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Review Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key

Let’s find out together, in this dedicated review, what are the strengths and weaknesses of Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key, the summer adventure of Ryza and company has therefore come to an end

For better or for worse, all things come to an end. Whether they are good or bad, whether it is the adventure of a lifetime or something you will forget the next day, you will inevitably be forced to say goodbye to situations, people and moments, in view of an as yet untold future. And so it was also for the “Secret” trilogy of the Atelier franchise. After Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout and Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & The Secret Fairy, the adventure of the young alchemist who gave new life (and associated legs) to the Gust brand has now come to an end .

Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key represents precisely this closure, presenting itself as a summation of the previous chapters from every point of view. Recently arrived on PC, PS5, PS4 and Nintendo Switch, the game is as always developed by Gust Studios and published by Koei Tecmo. We spent several dozen hours immersed in the lands of Atelier Ryza 3 (forgive us for the brevity, but we will call it that from now on) before sitting down at the desk and reflecting on what to say in this review. Here we are, starting our latest adventure with Ryza.

A concluding review for Atelier Ryza 3: The Final Journey Begins

Let’s start with a very necessary premise: although Gust has made a particularly explanatory introductory film for all those who want to look at this trilogy from the third chapter, however we strongly advise you against doing so. Experiencing Atelier Ryza 3 is the completion of an adventure, yes, but it is also the conclusion of the growth of characters that we have almost seen being born. Ryza, Lent, Tao and Boss were almost children in the first chapter of the trilogy and seeing them now, practically adults, will give fans a feeling of incredible nostalgia. So no: play the first two first, then we’ll talk about it again.

The events of Atelier Ryza 3 begin exactly the year after the conclusion of the second chapter. Ryza has now grown up (in every sense), as well as very reliable and a real point of reference for her companions and fellow citizens. A life made up of constant requests, of any kind, from the community e which target the fearsome alchemist skills that Ryza has developed over time. In fact, we no longer speak of a young daredevil who goes around combining disasters and trying to create concoctions with an alchemical pot. Ryza is capable, awfully capable, and everyone knows it.

Recensione Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key

That summer hideout | Review Atelier Ryza 3

In addition to being very capable, our young and buxom protagonist also has an impeccable stubbornness and sense of duty. And it is precisely her sense of duty that puts her back on the road to adventure when, inexplicably, a group of artificial islands appears off Kurken Island and undermine the stability of the internal system that keeps it afloat (and which we have come to know well during the adventures of Ryza and company). So we start again towards a new adventure, which will take young people on already known roads and others completely unexplored, in order to discover the mystery behind the so-called Kark islands and the strange voice that Ryza begins to hear directly in her head, and that it also makes you discover new recipes from time to time.

A simple and effective narrative is exactly what we expected from Atelier Ryza 3. The theme of “summer holidays” is what has always permeated this trilogy of the Secret, since the first chapter. We are therefore not surprised to find ourselves faced with a staid narration, devoid of major twists, but not for this trivial or obvious. It follows well, Atelier Ryza 3, and it is not easy considering that we are talking about a main story that unfolds in about 30 hours (if you run). There are no empty moments, every interaction with supporting actors and new arrivals (some of which are also of considerable value) always bring the young alchemist one step forward.

Recensione Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key

Because I Still Want to Watch the Sky | Review Atelier Ryza 3

What we particularly liked to notice is what we said at the beginning: the growth of the protagonists. In particular, seeing Ryza, Lent, Tao, Boss and Klaudia on screen grown up, changed and improved from every point of view, it made us feel like young fathers in front of adolescent children now detached from the family nucleus. A strange feeling of nostalgia, exacerbated even more by an ending which, unlike the previous chapter of the trilogy, does not leave a sense of unfinished, quite the contrary.

From fiction and sentimentality to action: Atelier Ryza 3’s combat system is the culmination of the trilogy. If, in fact, we went from a first chapter that tended to be too slow and cumbersome to be able to make the clashes interesting (which, in fact, at a certain point jumped at the same time), the second chapter had put on the plate a faster formula, but still improveable. In Atelier Ryza 3, the combat system has almost ceased to feel the presence of an ATB and is frantic, fast and damn fun.

