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Game Info:

The Alliance Alive
Developed by: FuRyu
Published by: Atlus
Release date: March 27, 2018
Available on: 3DS
Genre: RPG
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: E10+ for fantasy violence, language, mild blood, alcohol
Price: $39.99
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you Atlus for sending us this game to review!

In 2015 we reviewed Legend of Legacy that was also developed by FuRyu which is a fun, but flawed RPG. Alliance Alive addresses our main concerns with the previous title and adds plenty of new characters and areas to explore. The story in this game goes back one thousand years when the daemons divided the world into separate realms barricaded by an impenetrable barrier. Mankind is oppressed by rules set by daemons and are considered inferior to daemons and beastfolk alike. Since the barrier and daemon control began, there hasn’t been a blue sky.

At first you’ll be introduced to Azura and Galil who are teased about their closeness and are considered destined to be a couple by the townsfolk. They live in the rain realm where it rains constantly, depressing many of the locals. Living under harsh daemon rule doesn’t help matters and a resistance called Silver Rain is seeking to put a stop to the harsh living conditions.

Azura’s father runs a resistance hideout in his pub, and like many taverns, you can expect to run into some drunken customers. Language is quite prevalent in this game too. When it comes to magic use, the humans use a different form than beastfolk and daemons. Both forms of sorcery are pretty powerful and they each have unique spells for them which can be purchased in various towns.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Better leveling up system than Legend of Legacy; cute visuals; nice music
Weak Points: Story direction isn’t always clear and I had to consult a walkthrough for guidance
Moral Warnings: Fantasy violence and death scenes; magic use; undead creatures; language (hell, d*mn, b*stards); drinking and drunkenness

Money can be earned through battles, but many skirmishes drop loot instead which can be sold for cash. Aside from loot, you’ll also earn experience and talent points. Experience is used for leveling up and talent points can be spent to focus on unlocking new abilities that are weapon type specific. Like Legend of Legacy, you can unlock new abilities in combat and the harder the enemy, the more likely you’ll learn a new and powerful attack. If you want to learn new moves faster, you can spend your character-specific talent points.

As you explore new areas, you’ll be introduced to many new people and party members. In fact, the game switches perspectives quite often and you’ll learn about the struggles in the various regions. Your ultimate goal is to bring down the barrier and stop the meddling forces that put it there in the first place. This is easier said than done as each ether gear is responsible for strengthening the barrier and is guarded by several powerful boss parties.

To aid in battle, each of the party members (maximum of five) can equip two weapons and accessories. Unfortunately, healing medicine kits have to be equipped as an accessory in order to use them. In the event of a party member getting KO’d, the remaining members may go into ignition mode. When the ignition is triggered they can unleash a super powerful attack provided they have enough special points (SP) to do so. Some may consider the ignition mode overpowered, but there is a cost. When ignition is used, the caster's weapon breaks and becomes unusable. If your party is on good terms with the blacksmith guild, the weapon will be repaired the next time the party rests. If your party is fighting near a blacksmith guild tower, they may assist you in battle by firing their long range cannon at your foes.

As you travel around the world and meet potential recruits, you can strengthen your favorite guild and unlock new technology and battle techniques. The library guild documents the strengths and weaknesses of your party members and enemies you encounter. The tactics guild will teach you new formations and automatically place your party in the best formation in battle if you are near their guild tower. The sigmancy group focuses on magic and can research and teach your party new spells. Last but not least is the recon guild which may sabotage your enemies and stun them for you if you’re nearby one of their guild towers. Some of the boss battles take place near the towers but many of them do not so don't get too reliant on their assistance.

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 82%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 81%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 6.5/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Since you’ll eventually have more friends than party slots, you’ll need to rotate them around so nobody is left behind and weak. There are several instances when party members will have to separate or split up into groups and you don’t want any weaklings holding you back. It’s nice that your health points regenerate between battles with the exception of chain battles which happen in succession with no breathing room in between. SP points only increase slightly between battles so you’ll need to use your most powerful attacks sparingly.

While the story in this game isn’t amazing, it’s enough to make you want to keep playing. Some notable characters die selflessly and it spurs the party to continue fighting for their sake. The blood is minimal and the art style is rather colorful and cute despite the gloomy circumstances.

The background music and sound effects are well done. Unfortunately, there is no voice acting whatsoever and I’m spoiled by the fully voice acted games I’ve been playing lately.

In the end, Alliance Alive is better than Legend of Legacy, but it’s still not a flawless experience. The story is a bit confusing at times and I wasn’t sure where I had to go without consulting an online walkthrough. If you’re diligent and not wandering around aimlessly, you can complete this game in roughly twenty-five hours. The price tag is reasonable given the amount of game time provided. Because of the frequent cussing, I’d think twice before letting a young child play this title.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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