Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this instalment, we’re covering Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream by developer Gust.

Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream: (The Explanation)

Dreams do come true, especially when you’re dreaming for a fourth instalment in the Mysterious subseries that brings Sophie back into the fold. Gust have heard our pleas and were all too happy to indulge us all and give Sophie the means of setting out on a new adventure, only this time, instead of expecting a game that takes place after the events of the third Mysterious title, Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream picks up where Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book, left off.

Taking place before the events of Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey, Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream is a RPG that continues Sophie’s journey in trying to earn her alchemist certification and help Plachta escape the doll’s body she currently resides in, and assume human form once more.

Only, they end up with more than they bargained for when a mysterious tree, accompanied by a dark void, sees both of them pulled into a parallel world, home to the Goddess, Elvira. A powerful being capable of reaching across the vastness of time and pulling people into her world, regardless of their time period and giving them all the time in her parallel world, to accomplish their dreams without ever aging.

Waking up alone, Sophie will make new friends and seek out to reunite with Plachta, only when she does come upon her atelier, it will not be the Placta she knows, but an earlier version who still possess their human body. In a land of dreams, nightmares and vicious monsters, the hunt for answers will not be an easy one, but with new friends by her side, tallying up a total of 6 playable characters, an epic adventure is about to unfold.

In terms of visuals, compared to earlier Mysterious titles, Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream features updated character visuals and designs that help greatly expand on the distinct world Gust has already established, whilst also being very reminiscent of the perfected palette utilized in the Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy. The colour palette is as striking as ever and there can be no denying that Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream is a stunning game to look at.

In terms of audio, the game’s soundtrack provides plenty of easy listening and can be rather emotional and poignant at certain points of the game, all helping to drive the energy that surrounds and fills an Atelier title, but some disappointment is expected. As we have seen with newer Atelier titles, there is no English dub for Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream, like there has been for earlier games, but following the release of the latest instalment, Koei Tecmo are conducting fan surveys and seeing if localizations regarding dubs are something fans desire going forwards.  

With regards to gameplay, for the most part Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream plays exactly like you would expect. Players are free to explore the world around them, gathering materials, completing side quests, indulging in alchemy and engaging in turn-based battles with the game’s six playable characters. Only three can be used in battle at one time, with the other three available to support you, be it by swapping out your desired characters with them when their health becomes too low, or your entire front team is vanquished and the rear team now need to leap into battle and try to finish what the others could not.

With all the charm of the original outing and everything Gust has learned and managed to perfect in recent years, Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream is one of Gust’s strongest outings yet. Sophie is back in the driving seat as the main protagonist in yet another compelling story that proves the wait for a sequel was well worth it. It’s exactly what fans have come to expect from recent Atelier games and there is no denying just how gorgeous the game looks all throughout.

Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream: (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

Developer: Gust
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Category: Role-Playing, Platformer
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: February 24, 2022 (Worldwide)
File Size: 6.1 GB
Nintendo.com Listing

By Jack Longman

In 2015, when rumours of the NX and Zelda U were everywhere, my brother and I started Miketendo64 and we've been running it ever since. As the Editor-in-Chief, I have attended video gaming events in three different countries, been to preview events, and penned more than 4,000 articles to date, ranging from news, to features, reviews, interviews and guides. I love gaming and I love all things Nintendo. I also love Networking, so don't be afaid to reach out. Email: contact@miketendo64.com / jack.lo@miketendo64.com Website: https://miketendo64.com/ YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyVMO4QgcniAjhLxoyc9n8Q

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