Our Score: 8.5/10
Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream is a story about one of the adventures Sophie the Alchemist had after she left her hometown of Kirchen Bell. It revolves around Sophie’s hunt for Plachta when they become separated in the Erde Wiege dream realm, as well as the new acquaintances she meets there.
Atelier Sophie 2 – Understanding the Dream
Those who haven’t played the first game can view a quick video summary on the title screen to catch up on what’s happened so far. Because the previous game’s climax was so straightforward, it was intriguing to see how Gust and Koei Tecmo would approach a sequel. The studio really pulled it off by effectively bringing both Sophie and Plachta into a totally new environment and elaborating on their current relationships – it’s quite the emotional journey.
Atelier Sophie 2 overhauls its gameplay and exploration mechanisms, making them more analogous to Atelier Ryza 2 from last year. Time management isn’t as strict as it was in previous installments of the series, and not every action pushes the clock. However, the day/night cycle is still present, albeit it primarily influences the types of opponents encountered in the field.
Following Ryza’s lead, the overworld map has been divided into three primary zones, each with around three portions. Sophie now has a pickaxe, a bug net, and a fishing rod, among other equipment for harvesting minerals. This exploring method will feel quite familiar to anyone who have played Ryza, as it is nearly identical. Sophie 2 is far more simplified and approachable than prior entries thanks to these mechanics.
Your Turn to Fight
Sophie 2 has a battle system that is extremely similar to the Ryza games, yet it manages to carve out its own individuality. Sophie 2’s battles are far more detailed than its predecessor, since it clings to the conventional and rigid turn-based Atelier combat system rather than shifting to Ryza’s real-time and turn-based mix.
Surprisingly, there aren’t many changes to the alchemy system in Sophie 2 compared to the original game. This time around, it’s more simplified. The ability to set the elements for a recipe in a grid distinguishes the Sophie alchemy system from others such as Ryza. Each substance you bring in from the outside world takes up a specific number of grid blocks.
This time, it’s really useful to have the ability to automatically position the materials on the grid. It speeds up the entire alchemy process by eliminating the need to manually arrange each component one at a time. It’s not ideal when you’re trying to maximise the potential of an item, but it’s wonderful if you’re wanting to fill up your recipe book quickly.
Looking at the World in Atelier Sophie 2
In comparison to the first game, the graphics in Atelier Sophie 2 are substantially superior, with fluid character models and animations striking out. Character portraits, main menus, and CGI pictures all have the same crisp and clean 2D art style as before.
The game only has a Japanese Dub option with no English Dub. Which has been the case lately with most of their games, especially the Atelier series. The voice acting and overall audio presentation is great though and brings out the world quite well.
Final Verdict of Atelier Sophie 2
Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream is a no-brainer for a fan of the Atelier franchise, The game builds upon the older games and delivers a fantastic experience. It’s also great to have Sophie back and put into a very interesting story.