By: Ted Chow
Alphadia Genesis is a retro isometric RPG that encapsulates much of the SNES vibe the game has going with its presentation. From the old-school introduction to the visual aesthetics, Alphadia Genesis is a game that inspires to portray an era of video game history. With an overall light-hearted look and a casual appeal, the game is one that doesn’t partake in the complexities of a hardcore RPG. Nonetheless, it offers enough to quench the thirst for an RPG fan to take a look.
If you’re used to playing older SNES titles with an isometric view, then you’ll probably feel the same vibe when you start moving your main character around. With sprite-based movement, the player can seemingly move across the map and world distances quickly. The animation work for the movement is also your standard isometric affair with characters cycling through sprite animations as if they are walking while standing. While this can be a bit jarring to the eyes, especially when your character moves, shifting your focus away from the character solves that issue rather easily. Beyond that, the UI and the overall feel of command inputs are simplistic enough to grasp.
While I can understand the aesthetic that Alphadia Genesis was aiming for with the retro look, it does feel like the models and textures could’ve been increased considering the game’s file size.
The Japanese voice acting was acceptable, but it either cuts away prematurely after a few dialogues or it was intentionally designed that way to reduce the amount of dialogue the actors needed to read. While I could understand not having to read a multitude of lines, it felt a bit barren in the voice acting department.
In addition, the soundtrack helped kept the pace of battle and general idling, but you can start to hear the prevalent repetition after a while. Given the file size, I felt the developers could have taken more creative liberties to be a bit looser rather than worry about optimization.
Alphadia Genesis breaks you in with an in-game cut scene where you will meet the dashing and down-to-earth protagonist Fray in the midst of a tournament duel. The duel also acts as a primer to the combat system that is pretty easy to follow with the appropriate help dialogues to steer you in the right direction. Afterwards, you will come to meet many different characters that will form your core team to join with you on your journey through the story.
The combat is turn based, similar to a Final Fantasy games, with a slew of options to choose from during your phase but without a timer for decision making. Players have the option to initiate basic attacks, break skill (special attacks) and use Energi (mana), items and other formational changes.
With a maximum of four characters on the battle screen at one time, additional characters can act as support by initiating addition attacks or buffs whenever a bar is filled to call on them. Beyond the basic functionality, the game also offers attack “sets” that can help determine your overall character formation and approach to battles.
Equipment and upgrades come in standard RPG flavors with slots for weapons, armor and accessories. Many of the items can be bought in every town you visit, but special vendors can also provide you with unique items at the cost of a unique AGP currency. The currency is found throughout the game and can be used to buy premium equipment for your characters.
Special rings can also be crafted and leveled that add special elemental skills to your character’s repertoire of abilities. Useable items can also be purchased for an additional boosts in battle or used during preparatory downtime while dungeon delving.
The progression of the story moves rather fast, and it can feel like you are trekking through content at record pace. Side quests are available in each town that you visit, but they are mostly easy quests that help pamper your inventory with useable items. Some quests will have you revisit certain dungeons to go monster hunting against stronger monsters, but overall, they are a minor addition to the main story. With no multiplayer or other online modes, you’re essentially left with the game as is with limited options such as to try harder difficulties or pursue achievements if you wish.
If you’re looking for an RPG that isn’t overly complex, Alphadia Genesis is one game that you may want to look into. The game is a throwback to an earlier generation and, for the most part, delivers in that regards. Just don’t look for any real character building or an engaging story composition as you’ll likely be left wanting. Ultimately, the game is solid in all aspects of an isometric RPG, but it doesn’t have any standout points to elevate above its peers.
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