Alterium Shift pays homage to classic SNES Role-playing games and then some!
PAX East brings out the best in everyone; from the gaming scene to the people attending the show. There are times when a game sneaks up on you that didn’t know about and then you get to play it and love it. That game is Alterium Shift, a game that pays homage to the classic role-playing games of the SNES era like Final Fantasy 6, Chrono Trigger and Super Mario RPG.
As I just mentioned fans of classic role-playing games will be in even with Alterium Shift. You start out by being given the choice of three characters to play as; Pyra, Atlas, and Sage. Your teacher wants you have a better life than he did so he trains you to be the best. During the demo, I played as Pyra and used her spear to attack. Each of the three characters has different weapons to use during combat. Atlas is an archer and Sage uses Alterium Essence. That sounds like a fancy way to say a magic user to me.
Long story short, your character has something happen to them that makes them question their cause in life. After some soul searching and minor busywork in the town, you set out on your journey. In typical RPG fashion, you will fight all kinds of monsters/animals outside of town as well as find all kinds of items/supplies. There is plenty of treasure to find out in the world as well.
Battles feel like they’re right out of a classic role playing game. I’m a huge fan of turn-based rpgs and the fights felt natural to me. You’ll fight all kinds of enemies like wild boars and wolves just to name a few. As you level up you’ll learn new special attacks that will be key to survival. The enemies were getting tougher near the end of the demo and I was glad to have stronger spear special attacks when I got to the boss fight at the end.
The game isn’t just about fighting; there are plenty of sidequests in the game as well. It wouldn’t be an role-playing game without sidequests now would it? You’ll have to find supplies and bring them to people. You also have the ability to fish out in the wild. During the demo I ran out of bait so I couldn’t fish anymore but it was during that time with the fishing rod that I figured out how to fish. Fishing is a push the button at the right time mini game but I guess I’m not meant to be a fisherman in Alterium Shift.
There was one other issue I had when playing the demo. There is a quest early on that you need to get certain items but you don’t have a list of what you actually need. You only hear the list of items one time from the character that asked for them and never again. It would be nice to have a quest log or something on those lines and I believe the developers I spoke to said they plan to implement something like that. It would have also been nice to have a map of some kind during exploring as well since you don’t really know your way around the locales yet.
That being said, I’m really looking forward to Alterium Shift. The graphical styling screams SNES era. I love the way the characters look and the way the combat feels. It’s nice to be surprised about a game and then have it one of the best games at the convention!