Going out on a thigh note.
Gust’s long-running Atelier series has come on leaps and bounds over the past few years. Its various recent appearances on Switch in particular display a steely determination on the part of the Japanese developer to step up with its JRPG franchise and make a concerted effort to rub shoulders with the big guns. In Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key, it feels like it’s hit a new high, serving up the best Atelier adventure yet and a game that fans and newcomers to the series should find plenty to be delighted by.
For the most part, the Atelier series has switched out its main protagonist for each entry in this 27-year-old franchise. However, Ryza — whether due to popularity or as part of an overall plan — finds herself helming her third outing in a trilogy that’s seen her grow from an innocent child stumbling into the world of magic to the well-renowned and sought-after alchemist we meet at the beginning of this final chapter. In affording Ryza time to grow and develop over such a long arc and allowing her friends to follow and grow alongside her, Gust has managed to imbue the narrative with an emotional depth not previously seen in the series, and they really do dig into this aspect here.
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