It was fun, and like Atelier Annie, I'm thinking about doing another playthrough. I didn't finish my second playthrough of Annie, though. I may not finish a second playthrough of Rurona. I may skip over to some other game I havent' beaten yet, since I feel like I'm totally on a roll.
The Atelier games are not really all that long, and they vary in format. The Atelier Iris series wasn't limited by time like the others, and I think it was a much more traditional RPG with an in-depth item creation system. The other Atelier games I've played have focused much more on item creation/item shop systems, asking you to balance that with your freindship levels around town, and your adventuring level.
In these respects, Atelier Rurona falls in line well with the other Atelier games. Some changes were minor, and others were hard to get used to and cumbersome. Honestly, I think that some of the changes made to the play system and user interface were made just to utilize the PS3 hardware, but ultimately made some aspects of the game sluggish and cumbersome.
The two things that chaffed my ass the most with this game was the storage system and the quest system. And really, the things that bothered me about the quest system are very closely tied to your inventory management. You have a basket that can hold 60 things, and a container that can hold 999 things. You can only access your container from inside your workshop. You cannot take things in and out of your container anywhere else. I understand that you can't just go around gathering and have everything go to your container and not worry about inventory space... otherwise they would have just given you a 999 slot basket. However!!! It is supremely annoying to do quests in town that require things you don't have in your basket, but do have in your container. If you accept a quest, and you have the items in your basket, you can opt to turn them in immediately and skip a few windows of dialogue. If they are in your container, you have to leave, go back to your workshop, take the items out, go back to the quest giver and either pick up/turn in the quest, or turn it in. It wastes a lot of time by making you run around all over the damned place. Thankfully, as long as you arn't synthing, you don't eat up any time in town... but it's still a pain.
Since the game is short and uses new game+, I wish more than your money& encyclopedia carried over. I understand why they wouldn't want you starting over with your items, but adventure level carried over would have been wonderful. There also arn't really any options to skip cutscenes, either. It does (mercifully) give you the option to skip any and all tutorials.. and dialogue moves as quickly as you can mash the X button.. but it would have been nice to skip some scenes altogether.
All in all, though, the game benefitted graphically from the move to PS3. I had a lot of fun with it, and I'd totally do a new game + to try to get a better ending. (I got the normal crap ending. Yeah, you saved the shop by acing all your alchemy challenges, but no one likes you so you leave town because you are still unpopular. whoops. I suck at getting video game boyfreinds) Getting a perfect ending on these games requires amazing time management. I always kind of fart around and do whatever on the first playthrough so I can explore the world and enjoy stuff.. but if you want the best ending, you almost have to plan out every single day XP
What on earth should I play next?? XP I'm thinking about trying out that Shiren the Wanderer game for Wii that came out a while back. I could also just go out and buy more crap I won't play for ages, like Radiant Historia. In other news- Catherine is being released stateside later this year. AWESOME! You can bet I'll be all over that one on release day, yo