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Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland

by NIS America
PlayStation 3
 Teen
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 49.99
Price: CDN$ 27.34
You Save: CDN$ 22.65 (45%)
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Game Information

  • Platform:   PlayStation 3
  • ESRB Rating: Teen Teen
  • Media: Video Game
  • Item Quantity: 1

Frequently Bought Together

Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland + Atelier Totori: The Adventurer Of Arland - Game Only + Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist Of Dusk
Price For All Three: CDN$ 92.32

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Product Details


Product Description

Amazon.ca Product Description

Meruru is the princess of Arls, a little kingdom situated in the far north of the Arland republic. After her father and Gio, the leader of Arland, discussed the merging of the two lands, she met Totori, the now-graduated alchemist. Dazzled by the power of alchemy, and with a desire to help her country prosper, she forced herself on Totori as her first studen

Product Description

Another of the popular alchemic RPG series from Gust, Atelier Meruru is the third of a series of Atelier games set in Arland (also the setting of Atelier Rorona and Atelier Totori.) The tiny kingdom of Arls, located on the northeastern border of the Arland Republic, is where Princess Meruru calls home. Ever since she was exposed to alchemy by famed adventurer Totori Helmold, all she could think about was becoming an alchemist. With Totori's guidance, Meruru sets out to develop her home kingdom of Arls using the power of alchemy. On her way, Meruru will encounter new adventures, obstacles, mysteries, and friends, and discover what life is like outside the castle walls. How you choose to guide her through the advancement of her land will determine the final outcome in the tale of Atelier Meruru!

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice, relaxing RPG July 15 2012
By Hom
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
I loved this game! The characters are all interesting and develop based on your friendship with them. The scenes with them were all very fun to watch, and reaching the maximum level of friendship with them was very rewarding. The kingdom developing mechanic was addicting, and the item synth system was very fun to use. The combat unfortunately is a bit lackluster, but it's not really the focus of the game. If you enjoyed the previous Atelier games, if you like character focused games, or if you're looking for an RPG that's NOT all about saving the world, you should give Atelier Meruru a shot!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of Atelier series July 15 2013
By amy
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
First of all, I have played all Atelier series released so far, whether English or Japanese.

Comparing to all other Atelier series, Meruru has the best system you can ever hope for.
Its graphics are high as well, but as most Atelier players would know, Atelier series isn't all about graphics.
The system is very important in the game, and Meruru uses the simplest and yet the most entertaining system.
Your friendship with others are easy to build, you can check your Quests right off the main menu, synthesis menu is very well organized, battles are fast paced.
The goal of the game is to successfully enhance the country before the end of the 3rd year, and other than that you are not forced to do anything.
Various characters lets you experience unique events, and multi-ending system will make you to complete all of them.
For your 2nd playthrough (New Game+), you can skip through the events quickly with the CIRCLE button, allowing you to skip any events you have previously seen, or replay them.

As the Atelier series fan, I love Meruru, and will rate it as the top of the list.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atelier Meruru review July 23 2012
Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
Atelier Meruru is a great way to end the trilogy. It got a light hearted story that I enjoyed, the combat system is improved and actually fun to me, the alchemy system is fantastic as the previous games, and development mechanic that it has is very rewarding compared to ranking up in Atelier Totori.It's overall structure is also pretty open ended, though it's a bit more structured when compared to Atelier Totori. Do note that this game has a time mechanic so yeah. There are a few stuff that it does better than Atelier Totori, such as combat system being more engaging in Atelier Meruru, but there are also a few stuff that it does that is inferior to Atelier Totori, such as Atelier Meruru being less open than Atelier Totori but I still have to say that Atelier Meruru is on par with Atelier Totori. But overall, I still have to say that Atelier Meruru is still a fantastic way to end the trilogy. It improved on various gameplay mechanics such as the combat system and gave us one last chance to play the numerous characters that we meet through the trilogy as the Atelier Arland games come to an end. I personally give this game an 8/10, a great game to end the Atelier Arland trilogy.
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0 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not great. July 5 2012
By Jessica
Verified Purchase
Fun: 2.0 out of 5 stars   
It's kind of cute, but very linear, very structured. I found the amount of animated sequences got to be a bit too much, and you can't skip ANY of them. So when I attempted to play the game again, I had to sit through at 15 min intro all over again - which means I didn't play it again. I turned it off. I was very disappointed compared to the other games in this series. Not worth the money.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Same great formula with some slight improvements. June 15 2012
By Recently - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
I'm going to assume you have played at least one of the previous games (this is the 3rd and final installment of the Arland series). If you haven't you can probably learn more from reading a review of the other games, since they are fairly similiar. There are some improvements in this installment however which i'll go over.

