Kamidori Alchemy Meister Review
“Making your customers smile is part of being an alchemist.”
Kamidori Alchemy Meister, is a visual novel and SRPG hybrid. It is developed by the infamous Eushully and had just been recently translated.
The game follows Wilfred Dion, or, Wil, for short, a newbie craftsman residing in the industrial state of Yuidora. He just passed his license examination and started taking over the workshop of his deceased parents. He then hires three women, Yuela, Serawi and Emilita as his bodyguard. Together with them, they are always seen constantly exploring unknown dungeons, fending off monsters and gathering crafting materials. Being the diligent Wilfred Dion, he is also studying from time to time, in order to hone his crafting skills.
Kamidori’s worst aspects come from the storyline, unnecessarily long and draggy, without a clear focus. In order to progress the story, it relies on the use of convenient plots and one-dimensional characters who serve nothing more but plot devices.
Kamidori’s method of storytelling also makes it hard to feel the love between the characters. There are not a lot of romance-related scenes which reinforces the romance, except for the H-scenes, which are always pretty sudden. The funny thing is aside from humans, Wil also had sex with various other races as well. It’s funny how his assumed love interest never find out about it, since by the end of the game, the amount of sex he had is literally uncountable.
However, most play Kamidori not for the story, but for the gameplay. Kamidori is a SRPG (Strategy RPG) game and it’s battles are fun. Like classic RPGs, you can equip your characters with various weapons, armors or accessories to enhance their status. You can navigate the characters around the fields and dungeons to harvest or mine points in order to gather crafting materials.
The most entertaining part of the gameplay is the crafting and shop management. By gathering materials and crafting them, you can either equip the equipments you made, or sell them at your store. Having different kinds of weapons are crucial for defeating enemies with certain resistant elements, so it is good to craft different kinds of weapons. You can also craft special armors for your three main heroines. By viewing certain scenes, your character will learn new, unique techniques to incorporate into his crafting, and this will give you the opportunity to make these “special armors.” The armors will increase basic stats and adds resistant to certain elements while weakening down others. For example, Yuela’s Flame Hunter Armor, will increase fire resistance, but will decrease ice resistance. There are also special scenes dedicated to said armors.
Aforementioned, the shop management section of the game is also quite fun. It is nice that you have full control of Wil’s business. During the game’s early stages though, you probably would have no choice but to depend on the default Guild clerk, who ironically do worse then your mud. This changes as you start to gain more allies, you can then select some of your characters to manage your store instead of joining on your expeditions. The best choice early on would be Emilita, and it’s quite good to put her at the shop while you have the rest of the characters grinding. When Emilita is needed for story quests, a good alternative would be Sharty. With more characters, selling items will be more easier. Later on, your items will eventually sell like hotcakes without having the opportunity to keep up with the crafting. Wil will go into bankruptcy if spend a little too much so be careful. You will be given a strict lecture in the guild and is given a “second chance” with 1000S. If Wil go into bankruptcy one more time, it will be instant game over. A pretty realistic uptake on the business part of the game, which is quite cool.
Also, the visual novel has a lot of replay values. Aforementioned, during the first playthrough, you can only recruit and play limited amount of characters. Obviously, you will have access to more during New Game+, further more, you can choose what to carry on from your first playthrough into your New Game+. Your character levels, inventory, workshop extensions, etc.. You can also view additional New Game+ only scenes, mascot scenes and scenes for new characters. This game is actually one of the first I experienced which displays the most flexibility for New Game+ playthroughs.
The graphics aren’t anything breathtaking but they are still good to look at. The characters are illustrated quite well too, and the illustrators did a great job in visualizing each and every race’s own unique distinguishing features. As for BGMs, Kamidori’s average at best. The tracks aren’t memorable and don’t grasp one’s attention much, though they aren’t completely horrible. The opening theme song isn’t the greatest too.
For the voice acting department though, most seiyuu did a fine job with their respective characters. The only problem I can find is the lack of male VAs. Only the girls are voiced and not just the protagonist, but ALL the guys are not voiced. I can understand if it’s yuri-based like Sono Hanabira, but the lack of voice acting from guys dampens the quality, since good characters like Leguna and the Shogun are completely voice-less.
From some personal points of view, Kamidori needs a long time to complete in my opinion, especially if you’re going for a 100% completion. For me, I only managed to finish Yuela’s route and my completion progress probably isn’t halfway there, it’s embarrassing, really. I took nearly a hundred hour just to finish my first playthrough. I plan to play New Game+ too, probably going for Serawi’s route next.
Anyhow, Kamidori is fun and had quite an addictive gameplay. The game needs long, long hours of grinding though, and if you can look past that and the bad storytelling, this visual novel is worth a shot.