At first glance, The Alliance Alive maybe very well almost look identical to FuRyu’s previous game, Legend of Legacy; but I can assure you that this game is anything but.
I myself played Legend of Legacy and while the gameplay was enjoyable, the story left much open to the players own imagination. The developers wanted to definitely improve upon this. The Alliance Alive story is beautifully crafted by the legendary Yoshitaka Murayama, you previously wrote the beloved Suikoden games.
The story begins one thousand years before our band of heroes starts their own adventure. Where the world of Humans was invaded and conquered by beings known as Daemons. They created the Great Barrier to divide the world into separate realms. This created the Dark Current, which swallowed countless societies. Humanity was all but wiped out. Now hundreds of years after this event, Daemons rule a vicious hierarchical society, where Humans are the lowest on the latter. All seems to accept their role, but the time for resistance has come, and the world will change once more.
When the game first starts out you mean our main characters, Galil and Azura. Lifelong friends, and inseparable, Galil was taken in by Azura’s parents when his own was taken. Now as you will play as Galil and Azura for a lot of the time, This game has a varied cast of individuals where you will have over 9 playable characters for you to choose from and go on adventures with 5 of them. Some characters actually remind me a little bit of Chrono, Lucca, Marle, and Frog from Chrono Trigger.
Like any great story, this one is an amazing blend of humor, sadness, and seriousness. I actually powered off my Switch and put it in its case while playing The Alliance Alive.
The 40-plus hours of the storyline has plenty of twists and turns that will have you grabbing your 3DS instead of the Switch.
The game has no voice acting at all, or really any sound effects to mimic characters voices when someone is talking. After about an hour of playing didn’t even notice.
The music in this game is simply amazing, and it sounds great coming out of the 2DS XL or 3DS speakers. The music is done by Masashi Hamazu, which his credits include many Final Fantasy games (FFX, FFVII to name a few), SaGa and many others. I played on occasion with a nice pair of headphones on and immediately got spoiled and found myself doing other things at my desk with my 3DS open, listening to the music.
The overall art in this game is very much like Legend of Legacy with a mix of Bravely Default thrown in. The colors, detail, and variety of environments is more engaging than its predecessor. The characters themselves are nicely detailed with their own quirks. Equipping armor does not change the appearance of your character, but the detail of the weapons make up for that. Strangely enough, when out in the overworld, the game does not use the C-Stick at all to control the camera, only the L and R buttons.
The Alliance Alive mechanics and design were designed by Kyoji Koizumi (Ever Oasis, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Multiple Final Fantasy Games, Romancing SaGa) .
W hile there is no actual character leveling system; your character’s traits, weapons, and abilities level up instead.
The more you use a weapon, it will then level up and learn abilities for that weapon. I found it quite satisfying to be in a boss fight, it looks like I am going to lose, and then my character “Awakens” new abilities called “Arts” and we take him down! Awakening said arts seems to happen completely randomly and there is no set even that triggers them. Learning new Arts for your weapons happen mid-battle and you can associate talents so you can learn abilities faster. It seems these talents just raise the likelihood of Arts being awakened.
Using one Art consistently will also level that up to become stronger. Arts use SP in battle but there are
Characters can use two weapons at a time and switch between them mid-battle. You can also change formation mid-battle if you need to go all out or turn to support or defense. Your party members also gain bonuses as well depending on the formation. You can customize your formation quite deeply in the menus.
There are 11 classes of weapons and from my experience, it seems all characters can learn any type of weapon.
Later in the game, you will gain the ability to use “Seal Arts”. These allow you to block off an Art of your choosing to strengthen another. This allows you to have even more customization of your character later in the game.
You can also passively level up your characters using the Guild Towers that you will occasionally find while exploring the world. The guild towers will also give you help in battle if you are close to them. You can take on side quests to find new recruits and find new Guild towers. While you can skip this mechanic, it’s highly encouraged that you give it a shot as it makes the world building that much more impressive.
This game was fantastic to play, and FuRyu has done an amazing job. This will definitely add The Alliance Alive as one of the great JRPG’s on the 3DS. The music, story, art and overall world is crafted beautifully and this is a must play for any JRPG fan.