I just started playing Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout recently. It’s my first ever game from the Atelier series. So you might already see where this is going. I have a problem with collecting alchemy ingredients.
Why I Started Playing Atelier Ryza Now
Here’s the thing. I wanted to play a JRPG again. And Atelier Ryza had just been laying dormant in my Steam library for a year or so. Therefore I thought that sure, I could just try it out. Now, as for the reason I bought this game in the first place. It was on sale. And then I watched this video:
Yes, jiggle physics meant I bought this game. You can surely draw some conclusions about my feelings at the time. However, that doesn’t matter right now.
What matters is that I started playing Atelier Ryza and I have a problem with one of the core game mechanics.
How One Core Game Mechanic Keeps Me From Playing Long Sessions
Now I diligently have been playing. However, I only enjoyed short sessions of about an hour at one time. The sole reason is the collection of alchemy ingredients. Now, I’m sure its just me doing it wrong. However, I always get the feeling of “Ah, I’m here now, I should do a collection route!”
Whenever I exit Ryza’s house, I collect the same beehives, the same flowers and the same papers hidden in some boxes. I am sure that is not the way the game is meant to be played. And my alchemy, therefore, is progressing way too quickly. However, to me it feels like this is the most optimal thing. Always collect all materials you can get.
Of course, this also means when exploring mainland areas, my basket gets full almost immediately all the time. But I insist that this is not a user error. The game pushes one in this direction.
I feel a need to collect stuff and grind alchemy. Is this really how you are meant to be played? I doubt it! But it is how I play the game, simply because I feel it’s the optimal way to play.
Will This Keep Me From Playing Atelier Ryza To The End?
Now, before you say anything, this is not a review! This is just my first thought about a new game series for me. I will continue to play, although slowly and without much progress per session.
I’m looking forward to finding out how the story might develop. After all, where is the big bad? For now, all I know is that Ryza and her friends would like to be adventurers. But this is an RPG. Meaning there has to be a big evil threatening the world or something like that, right?
Whether that’s the case or not doesn’t matter in the end. I hope I get to enjoy the ingredient gathering at some point, coming to feel of it not as a chore, but just something relaxing and chill to spend the time with.
Care to help me getting over the grind? Check out our Discord server and talk to me!