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Atelier Shallie + got announced for the Vita, and it’s exactly what you might expect. As the final game in the Dusk series, Shallie + adds both Ayesha and Logy as playable characters, adds in a whole lot of new story and scenarios concerning these characters, tying up loose ends, and basically closing out the series. It’s a shame that folks who bought the vanilla version effectively got shafted, but for someone like me who waits on the portable versions, I’m pleased as punch.

Atelier Sophie and Atelier Shallie + crossover illustration from this week’s Dengeki Magazine.

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Come one, come all, and welcome to another riveting edition of Go West!, your [semi]-weekly column about the latest Japanese game releases of the week. There are games out this week. Imagine that: games!

I know, this might be hard to wrap your mind around, but we’re finally seeing a string of semi-notable new titles this time, which means we actually have stuff to talk about. 

Or get angry about.

I’m not really sure anymore.

Let’s get this show on the road!

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Atelier Sophie illustration in this week’s Famitsu. FRIENDSHIP.

Here’s thirty minutes from the beginning of Atelier Sophie, Gust’s latest in the series. This is set to hit this Thursday in Japan.

It’s not particularly exciting, but series fans will be able to see how much has changed since the Dusk arc.

Anybody importing this week?

Atelier Sophie feature from this week’s Famitsu. 

Nothing particularly new in these four pages, just an overview of all the information we’d gotten over the last few months. The game hits store shelves next week, so this is pretty par for the course. 

I was feeling pretty lukewarm on Sophie for a while there, but I think I’ve finally warmed up to the game’s look and feel. I still think the doll’s design is super dumb, and I prefer the art style of the Dusk games, but I think I can deal with this.

The Atelier Sophie feature from this week’s Famitsu reveals a few cool new details, not the least of which is the return of one Logy from Atelier Escha & Logy. 

The Logy of Atelier Sophie is a bit different from the one in the last game however. Logy is a 24 year old Blacksmith who has traveled throughout the world. He returns home for the first time in a while, and opens up his own shop. His dream is for the weapons he makes to travel throughout the world with their owners. He’s an old pal of Sophie’s.

As always, Pamela is around, and the sister at a local church. She also runs a nursery school, and is pretty much famous throughout the town. There isn’t a soul there who doesn’t know her name.

We also get some information on the Doll Make system, which functions not unlike from the basic alchemy system. Basically by using certain items to create Plachta’s body, you’ll get different effects on her stats and even change her appearance. Will you choose Plachta’s body-type based on her usefulness in combat, or for the character design?

As noted a ways back, Atelier Sophie has a proper day night cycle. Famitsu goes over a basic in-game day. In the morning, Sophie heads off to gather materials. She arrives at her location at around midday. However, there are also certain materials and monsters that can only be encountered at night, making it worthwhile to go out in the dark. There are also days off which feature special events, and even a weather system which affects which items can be acquired.

I was initially pretty shaky on Atelier Sophie due to the not-so-hot initial character designs, but I’ve since turned around on the whole thing. Now to dig up my copy of Atelier Escha & Logy.

Atelier Sophie is right around the corner.

While I’m still trying to figure out if I’m excited for this or not, Gust has gone and released the first of a series of character introduction trailers. This first video of course goes to the title character, Sophie herself. Some brief clips of battle aside, this mostly devoted to showing off the type of person she is.

Onward to the next video!

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Howdy folks, and welcome to another zany, wacky, absurd edition of Go West!, your [sometimes] weekly column about the latest Japanese game releases. 

For what feels like the first time in months, we have more than just a single big new title this week. Now that summer is coming to an end, the Japanese video game industry has sprung back to life so that it may once again entertain us with endless visual novel and RPG releases.

This week? A revival of an old classic, an anime licensed game that probably won’t suck, and a brand new IP from an old developer. Oh, and some other random stuff too because why not.

Let’s get this party on the road!

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This week’s Atelier Sophie piece from Dengeki Playstation. Nothing particularly new here, just a look at Sophie’s journey of growth, and then a closer look at the new panel-based alchemy system. 

Please don’t suck.