Title: The Alliance Alive HD Remastered
Developer: FURYU Corporation
Publisher: NIS America
Genre: Role-Playing Games (RPG), JRPG
Platform: PlayStation 4
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 11/10/19
Price: £44.99 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
I go into reviews as blind as possible, so, despite this being a Remaster, I put in the review code for this game not even aware it was a JRPG. So when I say that it surprised me with just how good it was, I do mean surprised.
So while I was planning out this review, I had to ask myself, what made this game stand-out from others like it. It’s open-ended. Not that its an open-world game (which it technically is) but that there’s freedom to do whatever you want with the characters, what weapons they can use, whether they’re a healer or deal loads of damage.
The way the combat works, is that each character (with the one exception) can hold two weapons. There’s a standard attack, which doesn’t do that much damage but doesn’t take any SP, and then there are special attacks, these use SP, and the stronger the attack, the more SP is used. You gain special attacks by having a character use a specific type of weapon (weapons have classes, swords, greatswords, spears, gravity cannons, etc.) enough times to go through “Awakening”. When Awakening happens, they’ll do a new move without taking up any SP, and then they’ll have that move available for the rest of the game, assuming that character doesn’t switch weapons.
The combat can be a lot of fun, even going up against harder optional enemies I had a good time, and every aspect is so interwoven, you’re always getting a little better at something before the final boss, despite it being easy more often than not.
The overworld is also fun to explore, there are 5 main big areas in the game, and several vehicles along the way to help you traverse, the main vehicle being The Ark, which is what allows the Alliance to unite and fight the Daemons, with each main “world” having small areas to explore and discover items and fights, and also guilds that you eventually learn to build. Guilds are buildings that you make with teams of other Alliances that’ll help you, they let you rest and restore your SP/HP, and you can buy some simple armour, weapons, or medicine. The main purpose of the guilds is that if you fight near one, they’ll give you extra support, like raising your defence or bomb the enemy team for you.
One big complaint is that it takes a bit for the combat to become fun, with the first two or so hours (assuming you aren’t skipping the cutscenes) having little repercussions from just spamming the same abilities over and over as you go along.
There’s plenty of other fun mechanics, but this is a Rapid Review, which means it’s time to talk about something else, like the story!
It’s hard to talk about this game without spoiling, but it’s about how an Alliance of vastly different people joining together to fight an alien species that’s taken over the world called the Daemons, which rule the world with an iron fist. Its overall plot is nothing new, but where it shines are the characters. Seeing the characters bond over the adventure was just as fun as the main combat at times; the game could tell a decent joke here and there while balancing it with creating stakes for each of the characters and their overall journey across the world.
Except, you might know this already, this is an HD Remaster after all, and as a Remaster, I can see how fans of the original could find it disappointing. The only change is the graphics, which do look very nice, and the transition from 3DS to console is very nice. The issue is, is that there’s no new content, everything found in the 3DS can be found in the Remaster. As someone who never played the original, that wasn’t much of a problem, as the base game is great, but for fans of the original, I can see how it might persuade someone not to buy the remaster.
The music is also a good listen; if you’re one to listen to soundtracks, put this in your playlist. I still really enjoy the main theme “Understanding”, along with most of the other songs found in the game.
Overall, the game is an absolute gem. While apparently, it’s beatable in under 10 hours for those super good at it, it took me about 41 hours. While that’s a lot, I still mostly enjoyed every hour, whether it was for the fun story or the intricate combat. It may have been a bit easy, and may not be worth it to those who played the DS Version, but I can’t see myself not highly recommend this game to anyone even a little interested, and it lead me to finally enjoy a turn-based combat system. Any issue it has is beaten out by pure charm.
Rapid Review Rating
You can purchase The Alliance Alive HD Remastered from the PlayStation Store on the following link, https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP1063-CUSA15687_00-NINELIVES0000000?smcid=psblog%3Aen%3Apage-name%3A%3AThe%20Alliance%20Alive%20HD%20Remastered
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.