The Alliance Alive HD Remastered is upon us. Soon, people will have a chance to go through one of the better Furyu JRPGs released recently. While the obvious perk is having an HD version of the game available on more platforms, there are a lot of other things that have been adjusted to make the experience a little more pleasant on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PC. In fact, while some minor things have changed, it’s definitely a good way to play.
The biggest change in The Alliance Alive involves the character models and the environments they inhabit. It never looked bad on the Nintendo 3DS. It just wasn’t well defined. The cinematic moments could look washed out. Unless a fight really zoomed in on a character, you wouldn’t have a clear look at your allies or opponents. For example, you’d generally sense someone like Renzo would have an elaborate number of belts and buckles, but you wouldn’t see all of it. Now, you can make out every element of his outfit. Having a black outline around all characters is also a wise decision. It helps each one “pop,” while also calling attention to the different textures people might not have noticed originally.
While the environments are sparse, due to this originally being a handheld game that didn’t have the ability to have exceptionally cluttered or striking areas, even these look better in The Alliance Alive HD Remastered. The world map was never one of the game’s best features. It looked well enough and provided different hallmarks to set each area apart. For example, at one point Ignace, Tiggy and Vivian explore a volcanic space with lava and rocky outcroppings. You had a good idea of the general ambiance, but it wasn’t extraordinarily detailed then and isn’t miraculously more interesting now.
But, if someone heads into an actual dungeon area or town, things look substantially better. For example, the early Living Forest region really does feel more vibrant and alive, and some setpieces that were designed to be somewhat attractive originally are actually eye-catching now.
This does come with a loss of information. As you would imagine, The Alliance Alive HD Remastered cuts down on the details you can immediately see at once, due to the lack of a second screen. On the Nintendo 3DS, the bottom screen would show off things like formation details and character information during battles or maps when going through a dungeon, visiting a town or walking through the overworld. Now, you can still see this information. There’s a mini-map in the upper right corner of the screen and small bits of critical character information appear on the edges during a fight. It just isn’t given as much space.
But, while you may not have as much information immediately and constantly available, it can provide more insight in other ways. When going through the status menus, it is now easier to see details about people. Official character art is shown off on each person’s page, letting you see the intricacies in outfits. You get a better idea of their stat spread, as well as a clear summary going over who they are.
It can also feel like The Alliance Alive HD Remastered is easier to read. The font is better defined and larger on consoles, which means you don’t have to squint to see exactly what an attack would do when used or how a talent could make a character more effective. During the cinematic scenes especially, where a letterbox presentation has the script displayed along the bottom of the screen, it is much easier to read everyone’s dialogue.
The Alliance Alive HD Remastered is an opportunity. It is a better look at a fantasy world filled with unique characters. Now that it’s on consoles and computers, it is easier to see and appreciate everyone living in it. While that does mean the way some information is conveyed has been changed and might not always be present, due to the lack of a second screen, it’s largely a more positive experience.