Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland is the direct sequel of Los Angeles based NIS America’s Atelier Rorona JRPG. If you didn’t play Atelier Rorona though, you won’t be missing anything, but for those that did, Atelier Totori lets players explore more of Arland. Though the new story follows a new alchemist, a few characters do make appearances in the sequel. The new game also reworks a good amount of the issues its predecessor was panned for and the plot is a good deal less disturbing.
For the most part, Atelier Totori is a cute and charming story that uses the capabilities of the PlayStation 3 well. The story begins in the small fishing village of Alanya on the Arland Republic’s southern border. It is home to the young alchemist in training Totooria Helmold. She is called Totori by her friends and family, and contrary to the wishes of her sister, Ceci, she wants to become an adventurer, like their mother. Luckily Totori has her friend, Gino, for encouragement and a little muscle to get her started.
Totori’s workshop is where the game begins and it is also where you will need save and load your game. In the workshop Totori can synthesize items for combat or quests and store them in either her basket or a storage container. Luckily, the only things you need to keep in the basket are combat related items. You can access the items in your container at the shops and when you are completing and reporting on your tasks.
Totori isn’t particularly brave or strong so, luckily, she gets help. You can have up to two additional party members to help you find items and defeat enemies. Each of the areas you travel to will contain loot and monsters that either chase or menace you. In these areas Totori can jump to higher levels and swing her staff at creatures. Smacking enemies Eric Cartman style will give your party a surprise bonus and allow your party to attack first. The combat is pretty straightforward turn-based fare with attack, special skill, use item, defend, and flee, except that a well timed left or right bumper press can save Totori from assault.