I've been enjoying a lot of old-school RPGs this year and Alphadia Genesis really impressed me with its colourful cast of characters.
Alphadia Genesis previously released on Wii U and now, you can enjoy it on a more modern machine. I never played it previously but I'm glad that I tried out this re-release. Oh, and if you want to play the first game in this obscure series then the original Alphadia is available for 3DS. Anyway, Alphadia Genesis takes place in a world where clones are commonplace and after one apparently murders someone, 2 warring kingdoms begin battling each other again after a period of peace. You play as Fray who's on an investigative team that's tasked with uncovering the truth about the inciting situation and the story only gets more complex as it unfolds. Overall, I enjoyed the plot a great deal and watching the cast of characters interact is where the story really shines. However, I should warn you that this is a very story-heavy game and you'll regularly end up reading dialogue more often than actually playing so please keep that in mind.
As I mentioned, I absolutely love Alphadia Genesis' cast of characters. Throughout your adventure, the kind-hearted hero Fray will be joined by an untalkative clone named Enah, a silly little lady named Aurra, a noble yet sanctimonious dude named Walter, a warm soul named Corone, and a loutish and hard-headed older guy named Grande. The dialogue is generally very story-focused but there are plenty of humorous moments that are genuinely funny. In fact, I laughed out loud multiple times throughout. For example, Walter's need to impress often blows up in his face and Aurra's no-nonsense mindset tends to guide her actions in uncouth ways. Thankfully, the characters have fantastic art, cute 3D models, and Japanese voices that combine to make them come alive in their unique ways.
At its core, Alphadia Genesis is a simple narrative-driven RPG that primarily has you go from point A to point B only to watch lengthy dialogue scenes and story sequences. Like many gamers, I grew up playing RPGs like this so there is a strong sense of nostalgia but at the same time, this setup is rather simplistic compared to genre contemporaries. Alphadia Genesis' barebones nature is also extended to its battle system and party configuration aspects which I'll discuss more in-depth soon. Therefore, if you're the sort of gamer who's itching for a simple retro-inspired adventure then you'll love what Alphadia Genesis has to offer but if you're spoiled by deep strategic battles and sprawling open worlds then you'll find it difficult to adjust to its undeniably albeit authentic old-school approach.
Although it has a mostly basic formula, I found that exploration in Alphadia Genesis is quite rewarding. If you carefully observe your environments, you'll discover glowing spots which provide a rare currency known as AGP that you can spend at special stores to acquire nifty accessories and helpful items. On top of that, there are many false walls within towns and dungeons that almost always present a sweet reward after you successfully spot and traverse them. I wasn't expecting exploration to be this fun but I'm glad that it is. There are also many cool side-quests to take on that involve things such as slaying certain monsters and playing hide-and-seek.
One aspect of RPGs that I love is setting up my party so they can become more powerful and gain a strategic upper-hand. However, party progression in Alphadia Genesis is limited to levelling up, equipping new gear, using stat boost items, and swapping elemental rings to learn new Energi spells. Meanwhile, battles involve attacking, using character-specific break skills, unleashing Energi spells, and deploying assist attacks with idle party members whenever its meter is full. There isn't really much strategy involved at all with party setup or the battles themselves but it is satisfying to learn all sorts of new skills and spells as you progress and level up.
Alphadia Genesis is an old-school story-driven RPG through and through so if that's your cup of tea then you'll thoroughly enjoy what it has to offer. Plus, its charming cast of characters are sure to delight from start to finish.
- + Wonderful cast of characters that feature fantastic art, models, and voice acting
- + Simple old-school RPG gameplay
- + Exploration is often rewarding
- - Campaign is a bit too story-heavy
- - Battle system lacks strategy and innovation
- - Party growth is flat and generic