Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland Isn't Much Of An Adventure
Taking place 5 years after the first of the series Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland, the second game in the Atelier series follows the young girl Totooria Helmold, or Totori for short. In the beginning of the game, it is explained that Totori finds a starving Rorona collapsed outside of her home. In return, Rorona teaches Totori alchemy and begins to experiment on her own after Rorona leaves.
So What Drives The Story?
During the early parts of the game, you will come to understand that the main job throughout the land is to become an adventurer. Totori decides to take this courageous feat for one reason, and one reason only. To find her mother, also an adventurer, who has disappeared for such a long time.
Everyone in her town thinks Totori's mother to be deceased, yet Totori chooses to believe her mother is lost, and so embarks on her journey.
Now, as any RPG goes, you grind for items and levels. However, a factor that changes this RPG from any other, is that it is time based. As you can see in the picture above, in the top left is the date (in-game) and then a small circle with the number one in it. Each area you visit on the map (marked by the yellow circles) passes the time by one day. That setting shows the time you've accumulated in game.
When you've received your adventurers' license, you have a time limit on how long you are an adventurer. You must pass tests on your journey to meet the requirements of holding your license. If you cannot meet the requirements, you lose your license. If you lose your license, the game completely ends.
There's no "real" story line to follow other than moving from place to place hoping for a sequence of events to happen in order to continue. What I mean to say is, you have no real clue as to where to go next to progress the story. Along with that, the strict time limit in the game (5 years) isn't very long to enjoy the story while also trying to become strong enough to help pass the difficult missions that arise to get to that next required part.
All in all, the Atelier series is a good entertainment, but is an acquired taste. I give it a good 6 out of 10. Let's just see what the third game has to offer!