I’ve been a fan of JRPG’s for nearly the entirety of my three decades of my existence, but one franchise I have never given a spin is Gusts’ Atelier series. However, a new batch of screenshots from the lengthily titled Atelier Rorona: The Origin Story of the Alchemist of Arland has me curious.

The first game released in America, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana, back in the PlayStation 2 days blipped on my radar at the time, but I never got around to playing it. All I know is that its main theme was item synthesis, and it came at a time when alchemy was all the rage in Japanese pop fiction thanks to Fullmetal Alchemist tearing up the nation’s television ratings.

I also remember it being one of the first times Nippon Ichi America reached out and localized another company’s property, taking off shortly after Disgaea: Hour of Darkness arrived and cruised up the sales charts.

Apparently the series became a relatively huge hit with its niche market, because it has seen 15 releases since; one annually starting in 2001, beating out Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Tales in terms of number of releases.

Any fans out there want to give me some tips on where to start? Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana or any entry in the series could make for a great retro review from this longtime JRPG fan who has missed out on a rather large slice of history.

In the meantime, check out these new screenshots for Atelier Rorona: The Origin Story of the Alchemist of Arland let us know what you think below. The game’s remake is set to be released for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita in November 2013.