Welcome to our Alvastia Chronicles review. Developed by Exe-Create and published by KEMCO, Alvastia Chronicles is just one of many titles in both of these companies ‘ catalogs and just one of many we have reviewed. Chances are if you see an RPG review on this site it’s most likely got KEMCO’s name attached to it seeing as how it seems they have something coming out every week. Alvastia Chronicles itself isn’t one of their newest titles, having released back in February of this year.
- Alvastia Chronicles
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4, PS Vita, PC, Android, iOS
- Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
- Developer: Exe-Create
- Publisher: KEMCO
- Multiplayer: None
- Available: February 13th, 2019
- Price: £11.69 (U.K), $12.99 (U.S)
- Age Rating: PEGI 12 (UK/EU), E10+ (U.S)
- Review Code Provided
A strong story is one of Alvastia Chronicles strong points and it really seems to know just how to hook you in and keep you wanting to know more. The story starts off with a brother and a sister whose parents are killed in front of them. The trauma of this even causes Alan (the brother) to go completely mute, but despite all of this he vows to protect Elmia (his sister who is also a 14-year-old priestess) and get revenge on the monsters that killed their parents.
As they start their journey, Alan and Elmia meet a few other characters who go on to become their friends and join them on their journey, but these guys are just a small part of the picture. Compared to typical JRPGs, Alvastia Chronicles handles the party formation much differently. You have your three main fighting characters on the frontline but each of them can also have a sub party consisting of three other characters (companions), basically turning your large party into three small separate parties under one umbrella.
Instead of each of these companions having an individual health bar each, they all merge as one within their small parties of four to share health and attack. This also means that instead of each taking up an individual attacking slot they simply all attack at the same time. These characters also add in some cool abilities and something known as ‘bonds’. Bonds are special buffs you can use in parties when two certain character types are present.
Thanks to this unique companion system, you are able to have up to 13 characters on the battlefield at once, 14 if you count Elmia who simply acts as support. Despite having so many characters on the field at once, the fighting still plays out like a typical RPG in that it’s turn-based and has basic attacks, special abilities, and items to select from, just to name a few.
There are over 100 of these companions to find and play with. As you go on your travels you’ll come across them in many places such as towns and dungeons. It’s up to you to find them as they won’t automatically come to you, so it’s best talking to every NPC you come across if you wish to find them all.
Admittedly at first, this companion system seems daunting and complex, but as I’ve progressed further through the game I’ve come to love just how unique it makes the title feel compared to other JRPGs from Exe-Create and KEMCO.
In a typical RPG fashion, you’ll find plenty of shops around where you can buy new weapons and armor for your teams. Each small team within the main team shares the weapons and armor that is equipped to their leader.
As well as the game’s main story quests, there are also quite a few little side quests for you to partake in. These quests range form you finding certain items, right up to playing a game of hide and seek with a boy in a town.
Despite being a paid-for title on the Switch, Alvastia Chronicles does suffer slightly from some elements you’d find in a F2P title, such as using in-game currency to revive yourself if your whole party dies and a loot-box like system that hands out random stuff. Thankfully there’s no option to spend real money on any of this stuff, although to be honest it still feels a bit tacky with these elements.
An in-game reward system is something I really like about Alvastia Chronicles. In the game’s party menu you’ll find a trophy icon and clicking on this reveals a list of challenges for you to complete in order to get extra items and equipment. These challenges can range from doing so many quests to defeating so many types of certain monsters. I find myself often going to this list and keeping track of what I’m doing and also find it to be a fun way to keep the game going.
Graphically the game is a throwback to the days of the SNES, with a 2D view, shot from overhead for the game’s none battle scenes and a 2D side view for the battles. There’s not much in terms of technological advancements if I’m honest. In the end, this comes down to personal taste and if you don’t mind old school graphics then Alavastia Chronicles won’t disappoint you in this department.
In conclusion, Alvastia Chronicles is a strong JRPG entry from Exe-Create. Whilst a typical JRPG at heart, its use of a unique companion system really helps to set it aside in a world where this type of game is particularly common amongst small indie developers. The story is strong and certainly does a wonderful job of hooking you in, as I have learned from my many hours of play.
That concludes our Alvastia Chronicles review. To purchase the game on Nintendo Switch, check out the links below.