Editors Note: This review was provided to Strafer.net by Brady Ruiters
The Alliance Alive HD Remastered is an upscaled version of the 3DS JRPG that launched during the course of last year. It’s headed up by a team that has worked on popular series such as Final Fantasy and Suikoden. It features a story set in an oppressive world following a host of different characters. Is it a JRPG worth diving into though? Let’s find out.
The Alliance Alive starts off by introducing you to the world you’re about to step into. It’s a world where the human world has been invaded by Daemons. These powerful invaders have cut off the continents from each other using dark energy and an ocean that can’t be crossed by normal means. Given that this world is an oppressed one, it’s no surprise that there are resistance groups looking to get rid of the Daemons and restore some semblance of normalcy for its human inhabitants.
The narrative initially follows just two characters, but then focuses on two other groups of characters. Ultimately their paths cross and converge as they set their sights on one enemy.
The story is great; the pacing is near perfect as it moves along without dwelling on a single plot point for too long. The same can’t be said for the character development, however, as there’s little to no back story for any of the characters. The intro of how the Daemons came to enter the world is pretty much where it ends.
Combat is a turn-based affair and doesn’t conform to classic RPG mechanics. The biggest change is that characters don’t level up, at all. Instead, after completing a battle, they’ll gain stat gains. Additionally, characters aren’t restricted to certain weapons or armour and can equip anything they find. However, in order to become proficient with them and learn new skills, they’ll need to use them in combat, which results in them being awarded at seemingly random intervals. There’s also a degree of strategy to combat, with formations playing an incredibly important role. Depending on where a character is positioned and their role (offence, defence or support), it will determine which skills they can use plus the effectiveness of those skills. It’s a nice touch that changes up the pace of battles as opposed to just spamming attacks at various enemies. What isn’t a nice touch is how poorly these features are explained in-game; there are no real tutorials explaining the ins and outs of just how these mechanics work.
Another nice feature is the presence of Guilds. There are a host of different Guilds located throughout the world. These aren’t just for show, however, as setting foot in a Guild’s territory can grant bonuses such as stat buffs or tweaks to how a battle starts. Not only that, but you’re also able to recruit people to guilds, which, in turn, can result in them being able to aid you further, such as developing weapons and spells.
The Alliance Alive HD Remastered looks great on the Switch. The character models have been noticeably upscaled and most of the world looks great. There are some environments that seem to still be sporting visuals from the 3DS version. It doesn’t detract from the experience too much, but it is noticeable as you make your way through a conversation in an area that might be lacking.
The Alliance Alive HD Remastered is great. There’s a decent story to be experienced here and the combat features a nice deviation from classic RPG tropes, even if some of the mechanics aren’t explained in their entirety. Aside from the general visual upgrade, the game doesn’t offer much extra as motivation to jump in if you’ve already played the original on 3DS. However, if you’re a newcomer or simply want to play a better looking version of the game, The Alliance Alive HD Remastered is an awesome tale to sink your teeth into.
- Decent Story
- Great Pacing
- New take on combat
- Shiny new visuals
- Little to no character development
- Poorly explained mechanics