Atelier Ryza 3 improves upon its predecessors in a warm sendoff to Ryza and friends.

Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End and the Secret Key Review — A Warm Goodbye

Atelier Ryza 3 improves upon its predecessors in a warm sendoff to Ryza and friends.

The Atelier JRPG series has been a sleeper hit through the years, with the Atelier Ryza titles being one of seven different sub-series among them. Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End and the Secret Key is a loving sendoff for the most popular sub-series the franchise has seen yet, with the game boasting the largest world, fast-paced combat, and a careful fleshing out of its cast.

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If you’ve grown attached to the characters between the first and second games, you owe it to yourself to see Atelier Ryza 3 through.

Aside from the sheer scope of the Kark Isles, each of the characters we’ve become attached to from one entry to the next gets their time to shine. As mentioned, Alchemist of the End and the Secret Key is a sendoff — this is the last time we’ll be seeing Klaudia, Lent, Federica, Ryza herself, and everyone else as fully fleshed-out characters. Koei Tecmo really put the effort in to show their growth and make them endearing.

Unfortunately, the game’s translation leaves something to be desired. Not only are there typos throughout the Atelier Ryza 3 script, but some portions are also so poorly written it’s easy to imagine some of it was put through a machine translator to cut costs. 

Rough localization aside, Ryza fans are in for a treat. The Kark Isles are massive, and their environments are colorful, varied, and whimsical. It’s the perfect setting to say goodbye to Ryza and the rest of the cast.

Image via Koei Tecmo

The battle system in Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key is the most fast-paced yet. You’re able to control one character at a time, with three total in your party for battle. No worries, though! You can swap characters mid-combat if necessary, so you won’t have to feel like you leave anyone behind.

The AI portions of your party shout out during combat to tell you which actions to take to increase your combo, with the goal of charging your Fatal Drive ability for massive damage.

It’s a little faster than you might expect from an Atelier game, but it’s easy enough that you shouldn’t feel too overwhelmed. This is offset by the fact that it ultimately ends up coming down to button mashing, so you don’t have to really think too hard. Though, you should time those Guard actions when you can.

Atelier Ryza 3 also improves upon the synthesis from the first game, taking what was already a strong and addictive system and adding further refinements in Material Loops, Link Morph, and Keys to increase crafted item quality, altering traits, and even fully changing the effects of items.

Being that one of the main draws of the Atelier series at large is the synthesis system, the new features on — top of the building blocks set by the rest of the sub-series — give Atelier Ryza 3 probably one of the best synthesis systems in the entire series.

You have unprecedented control over your synthesis in this entry, but you don’t even have to delve that deep into it if you’re here more for the characters than the gameplay. Automatic crafting is also an option, should you not want to bother with all these new bells and whistles.

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

Image via Koei Tecmo

Pros

  • Characters we’ve met through the trilogy are given more character development than ever.
  • The Kark Isles are both huge and beautiful.
  • Item synthesis is better than ever.

Cons

  • The localization is just not good.
  • The game has a fair amount of confusing slowdown despite what it is.

The Atelier series isn’t for everyone, but this is the ultimate entry for those this series is geared toward. Many of the disappointments of Atelier Ryza 2 were fixed in this sequel, particularly in the characterization department. There could be no better sendoff for Ryza and friends.

[Note: Koei Tecmo provided the copy of Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End and the Secret Key used for this review. Featured image via Koei Tecmo.]

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Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End and the Secret Key Review — A Warm Goodbye
Atelier Ryza 3 improves upon its predecessors in a warm sendoff to Ryza and friends.

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Ashley Shankle
Ashley's been with GameSkinny since the start, and is a certified loot goblin. Has a crippling Darktide problem, 500 hours on only Ogryn (hidden level over 300). Currently playing Darktide, GTFO, RoRR, Palworld, and Immortal Life.
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