Almost six years after the previous entry, sequel Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream is finally ready to go. Check our Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream review!
Almost six years after the previous entry, sequel Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream from Koei Tecmo America is finally ready to go. Since it’s been a while since the previous game was released, there is a nice video available before you start your adventure so that you can catch up with the story so far. Sophie had taken over her grandma’s atelier in her hometown of Kirchen Bell and eventually met Plachta, a talking book. They found a way to restore Plachta back into a doll body, only to find out that an old enemy of Plachta had returned and that they had to stop him at all cost!
The story of this game picks up after Sophie and Plachta left Kirchen Bell in search of a tree Plachta had seen in her dreams. When they found it, a strange purple vortex appeared, sucking Plachta in. Sophie tries to hold her back, only to be sucked in by the vortex1 When she wakes up, Sophie is greeted by Alette and Pirka, who have found her close to the tree, but no sign of Plachta. Sophie ends up learning that she is now in the Land of Dreams and wants to find her friend Plachta. Her new friends will bring her to a girl who seems to be Plachta before she became a book, and together they will try to find the current form of her lost friend.
In terms of gameplay, this game follows the traditional Atelier formula, which is split into three main activities: gathering, combat, and alchemy. Any of those will generally be what you have to do for requests that you can get at the Crystal Sparkle Pavillion in town or for the story’s main quests. Gathering materials is done as you explore the world and the different areas it offers. At first, you are limited to a few things you can gather, but you eventually gain access to additional tools that allow you to grab more stuff. For example, you gain access to something to cut grass that gives you access to new materials or eventually to a fishing rod to be able to catch some fish.
Once you have those materials, they’ll be used in alchemy, which consists of mixing up materials to create new items. Each item you want to craft has a recipe. Some recipes will unlock as the story progresses or when you pick up certain ingredients. There are also two alchemists who can craft, each leveling up independently and having a few exclusive recipes. Once you’ve selected the required ingredients for a recipe, you’ll be presented with a 5×5 grid where you can place the elemental components of each of those materials onto it, with additional bonuses depending on how you place and line them up. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to select up to three additional bonuses, and your item will then be created!
In terms of combat, the game follows the traditional turn-based battle style, where each of your characters can perform an attack, block, use their skills or an item. You’ll also quickly get access to TP, which builds up during battles and allows you to have a character swap with another in order to take the hit in his/her place, or access the powerful Twin Actions where two characters combine their attacks.
Visually, anyone who’s played an Atelier game before will feel right at home, thanks to the bright and colorful worlds and characters as well as a fully voiced cast of characters. The game also offers a choice between Quality and Performance modes, which will respectively favor the visuals or offer a better framerate when you play. For my time with the game, I mostly played using Performance mode, both while in Docked Mode and in Portable Mode, and everything felt smooth all the time.
It’s been over a year since I had played an Atelier game, so I was pretty happy to jump into this one. I had not played the first Sophie game, but the intro video did a nice job of giving me a way to catch up with the story. In terms of story, I really enjoyed the twist of this weird dream world where there were different versions of people Sophie knew, although with some differences because of when the dream made them come into this world.
I was also happy to see that the requests system was back with no deadlines for quests, which allowed me to enjoy this game at my own pace without having to rush and end up doing things in a linear way. The alchemy system was also a lot of fun, and it’s probably one of those systems I enjoyed the most, trying to place those elemental components onto the grid to try and get the most bonuses.
Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream is a great and solid entry in the long-running Atelier series, with a good story and a great alchemy system, making it a game that fans of the franchise will definitely enjoy. It’s a good sequel that continues with Sophie’s story while offering a ton of content to play. Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream is out on Nintendo Switch with a $59.99 price, and it also offers a Season Pass with several extra costumes, extra recipes, some extra background music, as well as an extra story DLC. All of this content will release during the April-May 2022 window.
This Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Koei Tecmo America.