Having been raised on JRPGs, I was looking forward to a new one coming to Steam. Alphadia Genesis was a title I only barely heard tossed around as an app for Android, so I was hoping this game was something new or at least, improved. It wasn’t.
Let me start by saying that, as far as JRPGs are concerned, Final Fantasy has set the bar extremely high. Knowing that, I tried to not be overly cynical with this ported game. However, the farther I got, the more the graphics, plot, and lack of a challenge really wore me out.
Alphadia Genesis’s graphics range from nostalgic to just plain annoying. The sprites try to be more expressive, turning quickly to demonstrate looking around, or falling over when unconscious. However, I related them more to popsicle sticks on crack. Only their full body moves, making it look like the game is glitchy or the sprite is stuck. It wasn’t until I formed my party and read the dialogue that I realized that one of the characters was “looking around anxiously” by flipping her 2-D body from left to right at unnecessary rapid speeds. I also felt that I hopped from an RPG to a dating sim every time one of them spoke (which was on the better half of always). Their character would come up on the screen behind the dialogue box with a slightly related expression as they spoke. The art was decent, but distracting. It did help when trying to know who was who though, as there are a lot of characters involved in this game.
The gameplay of Alphadia Genesis may be its only saving grace. To any JRPG veteran, this will be the easiest game you’ve ever not grinded in, in your whole gaming career. My usual recipe for a JRPG is to find the area with a healing spring, circle, what have you, and fight monsters and level without using gold or potions to heal. I did that with the first available healing circle I found, as they are usually scarce. That is not the case in this game. Having the option of easy or normal mode, I tried both simultaneously to see the difference. There really is none. You MAY have to grind twice instead of once, but I doubt it.
Every big fighting event is easy to spot when one of the members asks if you are really ready to proceed because it looks dangerous. There is literally no way you can fail at this game. This hurts the integrity of the game – however, on the up side, I wouldn’t mind giving this game to someone who hasn’t played a JRPG yet. This would make for a VERY good starter game. I was thrown into Final Fantasy VIII for my first real JRPG and I would have handled it a lot better had I played a game like this first.
Though the plot was more or less cliche as far as JRPGs go, I feel it would have been a decent overly done story if the dialogue didn’t reek of poor translation and fillers. I don’t know how much time was wasted reading the reiteration of what needed to be done and how to go about doing it, taking the fun out of any exploring or discovery for the player. It takes the player out of the story when the main character decides what needs to be done, followed by the female sidekick agreeing by repeating the objective, while the love interest chimes in with directions, and the brooding male in the corner scoffs at the whole idea… which he repeats for the fifth time. There are some spelling and grammatical errors too, which just shows how bored even the translators got with the monotonous gabble.
The story is your cookie cutter base of any JRPG, and that’s as far as it goes. There seemed to be no attempt to be different or unique in any way. You start out with the typical, naive yet strong male lead named Dart, (Oh sorry, he’s from Legend of Dragoon…) named Fray, who, against his wishes, is influenced by the friendly king to investigate a murder that involved ‘type-sigmas’, or clones. His tiny, young, female sister is to join him because she, conveniently, knows everything there is to know about type-sigmas and is extremely intelligent, ’cause why not? They are teamed up with two others from a neighbouring kingdom to ensure that type-sigmas are not going nuts and killing everyone, while secretly the other king wants them all dead and etc etc etc. I’ll be honest… I didn’t finish the story, but I’ll give myself a 90% chance of being able to figure out how it ends without wasting another 12 hours of my life.
When you are able to actually play the game (and not read the droning dialogue) it has character and is actually somewhat fun. There are special attacks and “energi” attacks, but they are not really used until late in the game if you grind at all. I found the auto button useful, as I could just sit back and let my character auto hit enemies until they won. It was nice to not feel so stressed about battles. You can also save at any time you wish, which makes for an easy play through.
I’d have to say my favourite part is finding the hidden treasure and currency to buy special items (which I never needed). There are cracks in the walls of houses, abandoned structures, and caves that signify a pathway to a chest. Green chests seemed to have weapons and brown ones had potions and things to help you in battle. Though it’s not necessary to gather all of them, it’s a personal achievement when you do.
With all of the holes in this game, it was hard to focus on the minor things like sound and controls. As far as sound, it was pretty generic. Each different location played different, repetitive music. There is an option to listen to some of the dialogue, but it hasn’t been dubbed in English. The controls are simple as well. You can either click about or use W A S D and enter for a majority of the gameplay.
Overall, I would not go out of my way to purchase this game. If the dialogue was shorter and the plot just slightly more interesting, it would have turned out a lot better. I just can’t help but get the sense that no one took this project seriously. However, I must recommend it for any first time JRPG player. Its easy interface and overly-abundant explanations make for a great play for younger or inexperienced players. It’s also decent if you are looking for a relaxing time-waster until the next Final Fantasy falls out of the sky.
Review copy provided by KEMCO / EXE-CREATE