While "she sells seashells by the seashore" may be the more complex tongue twister, trying to say Atelier Totori five times fast may turn out to be equally mouth defying. Totori is the newest title in the longstanding Atelier series, though in this case the impression is written from the desk of someone who has had little to no experience with the series prior to this point.
Totori is an alchemist and a bit of a wimp. Fortunately, she's surrounded by a number of tough friends who, while they may beat her up in private, will go to any lengths to protect her as she goes out to explore the world and gather alchemy ingredients. Upon entering the world map I could choose a number of locations to visit, all of which took some number of days to arrive at [ed. note: time management is an important part of the Atelier series]. Once there I was able to harvest alchemy ingredients, but sadly Totori did not go unmolested in her travels. Pressing square allowed me to get the jump on enemies, and as an alchemist Totori is able to use items during battle, which no other character can. When threatened, I could use L1/R1 to trigger blocks or counterattacks when Totori herself was being targeted by an enemy, as she had a tiny fraction of the health that other party members sported.
Back at the lab I walked up to my pot and began brewing. Creating a number of items also took a set amount of days, which was displayed as I chose the number to make. Types and quality of ingredients affected the final product as I was able to choose from a selection of perks for the item. These included full bonuses, full penalties, along with traits that were mixed (an increase in one stat such as durability while decreasing another such as attack power). There was a huge amount of depth and thought that could go into the alchemy system, but for those who desire a little less overhead there's still the ability to move through brewing quickly.
Though the E3 build was the first English pass at the title and still had some Japanese menus, NIS America is shooting for a September launch. Look for Atelier Totori to be landing on the PS3, published by Koei-Techmo, in a few short months. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to study this guide on alchemy further...