|Pub: NIS America|
|Release: May 29, 2012|
|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.
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.
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.
Date: May 30, 2012