Making new friends.
Something that Ryza is as capable doing as she is solving every known problem with alchemy. Regardless of what is needed- be it medicine, food, reagents, or even an entire tree- alchemy is the answer. Which is rather remarkable when you consider that her recipes are based on the practices of the Klint Kingdom, and that they used these same processes to commit heinous crimes. But such was their nature after their civilisation was consumed by its perverse desires. Ryza, however, has no such desires, and only seeks to use alchemy to better the world around her.
Exhibiting wholly innocent desires.
Whereas I desire nothing more than to obsess over the statistical benefits and traits afforded to her creations. And, as a result, have spent countless hours tweaking the materials added to recipes, while considering how best to reinforcement equipment to create the best items that I can.
I didn’t expect the creation process to be even more complex and satisfying in the sequel, nor did I expect to be able to expand upon it by unlocking advanced mechanics in the skill tree. Most notably, Essences, which drastically alter the statistics and/or traits of an item, and can fundamentally affect the entire creation process. The Item Rebuild, Gem Reduction, and Item Duplication mechanics from Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout have also made a return. Utilising these with the Essence Refinement mechanics results in an increasingly involute creation process, which has never felt convoluted despite how layered it has become. And that can’t be understated considering how long I’ve spent synthesising new materials, and then turning those synthesised materials into new items, and then rebuilding those items.
Core Crystals have also returned, but their mechanics have been completely revisited. Each party member has their own and its Core Charges are tied to their respective proficiency. Lent, for example, has less Core Charges than Ryza, due to his lack of proficiency with items. Core Crystals can now be enhanced with Core Elements, too. These increase the damage dealt by specific elemental damage types, and will strengthen both the items and the abilities of the owner. Certain combinations of items can even be used to execute devastating new Core Drives.
Making item usage more tactical.
I’ve definitely been considering which items are best suited to which party members, as their individual Core Crystals dictate the likelihood of being able to execute different Core Drives. I’ve also tailored their equipment to the roles that they’re going to have in any given combat encounter.
I’m always curious as to how (or if) a sequel is going to build upon previously established mechanics, and whether that is going to contribute meaningfully to the experience. Hence why I’m delighted to discover that Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy has built upon them in unexpected but beneficial ways. I had few complaints about the existing creation process, but this newly revisited one has been such a pleasure to figure out while I’ve steadily unlocked new mechanics. Not that I’m even sure whether I’ve unlocked all of the mechanics by now. I’ve not seen the Travel Bottle yet. But that may have been replaced by the economy development mechanics, as I’m reasonably certainly that the Travel Bottle was mostly a means to acquire unusual raw materials. But I suppose I’ll have to see whether one turns up or not.
Have a nice week, all!