Game review: The Alliance Alive HD Remastered (Switch)
The Alliance Alive was originally released on the Nintendo 3DS back in 2018. It was one of the last games to release on the 3DS rather than on the Switch. This meant that this really good RPG flew under the radar. It was a good decision from the company to release it on the Switch.
The game opens up with an apocalypse type event where the human world is concurred by the Daemon race and divided into five different realms, with magical barriers in between. The game then fast forwards 1,000 years to show the human race still under the rule of the Daemon race – and they have somehow accepted their new reality.
As the name suggests, the story focuses on the titular alliance characters coming together. It switches between characters, which really helps the flow of the story. Every time a new character is introduced they bring in their own perspective, which makes the story more interesting to play.
The beginning of the game is a bit slow but after a couple of hours it opens up into a decent open world map for the player to explore. The world has different terrains and hidden caves with treasures, bosses and quite complex level designs.
Lots of the gameplay is turn-based battles. The developers included the options to speed up the battle as well as put the team on autopilot. These additions remove all tedious grinding elements that other turn-based RPGs face.
The battles are also quite flexible, as there are lines on either side for the battle. Players get to choose where to place characters and the placement has an effect on the performance. You can also save your formations for easy finding in future battles.
The gameplay rewards strategic thinking without presenting any difficult challenges. Battles are also how your characters gain HP, SP and acquire new Arts (Arts are special moves that you can use with your weapons). This, however, is a random process.
I wasn't able to identify a pattern of when you learn a new Art. I personally would've rather the game had a precise system. That way I can plan, strategise and get better faster. With that being said, the ‘randomness' was fairly distributed.
Another aspect of levelling up us is by levelling up your Guilds. Each of the five Guilds has its own specialty such as recon or weapons. In order to level a Guild, you need to find all the new locations where you can potentially build. You also will need to talk to NPCs around the towns which provides the game with an extra level of depth.
The game has an interesting style. Each different realm feels different than the other with new colours and styles. The game is held back by its handheld origins, as background design is minimalistic. This however doesn't take away from the experience in any way, in fact it is charming.
Overall, The Alliance Alive HD Remastered is a well put together RPG that shouldn't be missed this time around. It has a very well written story and gameplay designed with the players' enjoyment in mind.