Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm
Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm
First Released
June 29, 2006 (17 years 7 months 28 days)
Genre
EDITOR RATING
62.5
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The 8th core Atelier game and final game in the Iris series.

Editor review

1 review
A Journey Through Alchemy and Adventure: My Experience with Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm

Reviewed on Playstation 2 in December 2023
Overall rating
 
63
Fun Factor
 
70
Visual / Sound Quality
 
65
Replayability
 
55
Level of Challenge
 
60
As someone who has delved deep into the world of "Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm," I've experienced firsthand the unique blend of alchemy, adventure, and role-playing that this 2006 title from Gust Co. Ltd. offers. This review aims to provide a detailed exploration of the game, from its engaging gameplay mechanics to its charming storyline.

Game Overview:
Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm stands as a traditional role-playing game exuding charm but somewhat lacking in substance. The game follows the adventures of Edge and his alchemist friend Iris, members of the Raiders guild, as they embark on a quest to piece together a wish-granting book using gems found across various worlds, known as alterworlds​​​​.

Narrative and Setting:
The storyline revolves around Iris, who appears as a playable character for the first time in the series, and her childhood friend Edge. They are Raiders, undertaking quests and missions that lead them through alterworlds - each with unique challenges and landscapes. Despite its potential, the plot falls short of being compelling or memorable, often feeling underdeveloped and cliché​​​​.

Characters and Dialogue:
One of the game's strengths lies in its character development. Iris, with her vibrant personality, alongside Edge and a host of quirky side characters, including a grouchy guilder and a ghost named Pamela, add a touch of humor and liveliness to the narrative. However, despite the colorful cast, the game's script doesn't allow for in-depth exploration of these characters, leaving them feeling somewhat flat​​​​.

Gameplay Mechanics:

The gameplay revolves around a guild system, with players taking on quests to progress through the game. The quest design, however, tends to be disjointed and repetitive, often involving mundane tasks like fetching items or defeating a number of monsters. These quests lead players to explore alterworlds, which are timed, adding a sense of urgency but also limiting exploration​​​​.

Combat System:

Combat in Atelier Iris 3 is turn-based, with a system that utilizes skill gauges and a burst meter for more powerful attacks. This system, while not groundbreaking, is executed well, providing an enjoyable combat experience. However, the game's difficulty is on the easier side, with boss battles posing little challenge​​​​​​.

Alchemy and Item Synthesis:

Alchemy plays a central role, with Iris able to synthesize various items from weapons to food. This aspect of the game is engaging and adds an interesting layer to the gameplay. The process of gathering items and synthesizing new products is both fun and strategic, though the game could have benefited from more depth in this area​​​​.

Visuals and Audio:

Graphically, Atelier Iris 3 uses 2D sprites in hand-drawn environments. While functional and colorful, the visuals are somewhat dated. The soundtrack is a mix of energetic and cheerful tunes, but it becomes repetitive over time, especially due to the limited exploration in later stages of the game​​​​​​.

Repetition and Pacing Issues:

A significant drawback of the game is its repetitive nature. Players often revisit the same dungeons multiple times, which, combined with the timed aspect of dungeon exploration, can become tedious. The pacing of the story also suffers, with the main plot progressing slowly and being overshadowed by the numerous quests​​.

Fun Factor: 70/100

The game's fun factor largely hinges on its engaging combat system and the joy of item synthesis. Characters' interactions and the quirky humor add to the enjoyment. However, the repetitive quest structure and a lackluster main story can dampen the overall experience.

Visual & Sound Quality: 65/100

The game's 2D sprites and hand-drawn environments are charming but dated. The battle animations and character portraits are highlights in terms of visuals. The soundtrack, while initially catchy, becomes repetitive over extended play, affecting the overall auditory experience.

Replayability: 55/100

Replayability is somewhat limited due to the game's repetitive nature and predictable storyline. While the alchemy system and combat may draw some players back, the lack of significant narrative depth and variety in gameplay can reduce the appeal of replaying the game.

Level of Challenge: 60/100

Atelier Iris 3 offers a moderately challenging experience, primarily through its strategic combat system. However, the overall ease of the game, particularly in boss battles, and the straightforward quest mechanics might not satisfy players seeking a more demanding RPG experience. The game's challenge is more about time management in dungeons rather than complex gameplay strategies.

Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm is a game that shines in its character portrayal and combat mechanics but is let down by its repetitive quest structure and underwhelming story. It's a game that will appeal to fans of the series and those who enjoy alchemy-based RPGs, but it may not stand out for players seeking a deeply immersive and varied RPG experience.

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