Recensione Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key

Silver Harmony | Review Atelier Ryza 3

The basics are always the same as in the previous chapters, and therefore our heroes will accumulate AP for each successful basic attack, which can then be used to perform powerful skills. The maximum cumulative AP threshold is given by the Technique Level, which in Atelier Ryza 3 increases much faster than in previous chapters. Therefore, immediately you can put the battlefield on fire. On the other hand, the difficulty level has been balanced by making the enemies a little tougher than in the past, but nothing that at a normal difficulty level could worry the most attentive players.

If the fights therefore take place exactly as in the previous chapters, but more quickly, the main addition in Atelier Ryza 3 is the Keys system. By pressing a backbone, Ryza is able to create Keys (whose origin we will not reveal to avoid spoilers of any kind) from every enemy in combat. Each of these will have precise skills and will guarantee advantages to our alchemist who will be able to subvert the fate of the most difficult clashes. Most of these will modify the attack and defense parameters, apply elemental bonuses or donate a disproportionate amount of AP to slaughter enemies on the field.

An addition that, at the start, we didn’t appreciate much, but which by continuing the adventure (and, obviously, increasing the difficulty of the clashes) was able to make itself known, understood and appreciated. The Keys are therefore not simple consumables that give momentary bonusesbut real tools of death and destruction that exponentially increase the possibilities of creating convincing tactics, especially in the boss fights (which are, as always in the franchise, particularly tough).

Recensione Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key

Good night cushion | Review Atelier Ryza 3

The Keys will also have an effect in exploring the game world, divided into large maps, with diametrically different effects and particularly useful if you are looking for special materials. Speaking of exploration, in our opinion it is precisely here that one of the key points of improvement in Atelier Ryza 3 compared to the previous ones lies. Gust has managed to make the world of this chapter damn fun to explore, with simple adjustments to the quality of life. An example: you no longer need to stop to collect resources. Finally we did it.

The game world of Atelier Ryza 3 is broken down into four interconnected macro-regions and through which you can pass practically immediately using the teleportation function to the points of interest (which are really a lot, so don’t be afraid to go a long way to feet). If on the one hand this open-field structure could scare the less accustomed to the genre, on the other it is a delight for enthusiasts like us who found themselves faced with infinite possibilities for exploration, research and collection.

Recensione Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key

Under the Shimmering Sky | Review Atelier Ryza 3

Ryza she brought all her wonderful skills with her and, once the appropriate tools have been crafted, he can go back to diving in the deepest waters to collect materials from the seabed, jump from one platform to another using the Emerald Band or slide rapidly downhill. The pets are also back, summonable via the appropriate bell, but which always have the terrible defect of limiting the collection of resources. Too bad, but our alchemist is already quick enough of her: she doesn’t need mounts.

Crafting through alchemy has also been speeded up and partly simplified: those who already know the knot mechanism in Atelier Ryza 3 will not find themselves lost at all, on the contrary. The only addition, in this sense, is that of the Super Traits nodes, which guarantee even greater effects and bonuses than in the past. Furthermore, even in this case, it is possible to exploit the above Keys to completely change the result of an alchemical recipe. Experiment, you won’t be disappointed.

Recensione Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key

Aftermath of a Thriving Summer | Review Atelier Ryza 3

Let’s move on to the classic sore point of Gust productions. For this review we played Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key on a PlayStation 5 and were therefore able to enjoy the (almost always) rocky frame rate, pegged at 60fps except in some particularly agitated situations. Perk not available in the PS4 and Nintendo Switch versions, which default to 30fps. Technically speaking, Atelier Ryza 3 is a cross-gen title that suffers from Gust’s usual video game conditions. If, therefore, we found ourselves faced with the usual low (very low) resolution textures, a terrifying pop-up of elements on the screen and a cleaning of the image that still needs much improvement, there is something that amazed us.

The character models boast, in Atelier Ryza 3, of a improvement of both aesthetics and animations that is really interesting and which bodes well for the future of the franchise. When we place ourselves in front of a chapter in the Atelier series, we never expect a monster of technical prowess, but these timid steps forward warm our hearts. As always, the dubbing in Japanese is excellent and the Italian adaptation of the texts is absent (again as always). Not that the dialogues are particularly difficult to understand, actually, but it is something that we must point out here anyway.

Recensione Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key

I Will See You Again!

Let’s end this review of Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key with a tear rolling down our eyes. Ryza’s final adventure is therefore over and has left us almost completely satisfied. If we set aside Gust’s long-standing technical problems, which he has nevertheless demonstrated …