Alvastia Chronicles is a retro style JRPG, developed by Exe-Create and published by Kemco. It was originally released for mobile, but then saw console releases in January of 2019.
Long ago, the world was ravaged by the Tetrarchs and the seas were destroyed. Humankind could not live, so the higher beings known as Altherians lifted the land up above the clouds, each region being held up by a pillar. Each pillar has a gem that helps keep it lifted and the monsters away. A priestess is placed at each one, who prays to the gods to keep the power of the gems alight. But evil and monsters have found their way back to the world. No one knows how or why, but it’s time to find out!
Alan and Elmia set out to the nearby forest of their hometown to find herbs and food. Unfortunately they discover the monster who happens to have killed their parents 10 years ago, making them orphans. They also find out that one of the crystals in a tower is losing power, so they want to find out how to keep the land from sinking. So they travel the land! I was not expecting the story to be in depth and fantastic with how short the game is. Though some of the twists and turns just happen way too fast. Like a villain who suddenly grows a heart after one sudden realization. Or two characters who one second can’t stand each other, then they’re in love. Not to say the story moves quickly. The story honestly has a perfect pace.
The true ending sees an entirely new area and a whole new story added onto the game. Not just the normal “we didn’t kill the big bad! He went to his true hole in the ground, after him!”. Instead you learn the true backstory of the antagonists and how everything transpired that led to them being evil. Honestly it was so much added content that I loved it, and I’m glad it was there!
The gameplay is a fun turn based battle system. But it has quite a twist that I can’t say I’ve ever actually seen done before, and if I have, I’ve forgotten. Throughout the game, you get the obvious party additions so you have a full band of merry adventurers, but the companion system is where it gets interesting. As you go through towns, you can talk to many NPCs and they will join you throughout your quest. Whether immediately, or you have to do something simple, like reach level 30 or something.
But there are 101 companions to be added to your roster. Then you put the companion’s into a party with each of the party members. So you basically make 3 parties of 4 characters, resulting in 12 characters in battle at once. These companions also level up, but you also get stones to increase their stats to their current levels! They also have their own spells they can use in battle, so it was fun making every party the exact way I wanted it. It was intriguing and amazing! The downside? There’s just too many members so I never used like 80% of the NPCs I recruited. But there’s funny companions. Like a barrel. Or cats. Or even a lump of coal.
The game has a multitude of difficulty levels. I played on normal the whole time, and at first the game was a fun little challenge. I had to think of every little move in battle. It was made a touch easier though with you regaining all of your HP after each and every battle. But this was extremely offset with the gacha system that’s implemented in the game called “Pillar Killers”. You get special currency in the game, known as tickets or AL points. You then use these to use a gacha system for incredibly suped up weapons. I did it after I got to the second continent because I got told it has new gear.
This gear carried me through the entire game. I got a super powered companion, I got amazing weapons, and I got a few good pieces of armor. This let me stomp through all the challenges in the game, so I had fun seeing if I could win battles in a single turn. But it made everything trivial. Even on Hard, as you can change the difficulty at any time. Plus you can upgrade weapons in the game using other weapons. So anytime I got any weapons, I would dump them into my super charged weapon and make it even better! Sure it was fantastic to be incredibly OP, but it also ruined the challenge. But at the same time, I wasn’t just not going to use the weapons.
Unfortunately outside of the story, there’s not much to do. You have your standard sidequests, which usually have you going back to the dungeon you just cleared, but this was made better with fast travel. I just fast travelled everywhere! But there were no hidden dungeons or anything. Sure there was a sort of secret boss in the hidden Battle arena who was max level, but I didn’t even have to grind to beat him, and I was only level 65 when I challenged him. I was glad I didn’t have to grind to beat him, but I still would’ve liked even one extra dungeon.
- Great Story With A Short Playtime
- Great Post Game Story
- Feeling OP!
- Gacha System Breaks The Challenge
- Too Many Companions
- Twists Happen Too Fast
I wasn’t expecting much from Alvastia Chronicles. But the tight story, charming characters and silly companions made me fall in love. It was awesome to get OP so early, but that came at a cost. But it’s a great jumping point for anyone who’s ever thought of getting into JRPGs, and definitely recommended for fans of retro style JRPGs. Go give this game some love!
Game & Developer Information
Developer Website: Exe-Create
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Kemco
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £11.99/€14.99 Europe / $14.99 North America
Trophy Information: 32. 1 / 5 / 8 / 18