to enlarge Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland  Screenshot - click to enlarge Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland  Screenshot - click to enlarge Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland  Screenshot - click to enlarge

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