Alvastia Chronicles review for PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher: Kemco
Developer: Kemco
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

I?ve played enough RPGs from Kemco to be able to state with some degree of confidence that if you?ve played one, you?ve pretty much played them all. Some are a little better, some are a little worse, but generally speaking, they don?t differ too much from each other.

Now that I?ve played Alvastia Chronicles, however, I?ve realized that I?ve been missing something about them: sure, they?re all generic, old-school RPGs, but the older/better games they?re copying from differ slightly from title to title. I?m no expert on the genre?s history, but even I know that there?s a difference between how RPGs looked on the NES, and how they looked on the SNES. And because of that, I know that Alvastia Chronicles very much looks and plays like it could have been released on the NES.

I leave it to you to decide whether that?s a good thing, but personally, it feels like a small step back for Kemco RPGs. After all, recent games from them like Revenant Dogma and Chronus Arc had seen ?innovations” like 3D-ish battles, and dialogue where you could see who was speaking. This, however, has none of that. You see everything outside of the battles from a top-down perspective, and the battles themselves are resolutely 2D affairs. Further, all the dialogue takes place in small text on the screen, with only names signifying who?s speaking.

What does surprise me about Alvastia Chronicles is that even this dialogue is uninspired. Traditionally, whether by design or by accident, Kemco RPGs tend to have surprisingly decent dialogue, with characters who are pleasant to each other and who don?t fall back on genre tropes. The closest this game gets to having memorable dialogue is having other characters make incest jokes about the brother-sister main characters, which is…you know, not pleasant.

But those jokes are also so infrequent that it?d be hard to say that they drag the game down. Alvastia Chronicles is, like so many other Kemco RPGs before it, as generic and forgettable as they come, with the only difference between this and most of its other publisher-mates is that this one looks further back than most for its inspiration.

Kemco provided us with an Alvastia Chronicles PS4/PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: C-