Gust’s experiment with giving a beloved character a direct sequel has paid off. Anyone who enjoyed the first Atelier Ryza – and many place it right at the top of their series favourites for a reason – will love the subtle improvements that Gust has brought on board, without messing with the qualities that made the original so enjoyable. It has also been nice to play an Atelier that isn’t also a coming of age story, and while Ryza isn’t my favourite character in the series, the two-game arc that Gust has given her has given us one of the finest female heroes across all JRPGs. Atelier is really pushing into the upper echelons of JRPGs now, and I’m quite confident that the next game in the series will continue to build on the brilliant achievement of Ryza and its sequel (can we go back to more traditional Atelier protagonists with the next one though, please, Gust?).