The Alliance Alive HD Remastered from publisher NIS America and developers Cattle Call, with assistance from Grezzo and FuRyu, is an upscaled, enhanced version of the 3DS title that launched last year. The game’s story was penned by Yoshitaka Murayama, noted for his work on the Suikoden series. Masashi Hamauzu of Final Fantasy fame composed the soundtrack. So is The Alliance Alive HD Remastered worth picking up?
In The Alliance Alive HD Remastered, players will control a party of up to nine characters. Starting off in a world that’s perpetually rained upon thanks to a mysterious invasion by beings known as Daemons, our protagonists Galil and Azura are tasked with helping the resistance. The game gradually introduces new characters to you as the game progresses and the story is enjoyable despite being filled with JRPG tropes.
With that said, each character has a unique personality that is expressed wholly in text, since there is no voice acting, in The Alliance Alive HD at all. While this might come across as an odd choice for a game that was released in 2018 and subsequently re-released now in 2019, the writing in the game still manages to convey the character’s emotions perfectly well.
Gameplay in The Alliance Alive HD is where it truly excels as a JRPG. Players will traverse a large world map with smaller towns and locations contained within. Players will be able to converse with a lot of NPCs and the game world and backstory is fleshed out further by reading through conversations you have with other characters. The quests you are given are varied throughout and combat is the most fun aspect of the game.
In The Alliance Alive HD, the use of battle formations is key to victory. Putting stronger characters up front to deal more damage while leaving weaker units at the back is important. Characters also gain stats the more they battle and the skill system is unique in that the more you use a particular weapon, the more skills or abilities you’ll unlock. This can be a bit of a grind at first as you try out different tactics and weapons in battle but overall, it’s done pretty well. Being able to equip every weapon on everyone makes for an enjoyable experience too since nobody is locked into one specific role.
Additionally, the use of “Guilds” to further enhance your combat abilities is another unique aspect of the game that is quite welcome. Guilds are found throughout the world and each specific guild provides a special buff or stat boost. People can be recruited to the guilds and guilds can develop new weapons or spells for you to use. Throughout the game, you’ll make extensive use of the guilds.
Graphically, The Alliance Alive HD looks great. On Nintendo Switch, the character models are crisp and flashy effects in battles are spectacular. The world itself looks fine too and the overall cute chibi aesthetic is eye-catching. The lack of voice acting may be an issue for some but honestly, it never detracted from the story the game tells. The rest of the soundtrack is excellent and the only gripe to be had is the fact that the game doesn’t really explain things to you unless you read through the very text heavy tutorials. This shouldn’t be an issue if you have the patience to read through the information it presents to you though.
Overall, The Alliance Alive HD is a great remaster of an already good JRPG. NISA and the developers bringing the 3DS game to Nintendo Switch have done a great job. Newcomers will find a great JRPG with interesting combat mechanics and shouldn’t overlook this title. If you’re in the market for a good JRPG with a colourful cast of characters, The Alliance Alive HD is for you.
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