Alphadia Genesis is a pretty cool albeit simple retro-style RPG but how does its sequel hold up? Unsheathe your blade and let's find out.
Alphadia Genesis 2 has you play as Dion who's a rebel on a mission to fight the oppressive Empire that's actively wiping out the Atramian; people who they think are contaminated by dark Energi. Throughout his adventure, he'll team up with a few allies including the determined Chiffon, the intelligent yet dirty-minded Elize, and the serious knight Faulkner. There's also the mysterious Enah who may just be the key to something grand. Occasionally, you'll witness scenes from the Empire's perspective and this is where the story gets interesting because there's a surprising amount of nuance in that the bad guys may not necessarily be evil which will keep you guessing as you watch the story unfold. That being said, I didn't find the heroes to be as appealing as they are in the previous game, especially with Elize's constant innuendo that made me roll my eyes way more than laugh. That being said, the story is still a step up overall.
To complement the story, there's fantastic character art on display and their mouths actually move as they talk which is cool. I also enjoyed their sprites which are generally colourful and unique. Meanwhile, when you enter battle, everything goes 3D and it looks like a PS2-era RPG with somewhat detailed polygonal models and cool-looking monsters. On top of all this, there's a talented Japanese voice cast that helps flesh out each character's personality as they talk although not every line is voiced which is to be expected.
Alphadia Genesis 2's combat system is quite simple but it does have 1 stand-out complexity which is its Boost system. Basically, each party member starts every battle with 5 points which they can spend in order to increase the potency of their next attack. For example, if you boost a normal attack with 5 points then they will attack 5 times. Although this system sounds good on paper, it actually makes battles quite tedious. Specifically, random encounters can usually be won within a few moves as most enemies will perish if you command everyone to use all 5 of their points right off the bat. At the same time, boss fights usually devolve into using all your points, defending to recharge them while healing when needed, and repeating until the damage sponge is defeated. Later on, you'll receive abilities that remedy this tedium but they're unfortunately introduced far too late. I hate when games take forever to actually become fun.
Character growth is standard for the most part as you level up and equip better gear after you discover it and purchase it in shops. One unconventional mechanic is that you equip accessories in order to learn different categories of abilities which can make your characters more well-rounded and capable. With that in mind, there are only a handful of ability types so it's far from a full-fledged job system.
Finally, allow me to discuss exploration. On the plus side, you're guided with blue lights that conveniently show you the way which is intuitive and you won't get lost. On the other hand, most dungeons are extremely linear with the only branching paths being short off-shoots that usually have a treasure chest at the end. Upon collecting it, you go back to the main path and keep forging ahead. Because of this, exploration isn't really all that rewarding. I would have liked some incentive to explore every nook and cranny.
Alphadia Genesis 2 may be worth playing for its impressively nuanced story as well as its rewarding end-game challenges but besides that, it can be quite a tedious experience with a battle system and dungeon designs that generally work against it.
- + Combat and exploration is intuitive with the former having an interesting Boost system
- + Story actually has intriguing nuance
- + Well-done visuals, voices, and artwork
- - Battles take far too long to get interesting and can be downright tedious before then
- - Dungeons are super-linear and unrewarding
- - Some dialogue is eye-rollingly cringey