Home » Alterium Shift – Early access preview

Alterium Shift – Early access preview

Quaint and charming indie RPG dedicated to the love of SNES era RPGs.

BACKGROUND:

Developed by MottzyStudios, a very small studio of just two people, Alternium Shift looks like it could have been placed straight at the end of the SNES era/beginning of the PS era over 25 years ago and no one would have blinked an eye. They state they have a love for games like Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger and it shows. Those games’ influence is very apparent in their game so far. It is also kind of gives off an older Breath of Fire graphic vibe in my opinion. It is in the demo stages right now with a fairly far-off release date of December 1, 2022 for PC.

This is a scrolling aerial shot of the first town in the demo called ‘Summiton.’ in the land of Alteria. So far, the graphic appeal they are trying to achieve seems well done and it is quite charming.

Allow me quote from their steam page for more information as the developers can say it best:

“Join three heroes in training as they learn to master their individual strengths and harness the power of Alterium Essence. With their training nearly completed, Dolion, their teacher, prepares them for the most important mission they’ve faced yet.”

“You’ll begin your journey with three heroes in training; Pyra, Atlas, and Sage. Their teacher, Dolion, strives to mold his students into heroes, ones better than himself. The three heroes are taking their final test before being sent off on an important and life-changing mission. What fate awaits these heroes and can they accomplish the tasks set forth before them?”

CHARACTERS:

“Dolion: From war hero to teacher, Dolion seeks individuals to mold into heroes themselves.”

“Pyra: A strict and loyal leader, Pyra steers her team as straight as she does her spear.”

“Atlas: A young, shy, and nimble Archer, Atlas delivers every shot with deadly accuracy.”

“Sage: A very talented weaver of Alterium Essence, with an ego that matches their skill.”

GAMEPLAY:

This is the tutorial battle which sets up how to play the game for the rest of the demo. ‘Alterium Essence” as Dolion the teacher states, acts like Magic Points or Skill Points to use skills or magic for. Other commands are commonplace throughout most RPGs like Atttack, Guard/Evade, Items, and Escape is available as well.

There is something interesting I found out about this tutorial battle as shown above. The battle ends when one of the three main characters is knocked unconscious. Whoever that character is is the person you get to play the demo as. The dialogue is slightly different for each character so feel free to experience the demo with all three characters.
Battles on the field are initiated via symbol-based encounters. You can sneak around the enemy to avoid them but if they see you, they will charge. They also can hide behind a bush and attack. As far as I can tell, there isn’t a preemptive/ambush system for first attacks and battles just start as normal.
A pretty funny feature in this game involves going into people’s houses. Standard fare for RPG adventurers except in this game it is a little different. Sometimes when given attempting to enter a building, you are given a choice of “Enter/Knock.” If the person doesn’t want you there, they will tell you to go away if you knock. Even so, you can enter anyway even after they tell you to go away and search the house. Attempting to check their footlocker and other storage places as in the screenshot above, will get you an item if it is there, however, the owner takes it right back.
A fishing mini-game is even included in the demo. The player requires a rod and fish to bait. Successfully catching fish involves having a good grasp on the fishing tension system. If you have too much tension, the line will break. Not enough tension and the fish will escape.
I almost wanted to label this as a spoiler but I felt it would gather more attention if I showed it here and felt it was too cool not to. It is an oversized monster that acts as your first boss fight and adds more gravity to the feel of the fight in my opinion. A new option is introduced here called ‘Burst Bar.’ It acts like a limit gauge from Final Fantasy VII and other RPGs in that when it builds up, you can unleash a special attack accessed through your skills.
The end of a successful battle screen shows EXP (Experience points), G(money), and other gotten items. When leveling up, if you learn a new move, the new move’s name will be listed above the ‘LevelUp!’ window.

MUSIC:

The music although limited in track number, is fairly well done and fits in nicely for the retro feel the game gives.

OVERALL:

This is definitely something those with nostalgia would enjoy especially if you are a fan of SNES-era RPGs. Not too much is complete as you can finish the demo in under one hour but I would urge anyone who likes traditional RPGs to give it a shot. It is a free demo as of this writing and the finished product release date is about 14 months from now.

Written by
Been playing games basically since before I could read and not just RPGs | Love the arts | Love a good story |

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