Every summer for the past four years, I've looked forward to the June release of the latest Atelier game, just because I like writing impressions for them so much. Atelier Sophie: Alchemist of the Mysterious Book got delayed by a few months, which means that I get to do a TGS impression of it instead. I could only wish for more time to base it on.
A demo with an enforced ten-minute time limit is not the best way to get a feel for a new Atelier game. That said, the key visual theme for this one is books. Even if you didn't know the secondary title at all, it's obvious that Sophie is the biggest little bookworm the series has ever seen. Three corners of her house are filled with books piled high, and her attention span can't hold out against that much temptation. Just in the course of the introductory scenes, where the player is supposed to learn about the alchemy system by making a simple medicine for a friend, Sophie gets sidetracked by a book of her grandmother's favorite candy recipes. Having her find a magic tome that talks back to her seems pretty natural, with a character like this.
Unfortunately the demo ended well before I could get any deeper into the game, and I was cancelling the dialogue boxes as fast as I could read them (faster than the voice-acting). The guy playing at the PS3 next to me somehow got a lot farther than I did, so I can only assume he wasn't reading anything at all.
Sadly, there was no demo available for Yoru no Nai Kuni, Gust's other big upcoming title. I did ask why, only to be told that when one of the big manager types was planning out the Koei Tecmo area, he decided to cut it from the list for space reasons. That's a shame, because while Sophie looks to be all sorts of fun, it's a familiar, Atelier sort of fun. Yoru no Nai Kuni looks different enough that a demo would probably have helped a lot.