The Alliance Alive | Yellow Duck

While we here at Operation Rainfall love covering the latest in gaming news and sharing our reviews of titles new and classic, we also just enjoy playing games in our downtime. So with that, sit back, relax, and check out what the oprainfall gaming crew have been up to this week!

It’s been a while since I’ve gamed, as the urge to play just hasn’t been there for me lately. I’ve been reading less manga too, but have read a few more LNs here and there. However, I had a chunk of time this weekend and decided to replay Aria of Sorrow. I really needed to just turn my brain off and I know I can easily blitz through this game in a sitting or two effortlessly.

Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow (Week in Gaming 1)

Hardly any story to be had, Aria of Sorrow follows exchange student Soma Cruz as he finds himself transported from Japan to Dracula’s Castle, which is currently bound within an eclipse. To find a way out, he must traverse the castle and reach the throne room, utilizing his newly awakened ability to collect the souls and copying the abilities of enemies.

Castlevania | Aria of Sorrow (Week in Gaming 2)

Anyway, having replayed this many times, I know which weapons and souls to go after to mow down everything in the least amount of time. And, well, it’s kinda satisfying, in that it’s a game I can quickly get into, while also being quick for me to complete without feeling guilty for playing it over something in my ever-growing backlog.

After this, I may revisit Dawn of Sorrow, as I’ve only played that twice or thrice, though I distinctly remember enjoying it far less than Aria due to gimmicky touch-screen nonsense and powers that felt lame. Thinking about it as I write this, maybe I’ll do the Julius mode for that so I can play as Alucard instead. – Drew D.

The Alliance Alive | Azura, Galil and Friends

So I’ve been waiting ages for The Alliance Alive HD Remastered to go back on sale in the eShop. I loved the game on 3DS and have been wanting to replay it on Switch. Unfortunately, I missed out on the Switch physical copy before it went out of print and I also missed out on the last eShop sale over 10 months ago, not realizing it would be so long before it went on sale again. Anyway, it finally went on sale again a few days ago and I’ve spent this past weekend beginning my replay. I always loved The Alliance Alive. Back when it came out on 3DS, I do believe I had already bought my PS4 and played a little bit of some more recent console games I missed out on for years. But it really hadn’t been that long since the newest RPGs I played and had access to, were all on the 3DS. I was still pretty behind on current console stuff and hadn’t played all that many modern games. I spent so much time on the most wonderful 3DS games for years, which I might not have even noticed if I was distracted by a bunch of fancier and larger console titles at the time.

The Alliance Alive | Early Cinematic Scene

Replaying it again for the first time in years, now having played tons of flashier RPGs and other games on both Switch and PS4, I see now how simple The Alliance Alive is. The visuals are very basic and the cinematic scenes almost seem like they couldn’t make them quite as HD as the rest of the game in this port, they’re somewhat more blurry. Also, there is no voice acting. However, despite all this, I still find it to be an extremely charming little RPG so far. I don’t think I would pay full price for it today, but I still think it’s a fantastic game to pick-up and get into during a sale.

The Alliance Alive | Yellow Duck

The Alliance Alive has always felt like it was the answer to the various complaints people had about The Legend of Legacy, its predecessor. Now, I personally enjoyed the time I spent with The Legend of Legacy, but thinking back, it was definitely an even simpler game and the story was something subtle you had to piece together for yourself. Nonetheless, Cattle Call seemed to add all of the features “missing” from The Legend of Legacy when they came up with The Alliance Alive. You’ve got charming characters, a much more present and significant story and a whole world to explore in typical RPG fashion. I’m quite enjoying the time I’ve spent so far replaying the game. I do think they could’ve added a speed toggle on cinematic scene dialogue, it skips ahead a bit quick sometimes. But other than that, I like the simple charm of the game and it’s still a pretty great game. I definitely think it’s an underrated gem a lot of people missed out on, possibly due in part to people’s fear of it being just like The Legend of Legacy and also simply because many people haven’t heard of it before.

SaGa Emerald Beyond | Battle

Before The Alliance Alive finally went back on sale, I also checked out the Switch version of the SaGa Emerald Beyond demo. Honestly, I didn’t find myself eager to finish it after playing for about an hour or two. My main issue with the game, is it seemed ridiculously cheesy. I think a significant part of what makes it feel so cheesy, is the English dub. For example, in the early game this narrator voice is constantly cutting in during battle to explain basic mechanics, and the way they voice their lines makes it sound like they’re trying to explain to a child how awesome and exciting all of the game’s basic battle features are. Also, the overall game seemed very simple and like it didn’t have a lot going on. Although, it is the very early game, so maybe I judged it too quickly. But typically if it’s a game I would normally play and is actually good, the demo sucks me in relatively quickly and I find myself impatiently anxious to experience the full game. SaGa Emerald‘s Switch demo did not do that for me, at all. Plus, I felt like battles moved a bit slow and I just really didn’t enjoy my time with it. – Jenae

What games have you been playing this week? Let us know in the comments!

You can read previous Week in Gaming entries here!

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