Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea, Ps3

For the most part, JRPG’s (Japanese role-playing games) tend remain a relatively niche product in the western world, with the likes of Final Fantasy and the Legend of Zelda proving a very small exception to the rule. Despite certain titles being extremely popular in the east, even when localised (translated) for a certain region they tend to remain under the mainstream radar, attracting a few passionate fans. Such has been the case with the Atelier series, a franchise that been released in English since 2005 and yet remains largely unknown to western gaming world.

The sixteenth main entry in the series, Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea will be the third release in the Dusk trilogy, this time telling the story of Shallote and Shallistera. Like the previous games, players will be given a choice between the two protagonists, each with their own storyline and take on the main plot, though the series has never been noted for its strong narrative.

The main draw of the game will lie in its crafting mechanics, known in-world as alchemy. While not a particularly new concept, the Atelier system, which will see players combing ingredients and skills to create unique items, has received praise in the past for its creativity, and returning fans can expect no less from the latest incarnation.

The Dusk Sea will also feature the return of its excellent turn-based tactical combat, allowing up to six characters to battle in tandem. New to the series is the introduction of the Life Task System, which will dynamically adapt to the style of the player, requiring gamers to perform certain tasks or suffer performance hits during item gathering or exploration.

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