Published on July 14th, 2023 | by Abdul Saad

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg PS5 Review

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg PS5 Review Abdul Saad

Summary: While some of the elements of the game don't carry over well for modern players, Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg is an excellent remake of a great game.


Atelier Reopening

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg is the upcoming latest installment in the ever rising Atelier series. As a remake of the first ever game in the series, the game has a lot to prove and as a longtime fan of the series, I came into the game a bit skeptical. Thankfully, after several hours with the game I’m happy to say that my fears about the game were mostly unfounded. 

Pre-purchase Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg on Steam

Atelier Marie follows the titular young woman Marie, who we learn isn’t good at school and has repeatedly failed her alchemy studies. However, she’s provided her own Atelier for five years and is given one last chance to create an item through alchemy that will impress her professor in order to graduate. However, to do so, players must first gain a lot of experience by gathering items, defeating enemies, completing quests, meeting people, and leveling up.

The game has a very loose narrative as players will spend more time searching for items, synthesizing, and fighting enemies. However, between these moments, players will also have the opportunity to learn about characters in their party the longer they spend time with them. Whatsmore, as you progress through the game, random events will occur where characters will have conversations with Marie through the visual novel style dialogue system where players can learn more about Marie and her friends. Several of these segments will also have players make an item or fetch ingredients for characters for extra money and XP. The only issue with this system is because they occur randomly, it’s easy to forget some characters because there’s often a lot of time between events.

Atelier Marie Remake Releasing in July - RPGamer

Upon booting the game, I instantly noticed how drastically different the remake is from the original game. Models have entirely changed from pixelated to 3D models. Object and environment models are crisp and smooth, animations are defined, colors are more vibrant, environments are dynamic and lush, and more. Additionally, with the power of modern systems, players can now move freely in each location in the game, including the town, instead of moving to areas from a menu like the original version. Closed locations are also fully modeled, as opposed to the partly modeled 2D rooms in the original version.

What’s more, the gameplay is a mix of random encounters and encountering enemies out in the open in dungeons and levels. Lastly, the game’s music has also been remade to sound new yet similar to the old soundtrack. There’s even a toggle to switch between the old and new soundtracks for those who want to really feel the nostalgia. In terms of gameplay, the game offers players a normal mode and an easier, “Unlimited Mode.” While the Unlimited Mode provides players a more relaxed, non-timed experience at the cost of some events, the normal mode carries over its time limit system of five years from the original game. Due to this, every action you perform will take days to complete, reducing the overall time you have left. 

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salzburg Set to Launch July 13th

A noticeable element of the game is that there aren’t many main missions that progress the story. Players are instead given a list of generic objectives and the occasional special quest at the start that are important to learn about the game. As such, you will be encouraged to take on quests from the local pub, all of which have a time limit, hire people to add to their party for battles during said quests, or just explore and grind out dungeons and fight bosses, which are by far the most fun I had with the game’s combat. While there aren’t a lot of bosses, the ones you fight have a nice balance of being challenging and engaging as they force players to utilize all the tools and knowledge they’ve acquired in the game, like bringing specific party members to a bossfight to deal more damage and using restorative items you’ve earned or made through synthesis to gain an advantage.

Quests are structured in a unique and creative way akin to retro JRPG games. Occasionally, players will be promoted by random NPCs or the Pub owner about a mission like a band of thieves hiding out in a cave and it’s up to the player to fight and defeat them. What’s great is that there are several types of missions like this, many of which have interesting narrative outcomes like villains turning a new leaf and seemingly unimportant characters resurfacing later. I particularly love the pub as it serves as a progression tracker and hub for players to meet new characters and party members and new missions that will help with their overarching goal.

Atelier Marie Remake Gets New Screenshots, Digital Pre-Orders Open - RPGamer

In terms of combat, players fight enemies via turn-based combat, and like several other titles in the series, players can fight with basic attacks, special moves, guarding, and items. Combat is incredibly simplistic, which isn’t a surprise for the first game in the series, but it can also be challenging as several enemies will take grinding and strategizing to defeat. After each gathering quest, your party members will be paid upon arriving at your Atelier, where you can rest to regain your stamina (MP) and HP in exchange for time passing by.

When not fighting enemies or gathering resources, players will also indulge in several mini-games that either randomly occur in certain dungeons and areas or are linked to some quests. These include mashing Puni slimes with a mallet, avoiding slimes while running towards a goal, and moving through mazes to open chests while avoiding bears. They’re all very goofy but surprisingly fun and engaging regardless. Lastly, the series’ signature synthesis system is also present here, but because this is a female fo the first game, the crafting system is a lot more simplistic, with players only having to worry about their levels, MP, and time passing in order to craft items. 

All that said, while the game provides plenty of freedom to do whatever they choose, it also does so in a limited way via its time system as it forces players to worry about whether or not the quests or actions they are doing are worth the time, at least on normal mode. This creates a complicated, sometimes frustrating mix, especially for a player like me who hates to waste time in games. For example, while you can take generic gathering and slaying quests between some assigned story missions and events, It still didn’t stop me from feeling like I wasn’t doing anything purposeful or making significant progress outside of grinding out levels. It also doesn’t help that you can go to any location at any time in the game and gather items that will complete quests before even taking them, making many quests feel purposeless.]While this improves a little as you progress the game with later years, and experiencing many events, this were not consistent enough to have changed my mind. Aside from that, the game looks as great as it runs on PC. I didn’t run into any glitches or bugs, which is always nice.

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg

Final Thoughts

Overall, Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg is an excellent remake of a great game. While some of the elements of the game don’t carry over well for modern players, I still enjoyed my time with it as it excels at allowing players to spend time engrossed in its world through several engaging and relaxing elements in a way that only good retro JRPGs can. As such, if you’re a fan of the atelier series or just good, relaxing RPG experiences then Atelier Marie Remake is for you.

About the Author'

Abdul Saad is a seasoned entertainment journalist and critic, and has been writing for five years on multiple gaming sites. When he isn't writing or playing the latest JRPG, he can be found coding games of his own or tinkering with something electrical.

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