1.) More goal-oriented questing. If you played Totori, you might have been like myself picking up the random quests/gathering stuff and just building adventurer points without really understanding the importance of time management (in that game, my first play through i got the normal/bad ending because i ran out of time). Here however, there are more obvious short-term goals; your main focus is to improve your kingdom (which works though doing requests for others). By doing this you gain more tangible results: statistical bonuses, more shop variety, etc. There's also aesthetic changes; area's change in appearance, have different gathering materials as they change, and more NPC's show up as you improve the kingdom and the population increases. It gives the feeling of an the nation evolving and that your actions are actually making changes in the game world.

2.) Less time pressure. Kind of. There are more requests to do. Instead of just the typical gathering/killing stuff quests in totori, theres slightly more variety. You can still get these normal quests (for money/friendship points) in the tavern, but you also have your development quests that are done to improve the kingdom. You can easily be overwhelemed by the number of quests to do, but at the same time i feel less time pressure than the previous games. That might be because i'm a vet of the series however.

All the tried and true stuff remains the same. Fun, lovable, cutsey characters, alot of the casts returns from the previous games which is great (<3 filly), lots of humor and fun dialog. Again, if you played any of the previous games in the series you know what to expect (and probably already bought this game). If you haven't played any in the series yet, i'd definitely give it a try. Its a unique take on your typical JRPG.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The same great gameplay, with different goals in mind. June 17 2012
By Jeremy Zhang - Published on Amazon.com
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
So this review is going to start out really random, but bear with me. If you've ever played Fable 1 or 2 and Fable 3, you will have found that the overall goals of the game transitioned from RPG to kingdom sim. In Fable 1 and 2, your goal was to build a strong character and go on a quest to kill a strong enemy. In Fable 3 however, your goal was to kill enemies, upgrade your kingdom's infrastructure, and ultimately meet the infrastructure goals (with money and development targets) before the end of the game.

Atelier Meruru is the same with respect to Totori and Rorona before it. In Totori and Rorona, you goals were more or less to do some exploration, some alchemy, and build up your inventory/characters until they were strong enough to explore the end targets or synthesize whatever you needed. In Meruru, the primary storyline revolves around building up infrastructure in your kingdom, very similar to Fable 3, to meet development targets by the end of the game. The way you do this is complete quests. Some of them involve synthesizing items for infrastructure to develop farms, outposts, etc... Other quests involve going to a dungeon and killing a big enemy.

Overall the game plays out very similarly to Totori. You explore areas and kill mobs/gather ingredients. Then you return to town and synthesize items for combat or for infrastructure. However, the one major change in Meruru that has made it instantly my favorite game of the 3 (Rorona, Totori, Meruru) is that there is no sudden bad end when you do not meet a time limited goal. Yes, you can theoretically get a bad end in Meruru, but you have to blindly try to go for it. Ultimately you will get one of a few very different endings depending on what goal within the game you set out to do. This makes it so that new game+ saves are quite valuable in terms of planning, and it adds a really fun/engaging element to the game with respect to replay value.

If you have not played any previous Atelier games, you might feel lost at first. These types of games are quite cerebral and really make you think about how to wisely spend your time and not waste it. There's a 99% chance you will need to get to new game+ to complete most of what you want, but the second go around is immensely satisfying as you really need to spend the first try learning what items are the best and what items you need to finish your goals. In terms of improvements over the previous games, there are relatively few graphics, sound, and game engine wise. Once again we have an excellent English voice cast that I actually preferred over the Japanese ones (really rare for me in JRPG's), and excellent BGM/OST.

