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Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland Game Poster Image
Crafting adventure creates engaging, accessible gameplay.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Traditional good versus evil messages, as characters fight monsters to protect others.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Not much is known about the heroine – a young alchemist named Lulua – but she uncovers the mystery surrounding a magical book. She seems friendly and innocent, and it’s great to see a strong female protagonist, but she dresses provocatively.

Ease of Play

Simple controls that are easy to play, but a gamepad (or controller) is mandatory, especially if you're playing on a computer.

Violence

Combat's a frequent part of the game. Fights are turn-based, with characters using swords, a large handheld cannon, and magic spells to defeat supernatural foes. There's no blood or gore, but enemies will cry in pain.

Sex

The main protagonist and other female characters dress suggestively, with short skirts and lots of cleavage shown in tight clothing. Some dialog contains suggestive material and nonconsensual sexual advances, such as a drunk woman holding down another character, trying to kiss her (“You're so cute. I've always thought so…Let me give you a little kiss”), and comments about “ogling” girls.

Language

Mild swearing with words like “damn” and “bastard.”

Consumerism

Latest title in the Atelier role-playing game franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There is no smoking or drunks but a few alcohol-related scenes, like the aforementioned woman wanting to force a kiss on another woman, as well as inebriated characters saying things like “Drink up,” “Drunk? Me?” and “You really can't hold your liquor, can you?”

What parents need to know

Parents should know that Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland is a role-playing game for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. The game is the latest in the long-running anime role-playing game series. It stars a young girl named Lulua, who dresses somewhat suggestively. There are also some sexual comments, including nonconsensual sexual advances by one woman against another woman while the victim looks scared. Mild profanity, including "damn" and "bastard," are included in the dialogue, and while combat is a frequent part of the game, with swords, projectiles, and magic, no blood or gore is shown.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

ATELIER LULUA: THE SCION OF ARLAND is set several years after Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland and follows a young alchemist – inspired by her mom’s accomplishments -- as she sets out on an epic adventure, with the aid of her childhood friend, Eva, and a magical book, to explore a large map across Arland. Fans of the series will recognize some characters (like Lulua's mentor, Piana) and locations (castles, forests, ancient ruins). The three C’s will be familiar, too – collecting, crafting and combat (turn-based) – but the developers added a few new mechanics, like more involvement with the magical book (used to synthesize items, make recipes and decipher riddles), along with better-looking graphics and audio.

Is it any good?

If you’re a fan of turn-based Japanese role-playing games (JRPG), you’ll no doubt fall for the charm of this third-person adventure, which captures animated cartoon flair and deep adventure gameplay. Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland is a highly enjoyable game, even though all the text you need to sift through may not please impatient gamers. If you haven’t played any of the previous Atelier games, it's important to know that the story needs to be completed within three (in-game) years, so keeping an eye on the time, like gathering and crafting healing items that can take half a week to complete, is a big part of the game. Part of the strategy is learning, through trial and error, which items to craft and how long you should set aside to do so. If you don't waste too much time, you'll be just fine with having space to explore the world (Atelier Lulua is more forgiving with time than previous Atelier titles), mining, fishing, and gathering other resources required to make new items.

The turn-based battle system has you controlling up to five characters in your party, choosing the right kind of attack or special skill (or defensive maneuvers; two of your party members serve as support). In total, your main options are similar to previous games, but particularly notable is the new Interrupt ability, which one of the alchemists can use at any time during battle to inflict damage with a pre-equipped item (even during an enemy’s turn). It's fun to trigger, but you need to wait until the gauge is full from performing attacks. This could be especially useful during boss battles to help you take down larger, tougher enemies. Aside from a lot of text to sift through and some repetition in the turn-based battles, there isn't much to complain about with this single-player game. Between its engaging story, deep characters, crafting and synthesizing, and tight battle system, Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland is a really good – and good-looking – JRPG to sink some time into.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sexualization of characters. Does the main character of Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland need to have such a short skirt or shorts as an outfit, especially in battle or exploration situations? Does the game need the sexual references, too?

  • Is the impact of the violence in Atelier Lulua affected by the fact that you're mainly fighting monsters in battle? Would it be intensified if you were fighting people?

Game details

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