Alliance Alive is a Japanese RPG video game developed by Cattle Call with some assistance from FuRyu Corporation and Grezzo. It was initially released in Japan on the Nintendo 3DS in June of 2017 followed by a worldwide release in March of 2018 by Atlus USA.
It follows a group of characters as they stand strong against a race of Daemos which has ruled over humans since extinguishing the sunlight millennia before.
Alliance Alive is a traditional turn-based RPG that also includes a fully explorable world map. A remastered version titled “The Alliance Alive HD Remastered” was released on PlayStation 4, Switch, and Windows in October of 2019.
The game was initially announced in October of 2016. Initially pinned for a March 2017 release, the game had to be delayed for close to three months for quality improvements.
A unique turn that the development studio decided to do with the game was to release a demo of the game on the Nintendo 3DS e-Shop on the game’s initial launch date where they collected player feedback and made further adjustments to the game. These adjustments included the speed of the game as well as the font size as the initial font size for the game was abysmally small.
Upon the game’s release, it debuted to a moderately decent reaction with reviews giving the game a solid 70 out of 100 scores on Metacritic and Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu giving the title a 34 out of 40.
The Development of Alliance Alive
Alliance Alive started development in 2015 following the release of The Legend of Legacy. Series director Masataka Matsuura stated that it was brought up numerous times to do a sequel to The Legend of Legacy on the Nintendo 3DS platform.
Matsuura stated that in order to live up to fans’ expectations, a sequel to The Legend of Legacy series would need to be created on more powerful hardware than the Nintendo 3DS.
The Gameplay of Alliance Alive
Alliance Alive is a traditional Japanese role-playing game where players take control of an ever-expanding group of characters on a quest to free the world of the Daemons who are controlling humanity. As with other RPG titles, players have to first traverse the world on foot and as the story expands, the players gain access to a flying ship which allows them to access areas of the map which were previously inaccessible by foot.
Needless to say, this is a game that if you’re not familiar with Role Playing Games be played with a walkthrough guide to assist you along your journey.
There are various play mechanics that make Alliance Alive differ from your traditional J-RPG though. Mechanics such as the ability to tag multiple batches of enemies for back to back battles, the lack of an experience-based leveling system, and the fact that initially magic can only be used by Daemon characters.
This is later remedies to allow users of certain weapons to be able to use magic as well. There are a number of different weapon classes that characters can use which are; Swords, Great Swords, Axes, Spears, Staffs, Bows, Shields, and Martial Arts.
The plan for the game was to create a world that would play to the character-focused narrative as past “golden era” RPG titles have. They opted to forgo using voice actors, something that would challenge many of the RPGs of the time as they had typically used high-profile Japanese voice actors to give the characters more “life.”
Characters were mapped as 2D models on 3D frames. This was the job of Cattle Call as their entire graphic department worked on being able to use these models not only in gameplay but for the cutscenes as well.
The music for Alliance Alive was mainly composed by industry veteran Masashi Hamauzu who gained his rise to fame in the Final Fantasy series of games. His unique blending of synthetic and organic sounds allowed the team to portray various emotions during a scene with just the music alone.
The Story of Alliance Alive
Alliance Alive takes place in an unnamed world that is divided into four different landmasses separated by oceans. The world was invaded by a race of Daemons who feared a certain type of energy from the human realm called “Chaos” more than a thousand years before our heroes set foot on their journey to rid the world of the evil threat of the human-hating Daemons.
When the Daemons invaded the world, they created the great barrier called the Dark Current which takes the shape of a cross that extinguished much of humanity at the time.
The Dark Current then fell into the world’s oceans effectively cutting off access to other masses of land and painting the sky a shade of black. The game has a cast of nine characters which are dubbed the “Night Crows”, a group of heroes who fight the Daemons to re-obtain control of the world to humanity. Our nine heroes are Galil, Azura, Renzo, Barbarossa, Vivian, Ignace, Tiggy, Gene, and Rachel.
A Traditional Japanese RPG with Heart
Alliance Alive is a well made role-playing game that allows players to partake in an engaging story with interesting characters that are easy to form bonds with. The re-release of the Remastered version of the game allows players that didn’t have a Nintendo 3DS the ability to experience the game and its unique charm and that to me, is something good.
The game is definitely a treasure and is something that should be played by any fan of the J-RPG genre. I personally thoroughly enjoyed the game and look forward to a sequel should they ever decide to make one.