Atelier Meruru is a really fun and engaging JRPG with a fun, character driven atmosphere. You won't regret picking this up even if you haven't played Totori/Rorona.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun game where you do more than just fight monsters Aug. 26 2012
By CF - Published on Amazon.com
Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
I won't go into the specific gameplay, since the other reviewers have done that (you may also find it useful to look at the reviews of the prequels: Atelier Rorona and Atelier Totori), but I wanted to write this review for people who are on the fence about this game and who aren't sure if they'll like it.

Since modern games these days (first person shooters/single-person [no party] RPGs) don't appeal to me, in the past few years I've turned to Japanese games to fill the gaming niche in my life. I think this game is very similar in spirit to Rune Factory (and less tedious/more exciting than Harvest Moon), so if you liked those you might like the Atelier games too.

The Atelier series gives you something to do beyond just fighting monsters: this game combines dungeon-crawling with the creation of items that either help you fight, develop your kingdom, or be friends with other characters. Since the items are made from the resources that you collect from the dungeons and you choose the characteristics of the items you make, you get to exercise your time and resource management skills. The art is fun and the dialogue is mostly amusing, but I do think there are too many cutscenes (so minus one star for fun-ness): they mostly happen as you level up your friendship with the other characters. (But the cutscenes are brief and you can just keep pressing X to skip the dialogue...)

Atelier Meruru is a little easier than its predecessors, with no time limits on quests, and you can achieve the storyline goals without any stress. Even so, if you're a trophy collector you'll probably be referring to a walkthrough quite a bit. If you haven't played any of the Atelier games before, I'd suggest starting with Atelier Totori (the second game in the trilogy), which I think has the most engaging story, and has a better item creation system than the first game (Rorona). Then you could try Meruru and finally Rorona.

Note that this game has been translated to English (and surprisingly, there were a few typos, unlike the previous games which were perfect), but you can play with the original Japanese voices. The art looks cute, but I do think there are a couple risque scenes and I wouldn't buy this for a young kid.

If you've already played the previous Atelier games and liked them, you'll almost definitely enjoy Meruru too (the synthesis system is pretty much identical to Totori's). It's fun to see all the main characters - especially Astrid! - gathered together in one story.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's like Atelier Totori 1.5 ~ (Updated) July 12 2012
By Christopher Barrett - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
My partner calls Atelier Totori my pretty princess game as a joke. Well in the third PS3 Atelier game does feature a princess as the main character! You take control of Meruru whose task it is to use alchemy to help build her kingdom of Aris on the outskirts of Arland. It seems that virtually everyone from Totori has moved to this small kingdom. Totori is featured very early on and does become a controllable character, much like Rorona in the previous game. But Totori is there from the very beginning and she is Meruru's teacher. Meruru seems to suffer from the same 'faults' as both Rorona and Totori: a high propensity for blowing things up and a high pitched 'cutesy' voice (at least in the Japanese audio setting). Although Totori in Atelier Totori takes the cake for most awesome costume.

Like Totori, you have a set time limit to accomplish things. The most notable improvement in the time limit regard is that when you die, it only takes a few days off the time limit rather than more than a week. Dying once in the previous game would almost certainly put a crunch on the time limit. In this game it seems a little less rushed, but still rushed nonetheless. I would have liked a little more leeway to experiment or explore more. I still wonder why there isn't an option to turn off the time limit on the game. Or if you fail the time limit, I would have liked the option to continue playing but with no hope for the 'good' ending. Alas...

When you accomplish certain tasks, things do change. Like one area that starts as a forest becomes a huge farm once you complete certain events. You do lose the lumber harvest points, but gain fruit and grain harvest points instead. And the enemies change as well. So be careful and save often! You might need to gather those extra logs before making the change!

Battles are fluid and fast as they were in the previous game. The music in this game seems a little step down from Totori though. You can actually unlock scores from Totori and use them instead. But once you are in battle you really feel let down with the score. But you really feel the burn when you're in the outlying lands exploring. Some of the scores used are just horrid. Others are good, but a few are just really not interesting.

