The era of the 3DS is done. The Nintendo Switch has effectively fulfilled both Nintendo’s next home console and handheld roles. You’d be forgiven if you missed last year’s The Alliance Alive on the 3DS because you were too busy burying your nose into your shiny new Switch, like I was doing. Thankfully NIS has released The Alliance Alive HD Remastered for the Switch meaning you can save unite humanity against the daemons on the go with upgraded graphics.
NIS added a fresh coat of paint for the Switch version, but this still looks like a 3DS game through and through complete with chibi character models and all. If you played the game once before there’s not much of a reason to play through it again as there’s not really anything new here other than the updated visuals.
If you’re new to the game, which I was, it’s a fairly tried and true JRPG that’s not afraid to play by the books. Don’t expect to find anything that’s going to reinvent the genre, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.
There are some heavy topics presented within the game, such as the daemons being the ruling class over humans and how we are treated as lower beings. There are clever situations of social injustices woven throughout the story, giving humans and beast folk reason to unite against their rulers.
Battles are traditional turn-based affairs. There are abilities that the player can use, which level up the more tiles they’re used. Characters, however, do not level up in the traditional sense but their HP and SP, for abilities, will increase with more battles so grinding is still very much a thing.
Monsters will appear on the overworld and there are no random encounters, which is becoming a much-welcomed norm in the genre as of late. Players can chain monsters together in battles for increased bonuses upon winning.
As I stated previously the game has a fresh new coat of paint, but it still feels and looks like a 3DS game. It’s not going to wow anyone with its visuals, which are actually pretty bland at times. This could have been due to the 3DS’s limited hardware when compared to the Switch, but this seems like it would have been the perfect time for an update in this re-release.
There is a somber tone here that is represented in the visuals and also the music. It’s quite relaxing and sometimes just feels like background noise as opposed to something that’s vying for my attention. One welcomed update would have been voice acting for certain cutscenes. As with any big JRPG there’s a lot of dialogue in the game and I was pretty surprised that none of the game’s scenes had any voice acting, which seems like a missed opportunity. It was a little jarring to see characters talking about something important in a dramatic cutscene only for their mouths to be moving with nothing coming out.
The Alliance Alive HD Remastered is a decent JRPG ported the 3DS’s huge library of hit games. If you’re a fan of the genre then you’ll most likely already have this one on your radar. If you played it just last year when it was released for the 3DS then you might want to skip this one as it’s pretty much exactly the same as how you remember it.
The Alliance Alive HD Remastered Review
- Graphics - 7/107/10
- Sound - 7/107/10
- Gameplay - 7/107/10
- Lasting Appeal - 7/107/10
Final Thoughts: GOOD
It’s not going to wow anyone with its visuals or music, but The Alliance Alive HD Remastered a solid entry in the JRPG genre, further adding to the Nintendo Switch stellar library of games. Try it out if you’ve got nothing else to play this month, but with huge AAA games like Dragon Quest XI S and Zelda: Link’s Awakening arguably offering better experiences it’s hard to recommend this one over them as your first choice.