A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland is a fantasy role-playing game that revolves around completing various missions and collecting items to advance through the story. Players will fight through turn-based battles where the primary focus is on strategy, not quick, frenetic violence. Though battles are an essential component of the game, and combat is frequent, the visual effects and magic attacks keep violent content at a minimum. Expect clear references to alcohol, with dialogue about characters being drunk, as well as swearing ("damn," "s--t") and some sexually suggestive banter.
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What's it about?
ATELIER RORONA PLUS: THE ALCHEMIST OF ARLAND doesn't have the kind of massive, multi-layered, larger-than-life story line that many similar role-playing games have. Instead, it has a more subdued plot to provide a more casual gameplay experience and allow the mechanics of the game to be the main focal points. Players take on the role of Rorona, a young alchemist trying to keep her workshop open by accomplishing tasks set by the king. Along the way, she acquires new friends to help her complete her tasks -- collecting components and using "alchemy" to create new items.
Is it any good?
Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland sets itself apart from many other titles in this genre because of the fairly basic story line. That doesn't necessarily make it a bad game. In fact, it adds a level of authenticity to the experience, making the characters and gameplay experience more relatable. It also gives the game a more "casual" feel, allowing players to go at their own pace without needing to keep track of winding plot lines. But missions do end up having a repetitive feel.
That would be forgivable if there was a grand payoff upon the completion of later missions, but that never really happens. What's left is a game with a rigid formula and a solid gameplay system (the battle mechanics are great), but it's missing that final component that brings it all together. For players who may want to just play through the game in the background and enjoy the strategies of the nicely built combat system, it fits the bill. But those looking for something more may come away without feeling fully satisfied.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the swearing and language in Atelier Rorona Plus. Do you think it's necessary for the game? Why do you think the game designers included this content?
If you had to embark on a journey with the people you trust the most, who would you choose, and why?
Did you get a sense of accomplishment from completing the various tasks? When do you get the same sense of accomplishment in real life?
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