Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends and The Secret Fairy is definitely one of those games where it probably would have benefitted if I played the first one… However, I was in hysterics during the introduction to this sequel, where they suggest that the adventures of the first game weren’t known by many… and went on without people really knowing. Ironically, Ryza 1 was actually a big hit and sold far more copies than they ever expected it to.
Graphically, this game has a great style, is pleasing on the eye, and follows that recent anime style, which I feel was mainly been developed by Netflix, but also has some of the key characteristics of a Studio Ghibli film. It’s is definitely a beautiful game, and when I say beautiful, I mean in every sense of the word. I’m in no way someone who ogles on the female character, but this game clearly shows off some of the benefits of being a lady… You can play about with the outfits as well – not that this is something I would promote in any way shape or form…
Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends and The Secret Fairy is set 3 years after the original. Apparently, all of Ryza’s old friends have gone off on their travels to seek new adventures, while Ryza has stayed at “home” to continue with her studies. Then, by no coincidence, she bumps into her old friends and the new journey begins.
One of the best aspects of the game is the fighting style. For years, I’ve been looking for another game which follows similar fights to Final Fantasy VII and I haven’t been able to find any anywhere. This is nowhere near a direct match, but has some similar characteristics. I like that you were in control of different characters, but you don’t have to control each one, and you could let one of your characters attack how they see fit. You still have to control your character, especially when you are using the melee attack, and it is interesting how you can string a range of “magic” moves together. It is a little frustrating, however, that it can take you a while to build up the Attack Points, and I much prefer systems where you start off with an amount of magic points, and then use them throughout the fight. It seems quite a recent aspect to games where you have to earn your own points, and lose them far too quickly (especially if you love stringing the moves together).
There are also other things you can use including your Core Charge and Core Drive. You build up the former by using your Attack Points. This also works differently with all the different items you can equip. I ended up getting a little bit confused with all of this, but overall, it was quite fun to have a play with. You can convert your items into gems and then upgrade in a fashion, which reminded me of Final Fantasy X. There are also ways in which you can unlock recipes, but by this time, my mind was well and truly blown. Maybe I’m getting old, but I just find it challenging to get my head round the complications of the modern day RPG upgrading system.
The soundtrack is certainly something to write home about. I had read that the original soundtrack was also good, and heard that some of the original songs had been remixed so they could keep them on the second. With a vast and varied score, you won’t find yourself frustrated by hearing the same song over and over again. Sometimes, I think this is a positive and other times I think it is a negative. I still hum the main theme from Final Fantasy VII, at least once a day. However, while it is full of great tracks but not it is unlikely that one will be forever remembered.
The voice acting seems solid, although it needs to be mentioned that it is in Japanese, so you’ll have to have the subtitles on. This is a standard with Japanese RPGs games and something I am very used to.
This sequel offers a fair challenge, even though the story is quite linear. There are a few other objectives you can try to complete throughout your journey. Some are challenging and some are quite easy. There is a fair depth to the game and it will take you over 40 hours to complete. I am unaware if there is any post-release game content coming out, but there is definitely plenty for you to sink your teeth into at the moment.
Overall, Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends and The Secret Fairy is a decent game which can leave you a little frustrated due to the complexities of upgrading and recipes. The story is quite straight forward and didn’t quite suit my needs, but will be loved by some. I think playing the first game, although not essential, would give you a bit more understanding about all the systems in play. The quality of the second one has definitely made me consider getting the first one in the next PC sale.
- Publisher: Koei Tecmo Games Co, Litd
- Developer: Koei Tecmo Games Co, Litd
- Players: single-player
I have been a video game player since 1993 and a music fan since I can remember. I studied Film and Journalism at university and ended up becoming a Primary School teacher. Video games changed my life and sent me on the right track and have stayed with me ever since.