Saturday, June 9, 2012

Alchemy adventures with Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland

Alchemy game elements are more common in Japanese RPGs than you'd think.  While it's true that Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland (and, for that matter, any other Atelier games in the past) holds alchemy as a primary feature, other games hold the ingredient-mixing element close to their hearts.  And while the whole ingredient-fetching quest-and-grind is a little tedious and mundane, I still find it somewhat appealing now in this latest Atelier game.  And you know what comes to mind?  Facebook games.

Hear me out.  Thanks to many, many, MANY Facebook games, the concept of collection completion is a very prominent aspect, and draws many players daily to obtain and gather these virtual goods towards a common goal.  But, unlike console games, Facebook games generally have no end - you are left to always collecting items and completing goals with no sense of satisfaction other than annoying others when you don't have what you need.

Somehow, it's this strange yearning that Facebook leaves combined with the short time spans that fill my new daddy life that makes this game appealing.  When I first tried this game, I was absolutely ready to repel from it like a sticky puddle of ick.  But the more I played, the more I was fine gathering ingredients, content with the minor battles in between, and was happy to complete goals.

Time will tell whether or not games like this will stick to me, but this gamer heart yearns for some change...and the chance to use the word "yearn."
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