The Alliance Alive HD Remastered
The Alliance Alive originally released on the Nintendo 3DS in 2018. While it was a fine game, it was lost in the crowd of fantastic JRPGs that made their way onto the handheld console. Fortunately, those who missed it are being treated with a second chance to play it, this time remastered on the Nintendo Switch.
For those who are unfamiliar, The Alliance Alive is a fairly traditional turn-based RPG by Cattle Call, the creators of The Legend of Legacy. The influence by games like Final Fantasy and Bravely Default is obvious, and the game wears the games that inspired it on its sleeve.
The story is well-written and engaging enough, which is pleasantly surprising since most games like The Alliance Alive have incredibly generic stories. The idea of demons causing trouble and the heroes needing to make a change isn’t original, but everything is executed well enough. The characters are much more dynamic than you’d expect. The game’s worldbuilding is also fantastic, making the world of The Alliance Alive easy to fall into. The various continents are diverse and full of personality, which elevates the game’s story.
The battle system is straightforward but still fresh. Players control 9 characters who are shaped by their own abilities and the weapons they use. Everything is turn-based, with the attack order determined by a speed stat. Characters gain weapon proficiency through use, allowing for some flexibility in party builds. Battle positions play a key roll in succeeding, with weapon skills contributing to this mechanic. The game’s standard enemies aren’t too difficult to handle, and the “Attack, attack, attack” autopilot might bore players sometimes. Fortunately, the bosses require a significant amount of strategy, making up for some of the monotony.
The presentation is wonderful, with all of the models from the 3DS version looking much crisper. All of the lines are clean, the expressions are livelier, and the backgrounds have more depth. In some ways, it is still clear that this was a 3DS game, but now it looks like it released at the very end of the handheld’s lifespan. It’s still clear that this game wasn’t built for the Switch, but it’s still a fine-looking game. The game looks better when played as a handheld rather than docked, as the tv screen shows more flaws.
The Alliance Alive‘s art style is adorable and fairly unique. The bright colors and cel-shaded characters lead to a remarkable amount of charm that makes up for the lack of insane visuals. The package is completed by a relaxing soundtrack that complements the various themes of the game. Unfortunately, there isn’t any voice acting, and the entire game is text, which once again reminds players that this is a handheld game. It would have been nice to hear some voices for key cutscenes, but the story and conversations are still enjoyable. The lack of voice acting doesn’t ruin the game, just ages it a little more than it needs to.
There are tons of things to look out for while playing, giving completionists plenty to take in. There are plenty of items and characters to add to your team. Choices have consequences in this game, which isn’t too common in traditional JRPGs. It’s also not as linear as other JRPGs which is a welcome change. Again, there is just enough in Alliance Alive to make it feel fresh despite being completely familiar.
The Alliance Alive is a fine choice for players who are looking for a traditional JRPG on the Switch. There isn’t much new, so those who have played the original might want to think before purchasing. For everyone else, this is an easy recommendation.
The Alliance Alive HD Remastered
The Alliance Alive is a fine choice for players who are looking for a traditional JRPG on the Switch. There isn't much new, so those who have played the original might want to think before purchasing. For everyone else, this is an easy recommendation.