Review: The Alliance Alive (Nintendo 3DS)

 

There’s something warm and familiar about Cattle Call’s new RPG, The Alliance Alive that really pulled me in from the beginning. While not flawless, the game has the look and feel of one of those multi-disc original PlayStation JRPGs and while not quite an “epic” experience, it’s solid enough and certainly packs in enough characters in its massive maps while hitting pretty much all the bullet points it needs to that make it an overall decently nostalgic 3DS game. I’m a big fan of much of Cattle Call’s work since the quirky PS2 sleeper Tsugunai: Atonement, so seeing the familiar color palette and simple but intriguing battle system also had me smiling throughout.

Still, it’s also a case where you sort of wish the game was on a system that was a bit to a good deal more powerful. It’s not at all hard to imagine the developer making a Switch (or heck, PS4 or even a Vita) game with higher resolution art and even more detailed characters and environments. On the 2DS or 3DS, the game’s animations and numerous cut scenes are excellently handled. However, the large overworld maps tend to be a bit bland, there’s a bit of background pop-in and if you have a poor sense of direction, it’s a bit too easy to get lost unless you choose the option to be guided to and from certain story-related areas.

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Review: Lost Dimension (PS3/PS Vita)

Lost Dimension PS3 Final Lost Dimension Vita Final

Platform: PlayStation 3/PS Vita
Developer: FuRyu
Publisher: Atlus
# of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
MSRP: $39.99
Official Site
Score: B (80%)

Anime (13)

He may be smiling outside, but he’s really going to kill you inside. The End.

 

Oh, how I do wish there were a Lost Dimension OVA or short-run anime series. Just so I could see the scene at the close of one episode when villain The End materializes outside that strange massive pillar he’s dropped in the middle of Tokyo to address some reporters who’ve popped up outside with their news vans and a moderately sized crowd of terrified (but terminally nosy) gawkers. In my somewhat addled brain, the English dub would go something like this:

REPORTER: Mr. The End! You’ve dropped this massive Pillar onto the city, killed over two billion people around the world and are threatening the human race with total extinction! What will you do now?!

 

THE END (dryly): Hmmm…  I guess I’ll go to Disney World… and kill everyone there as well.

Whereupon The End would smirk, drift high up into the air and vanish as the crowd below gasps and chatters away. As that reporter is making some dopey closing commentary, the camera would pull way back as he or she is talking right before a huge chunk of rubble drops on top of everyone outside. Cut to The End looking down and grinning as we get a freeze frame shot of his face and THE END in big letters fading in before the closing credit theme kicks in.

Hey, I did say he means business, didn't I?

Hey, I did say he means business, didn’t I? THE END.

Yeah, I’d pay real money to see that. But I’m a bit crazy.

Anyway, my poorly plotted final fan fiction fantasy dream aside, let’s talk about the game in question. Lost Dimension comes to you from developers FuRyu (with an Lancarse assist) and publisher Atlus as a solid, intriguing hybrid of visual novel and tactical RPG. It’s a game that takes a number of genre cliches (and the fact that JRPG fans love them) and flips them onto their heads as it asks you to kill off your team one by one in order to advance the plot. While that’s going on you also need to bond with as many of your remaining teammates as possible before the final showdown. And you need to do this twice in order to get that best ending.

I usually don’t do this, but I’m going to go and gently spoil some of the obvious stuff the game slaps you with hard just to make sure it’s understood how important it is to NOT automatically like the cast from the get-go.

Mana (1)

Oh really? Well you’re still getting voted off the island, missy!

The game doesn’t care a whit how cute you think Himeno is or that Marco wears bangin’ headphones and has a snowman or whatever the hell that is on his outfit. In fact, going into the game with notions of “saving” characters you like is a really terrible idea. Not only will you be disappointed that someone you’re attached to is going to get theirs at your hands, you’ll end up in a frustrating loop of trying to reload saves that won’t matter at all as you try to salvage someone who needs to die anyway… Continue reading

Lost Dimension Update: When The End Is Only The Beginning


 

With Lost Dimension coming on July 28 to PS3 and Vita and yours truly almost done with his second play through for review purposes, it’s tough to keep from doing some bean spilling on what to expect from the game. Of course, you’ll have to chase me down and force a lot of real American dollars into my pockets just to get me to cough up the juicy details. I don’t carry change with me (the rustling of bills in a pocket hurts my follicles), so you’ll have to start with one hundred bucks at a minimum before I cough up some answers. But as I’ve already put a decent chunk of time into what’s here, let’s just safely say that the game has taught me how to lie very effectively. You may not get the truth out of me but you’ll at least get a convincing tale that will keep you entertained enough to believe every single word.

Of course, you just may bribe me and get nothing but dead air. Ever since I got my review code there’s been a black van outside my building with tinted windows and an ATLUS logo on the door. Methinks I’ll end up IN said black van if I talk too much.

Lost Dimension Hands-On: Brain Trust And The Tall Tower of Doom

LostD_Vita_CoversheetDon’t plan on getting too attached to your party members in Lost Dimension, developer FurYu’s new RPG headed to the PlayStation 3 and Vita on July 28 from Atlus. Among the cast of powerful teen agents of SEALED are a number of traitors aligned with spiky-haired villain The End and the game rather effectively randomizes who those traitors are on each floor of the enemy packed tower you’re ascending.

While it’s yet another game in which Japan gets partially destroyed and it’s up to a cast of youths with special skills to save the day (and the planet), there’s an added layer of tension here that builds as your party gets whittled down based on your decisions. Even worse, choosing your allies based on how you as the person playing the game feels about them can have some pretty drastic in-game consequences.

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Lost Dimension: Deep Vision Trailer – Getting Rid Of Traitors Is(n’t) A Cinch


 

LD Screens (2)Yeah, that’s right. In Lost Dimension you need to figure out who the traitors are in your party and eliminate them as you climb a deadly tower full of enemies. Why? Well, you’re saving the earth (maybe) and you don’t want to be stabbed in the back by someone you thought you trusted, that’s why. I’ll have a hands-on preview in a couple of days but let’s just say that “Trust No One… or Else” works well enough as a potential tagline here.

Here’s a little more about the game in the form of its E3 2015 trailer:


 

LostD_Vita_Coversheet  LostDimension_coversheet_PS3

 

Now that your curiosity is piqued, you should probably know that Lost Dimension is headed to the PS3 and PS Vita on July 28, 2015 along with some nice free DLC for the first two weeks of its launch window. Atlus loves you, yes they do.