Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Painting review for PS4, Switch

Platform: PS4
Also On: Switch, PC
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Developer: Gust
Medium: Digital/Disc/Cartridge
Players: 1
Online: No

Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Painting marks a personal milestone for me: it?s the first time I?ve ever played an Atelier game that wasn?t a handheld. In every other instance of my far-too-long history with the series, I?ve played it on the Vita. And you know what? Atelier Lydie & Suelle makes me really wish I?d kept it that way. Admittedly, this would?ve meant playing the game on the Switch. But, regardless of which handheld I played it on, I get the feeling it would?ve been a vast improvement.

It?s not that Atelier Lydie & Suelle is a bad game, to be sure. Like pretty much every other title in the franchise?s history (save, perhaps, for Atelier Firis), it achieves a certain level of competence. The Atelier games have never been about breaking new ground. They?re more or less the same thing, over and over again: Eponymous Girl X learns how to be an alchemist, gathering materials and fighting monsters in turn-based battles along the way. There are minor tweaks here and there, but for the most part, you know exactly what you?re getting into any time you play an Atelier game.

The problem, at least as far as I?m concerned, is that that formula works much better in small doses, like what you?d get on a handheld, than it does on a console. The gameplay seems to be designed for dropping in and out whenever the mood strikes you, not sitting down and doing the same tasks over and over again for hours on end.

Obviously, this is all a matter of preference, and if you are the kind of person who loves doing alchemy for hours on end, then you should love it here as well. As I said, Atelier Lydie & Suelle fits right in with the franchise?s tendency towards quiet, solid competence — and, it should be added, it looks much better than it ever has on the Vita. Personally, though, it has me certain that wherever the series goes next, I?m only going to follow it if I can play it on a handheld.

Koei Tecmo provided us with an Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Painting PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: B-