----------------

Update 8/29/2012:

Just spent a lot of time this weekend playing it. One thing I might mention and that is kind of annoying, is the frequent interruption by characters for little dialogue scenes. There is much more in this game than Totori. I find it happens most annoyingly when I am trying to synthesize items for Development. It can get annoying because you want to watch the scene, but you were really in the middle of getting things done, so...

But it's a lot more fun later on in the game than Totori it seems. Though the map locations are often small (smaller than in Totori usually), there are a lot of them. I just really wish they had paid more attention to the music. Sometimes it's just a slight variation on the main theme, just not very well done. Totori had a great score!

The other slightly annoying thing is that virtually every character from Totori is playable in this. I liked them, but I would have liked to get to know some new faces. You can travel with Lias and Keina (though I rarely use her), but I end up with Mimi, Gino, Sterk, or Esty. You can also use Totori or Rorona, but they're a lot like Meruru, so it's only useful for later play through when you are trying to trigger character specific endings.

Battles continue to be quick and fun. Leveling up makes a huge difference, not like in other games. Just a few points in strength helps. Also upgrading new weapons and armor is the quickest way to being able to tackle some of the baddies. Especially the notorious ones (like the Penguin ninjas and the dragon).

If you liked Totori, you'll like this one, only be prepared for a LOT more dialogue scenes.

The game shines when it comes to story and characterization. I wouldn't say this title is an improvement over Totori, actually I would say that Totori held my interest more with the story line. But that's not to say this isn't a great story, just not quite as good as the excellence of the previous title.

I also felt that the difficulty was a little higher. Part of it might be the lack of team diversity early on. You really only have one true warrior early and so it makes things a little tougher when one of the characters hits for 1-4 damage despite possibly inflicting sleep status. But stocking up on items and bombs helps a lot. And battles have a system much like Grandia and Final Fantasy 10. A kind of attack bar that puts your character in a queue depending on their speed and the previous attack. So that's a big improvement. And you still have the combo attacks used after items as well as the defender swap in if Meruru is targeted.

The other thing is that early on the shops don't really stock items you really need. In Totori, you almost HAD to buy most of your alchemy ingredients. Trying to harvest more than I'd say 25% of your goods would take too long in Totori. So in this game you really have to spend some time harvesting. Especially for fuel type items. It also takes a little while to get the blacksmith shop running and cranking out more advanced weapons.

Speaking of alchemy. The alchemy formula remains nearly identical to the previous game. There are some minor changes, mainly to the added effects and how you can apply them. Such as certain effects not showing up until you combine your result with something else to create a new item (the effect usually appears as a ? until the next combination).

The biggest improvement has to be the graphics. NIS really upped the ante with the foliage detail and the lighting effects. It's gorgeous. The characters have the same 2-d almost cell shaded look as before, but the backgrounds just pop. The detail is amazing while retaining the story book look and feel.

But like the previous title, this is a fun little bit of nostalgia. Early on the game seems a little tedious, but after a couple of hours things do start settling down and the fun begins. I would say that if you liked Totori, then you will like this game. If you haven't played Totori, then this still might be a fun game for you to try, just really know that you're getting a beautiful game based on some old school RPG mechanics. Enjoy!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best of the series July 20 2012
By Anonymous - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
Supposed to be the last of the 'arland' trilogy, and overall this is a good game. It is a somewhat open world with a lot of different choices when it comes to development projects, most which give some kind of concrete rewards. Your homs (helpers) are very versatile and can gather meteriel or synthesize depending on which one you want to do less of. Combat is similar to the others, pretty straightforward and very dependent on alchemy and consumable items.

Many characters appear from the last two games as do some new ones. After the initial part, you have a wide array of adventurers to chose from, including other alchemists (you can have an all-alchemist party, if that is what you desire). However this is also one of the downsides, with so many characters, a lot tend to be a bit flat or predictable, or just lacking in depth. Some of the cut-scenes are funny, but others tend to be boring exercises in click-through-and-ignore.

The game looks very good and even uses out-of-focus affects to add depth during cutscenes. It has a few nice touches but it's hard to tell where it's going. It seems to fall more toward the happy-go-lucky type of mood rather than the mood of totori which was a bit darker.
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