I will start off by saying there will be possible spoilers below as I will reference various scenes and endings that show up later in the respective Atelier games.
New Atelier Ayesha Plus DLC has been released. From what we can see, there’s more swimsuits, a white dress theme, and Wilbell in an outfit that Harry would probably wear. We do wonder though, why these outfits? The white dresses look quite nice, so that’s workable, but we feel Tecmo Koei missed a lot of potential designs that have better synergy with the characters and their world environment. Did they forget that Ayesha was supposed to be fundamentally different? Previously we mentioned how the Disney/fantasy theme was pretty cool, but also just as out of place when you consider the characters.
First, let’s take a look at the three girl characters. Ayesha is a hermit who prefers to stay home doing alchemy, Wilbell is a strange mage, and Linca is a socially awkward bodyguard only proficient in wielding a sword. Although they make a great team while battling during the course of the game, not a single game CG includes all three at the same time. The characters have very little relatability, and their individual stories are rather independent of one another. The contrasts between Wilbell and Linca even carry over to Atelier Escha. They’re in the same town with similar side roles, but don’t really fight alongside one another in the story. Well, we suppose they’re team of misfits. Their roles are so clear cut that there aren’t really other outfits to flesh out their personalities further.
Usually with a theme we would expect it either reflects the character personality, a previous game, or the company that made the game. When we see Atelier Escha DLC, those designs were drawn out by collaborations. The costume DLC represent a strong effort to produce unique designs that involve those that made it. In the end, since the three Ayesha characters have extremely distinct roles, there really isn’t a way to make a synergetic costume.
Even though adventuring in swimsuit DLC is a very common Japanese RPG trend in recent years, at least Totori wearing a swimsuit has some synergy when you consider her hometown is on the coastal shoes and her family has dealt with ships, fish, and the seas. The game even has a festival that has a swimsuit competition component and CG specific images. Meruru on the other hand has less correlation to swimsuits, but since much of the cast she actively interacts with comes from Arland, it doesn’t seem unusual to carry over anything that was in Atelier Totori since the game itself celebrates being the final game of the Arland trilogy.
We were quite excited at new Atelier Ayesha Plus screens and we felt the safe usual route was taken, so we weren’t tempted enough to go get a Vita solely for this game. Designs we wanted to see for Atelier Ayesha Plus were either ideas closer to beta Ayesha designs, or something Tecmo Koei specific, even if it’s just a logo or design on a booth babe outfit. Heck, even cheerleader designs would have been fine considering that’s what Tecmo Koei did for Dead or Alive 5 Plus because then you can put the company logo on the outfit. Who knows, perhaps more costume DLC will manifest based on previous Atelier saves as that’ll be interesting to see.