Alliance Alive originally released only in Japan in 2017, and it was not until a year later that the game was finally brought to the west. The story follows a group of companions in a traditional JRPG fashion, as they attempt to overthrow the tyranny of a ruling race of Daemons. The title has absolutely everything you expect from a JPRG. You have swords, magic, some crude humour, some puzzles, turn based combat, equipment slots, varying party members. If you’ve played a Final Fantasy or any JRPG, you will see where I’m going with this.
The game pretty much flew under the western radar at launch, but with the release of the HD Remaster, and similar games gaining commercial and receptive success like Bravely Default 2, I thought I would attempt to introduce our lovely MGN audience to what might be to them a completely unknown and charming experience in ‘The Alliance Alive HD Remaster’.
As mentioned the story of Alliance Alive revolves around a group of companions attempting overthrow Daemons who rule their world with an iron fist. Essentially they weren’t a huge fan of the whole ‘humans having free will’ thing, and the chaotic way humanity lived their lives. So, they created a barrier between our and their world. They could get in; we couldn’t get out. The result? Our side being succumb to climate-change turned up to eleven. Lava streams, unending rain, earthquakes all the place. You get the picture, not end of the bargain wasn’t great.
That’s where the player and our heroes come in. You’ll gain allies, for alliances, bring more characters on board. Bring together people from all corners of the effected world in order to restore the unity and peace that once was.
The name of the game is very telling in what the player will be doing, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You know what to expect going in, and it pays off as the story introduces those elements quite quickly.
So, what improvements are you getting from the remaster as opposed to the original 3DS release? Well, obviously you’re going to lose that forced pseudo-3D effect from the handheld original release. But, if you’re anything like me, you never used that feature on just about any game anyway. And with the re-release, the game has been upgraded to high definition.
Where before the game’s simplistic and artsy look where due to the system limitations of the hardware, now the game is presented in such a fashion by intention and the result is a gorgeous looking game that looks lovingly crafted in an adorable art style. That is something you will notice immediately on playing, and will be delighted to enjoy throughout, the game is ADORABLE.
Much like similar JPRG’s, AA features a large list of creatures and characters the player will get to add to their party, and control their growth and skills through the game’s unique leveling and arts system. These include characters that will fee familiar like:
Snow Galil – the noble resistance member who is stoic and pure hearted. Or Tiny Tina Tiggy – the childish genius whose great at tinkering, but bad at taking any situation seriously.
But don’t let these cookie-cutter characters fool you, the writing is top-notch and features characters whose motives and personalities are much more complex and interesting.
Take Gene for example – his livelihood depends on the Daemons who portrayed as the villains throughout the game, however he has to tow-the-line between wanting to change the world for the better with the resistance, and maintaining his relationship with the tyrants to allow him and his guild to survive and obtain their basic needs. This internal struggle sets up some really intriguing and though provoking grey areas that push they genres typical “beat the bad guys, save the world” motif.
Naturally my verdict is going to be subject to quite a bit of bias as I have enjoyed the game personally enough to write an article about how the game is a hidden gem. But, if you like what you’ve see thus far, and are looking for something to fill the wake after finishing Bravely Default 2, or any other classic JRPG, then consider giving the HD Remaster of Alliance a go and you might drawn in the by cute charm just as much as I have been.
The remaster is currently available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and on PC through the Steam store.