Alphadia Genesis 2: Don’t Waste Your Time
Alphadia Genesis 2: The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Game
What follows is my review which excludes the post-post game epic battle against Enah. This battle is one of the longest, toughest, and perhaps best battles in all the Kemco rpgs. For me, the normal AG2 provides little entertainment and I would play it only if I want to take on the difficult challenge of fighting Enah. Each of us can decide if that challenge offsets the experience of going through everything else in AG2.
I don't like writing negative reviews, but I don't want others to go through the unpleasant experience of playing Alphadia Genesis 2 (AG2) without fair warning. I can quickly cover the good points; the bad will take longer. Here are some positive features:
- dynamic setting of encounter rate from none to every step
- a history in case you forget something
- a world map which always shows your next destination
- a rapid way to grind at Metal Gelatin Island
- a novel and interesting battle technique
- an arena
- dungeons impossible to get lost in
- a continuing character for other games in the series
- special one-on-one post game monster battles
- you don't need any of the in-app purchases
- 20 subquests
The battle technique needs some explanation. You have energi/skills, which consume EP, but you also have 5 "slots" which can be optionally used to increase the power of the skill. You can use the default "1 boost" (meaning no boost) up to "5 boost." The "5 boost", for example, when used against a metal monster, turns that 1 point hit into 5 one point hits (assuming you don't miss). I don't know the formula for how much the boost increases the damage of a skill. Using the slot consumes it, and slots are only replaced, one per turn, whenever you defend. There are a few items, not common, which can also replenish slots, and one character has a special skill to do the same.
In theory this limitation on "boosts" should make tactical planning important for tough battles. If you watch some of the Youtube videos about the post-game battles against the Tetrarch Dragons, you see 12 minute exercises in resource consumption and patient recovery of slots prior to attacking.
I know, you think these sound like the attributes of a good game. Unfortunately, the monster difficulty balance is askew, so the game is either too easy or too hard. The positive features above become drawbacks once you do the necessary grinding. I'll get into the details about grinding after a brief overview of some of the play negatives.
- a repetitive 1-2 hour grind at Metal Gelatin Island
- an arena that offers no challenge after you grind and whose exchange items are not needed (but the prizes are helpful)
- long boring dungeons after you grind, so of course you set the encounter rate to "none"
- a continuing character that is completely passive
- all monsters, including post-game, are easy to defeat after grinding
- not much of a plot
- no character development
- almost all dialog is sexual innuendo
- animation on the world map is rather slow
- the interface is designed to save screen real estate and result in difficulties tapping small menu areas
- 20 subquests of absolutely no value (almost all rewards are seeds, and I never used a single seed)
The story is the standard form the party of good guys, and then go beat the bad guys and save the world. Except for one memorable nasty villain, Maurice, everybody is a stock character and nobody really evolves.
I was hoping to see Enah have a major role in the game. She is critical to the story, but she is a captive locked behind a magic barrier who is there only for the hero to attempt to rescue. Her situation is like that of the heroine in the comic song "Along Came Jones" made famous by the Coasters (1959):
And then he grabbed her (and then)
He tied her up (and then)
He threw her on the railroad tracks (and then)
A train started comin' (and then, and then...!)
And then along came Jones....
No, not Indiana Jones, but AG2 sure could use some of this humor to lighten a tiresome cliché of a plot. Here is a typical interaction between Enah and Dion (the hero):
Dion: Enah! Enah! Where are you? Enah?
Grinding is standard practice in Kemco rpg games. AG2 almost begs the player to grind, as it has a special class, "Hero," that is only unlocked after a character has maxed all 4 energi skills (like job classes). On top of that, early in the game, even the random monsters can be difficult to defeat, and arena victories seem out of reach. The existence of Metal Gelatin Island (which becomes available at story point #63) is like a siren song luring the player to the path of quick (but repetitive) leveling up.
After just a little bit of time there, you can proceed to the arena, where victories reward you with metal weapons. The game developers are clearly begging you to spend time hacking away at the metal monsters. In about an hour you can max out two energi skills for everybody in your party. One more session on the island will unlock "Hero" skills and put you at max level. Of course you don't have to go through this process to complete the game, or even the post-game, but it seems natural to give your party the best skills and weapons.
After you become a "Hero," the game becomes far too easy. That interesting interaction between boosts and skills becomes irrelevant. Those 12 minute ordeals with the Tetrarch Dragons become one turn knockouts.
Without story, character, or entertaining dialog, the only attraction in AG2 are the challenging battles. Grinding completely eliminates this challenge, so unless you want to handicap yourself and refuse to grind, there is too little pleasure here to waste your time playing AG2 unless you want to attempt the difficult struggle against Enah in the post-post game.Posted in Kemco Games, Reviews