Cheat Code Central
There's plenty of alchemy and adventure in Meruru, with less filler travel time. There are fewer endings than Totori, but they're easier to get.
Atelier Meruru is a niche title. Those who love Japanese-style games or who get a kick out of playing with crafting systems will absolutely be in love the second the game boots up. There are a few minor faults, for sure, but if Atelier Meruru has what you're looking for you're going to have a hard time putting it down.
Though the Atelier series might not be the epitome of Japan's RPG industry, I've always had a soft spot for its various chapters. Atelier Meruru isn't "epic," "intense," or "exhilarating"-it's charming, friendly, and fun, and it's not ashamed of it.
If you have a soft spot for the Atelier series, you probably will enjoy Meruru quite a bit. But if the series hasn't impressed you yet, this entry surely won't change your mind.
It is impossible to enjoy the game as a complete experience because you see everything through the eyes of one of the most vapid gaming protagonists ever created, and do all of your adventuring in a world so sickeningly sweet that you should get screened for adult-onset diabetes the moment you put down the gamepad.