2 people found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 36.9 hrs on record
Posted: Sep 16, 2018 @ 5:38pm
Updated: Sep 24, 2018 @ 11:35am

I was originally going to mark this as "Recommended" (with caveats), but the more I thought about it, the more my experience leaned toward "Not Recommended" (again, with caveats). This game has some fun moments, but taken as a whole, it's not really all that good. Here's my impressions:

Positives:
- A pretty decent story! The romance subplot is laid on a bit too thick, and some parts can be hard to follow, but overall, the story is all right. The type of story it tells reminds me a little of those in Tales games, complete with a big emphasis on party member interactions.
- Speaking of which, the characters are generally likeable, and grow and change in a believable way as the story goes on.
- The battle system is fun, and battles have reasonable pacing. It's also nice to be able to start any battle over again instantly after being wiped out.
- (somewhat minor endgame spoiler) The True End can be reached without replaying much of the game. Just load the save you make after the Normal End, which slightly changes the order of events around the final boss fight.

Neutral:
- Inoffensive yet generic music. Expect second-tier Uematsu/Sugiyama knockoffs for the tunes.
- The mix of 3D graphics (for the battles), 2D character portraits (for many cutscenes), and sprites (for everything else). This may bother some, but I was fine with it.
- Overworld and dungeon designs. Once again, these were suitable for what they were; no more, no less.
- Plenty of JRPG/anime cliches, especially in terms of characterization. If you don't like JRPGs, or anime, this isn't going to be the game that changes your mind.
- Lots of items. There are many that you will probably never, ever use, but I guess it's nice to have options?
- Generic sidequests. There's NPC requests, a battle arena, a Legendary equipment hunt during the True End, and one or two other such things.

Negatives (here we go...):
- The uneven difficulty curve. This game starts off way too easy, then ramps up after a little while to "just right", then stays at that until towards the end when it becomes "just right, except for the bosses who are more difficult than you'd expect". A certain endgame boss is especially frustrating.
- The localization. It is often long-winded, contains a handful of typos and grammatical errors, and is hard to parse at times. This game's translation could've greatly benefitted from an editor.
- The voice acting. For the most part, it is fine, and would've gone in the "Neutral" category if it wasn't for... the... long pauses... between some lines. This is especially frustrating if you understand Japanese (or at least more than the meager amount I know) and/or want to appreciate the actors' performances. Fortunately, most if not all of the voiced lines can be skipped without having to hear the whole thing.
- The animations. The 2D sprites have just enough images for walking and idle animations, and that's about it. The 3D models scream low-budget and their movements lack finesse.
- Unimaginative achievements. Being a JRPG, you'd think there would be achievements for completing certain sidequests, obtaining special items, reaching story milestones, and so on. However, all of the achiements are some variation on "go x number of steps", "spend x amount of gold", "defeat x number of enemies", "use x number of Energi (basically magic spells)", or "get x number of treasure boxes".
- There is a spoiler in the end credits that indicates a certain character's presence in the True Route. This character is never seen in the Normal Route, only mentioned by name.
- As stated earlier, the romance subplot is laid on a bit too thick. On a related note, some scenes that were clearly intended to be humorous come across as bland at best, and mildly disturbing at worst.
- This is a minor thing, but King Augustine's portrait faces are drawn kind of oddly. A stern king's wrinkles shouldn't look like that!

In general, if you play a lot of JRPGs, there's nothing in Alphadia Genesis you haven't seen before, and you might be better off checking out other games. I thought it was all right for what it was, and enjoyed my time with it, but it's not the sort of thing I can recommend to someone unless they're looking for a very specific sort of JRPG. Only buy it if it's on sale at a good discount and you have no other JRPGs in your backlog (ahaha) and absolutely must have a new one to play.
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