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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Alpha (アルファー)

I thought I was being clever when I snarkily remarked that Square didn't do fan service in the good ol' days until their 3rd title in 1986 but I forgot about Cruise Chaser Blassty so I actually meant their 4th title (ignoring Thexder which was not developed by Square). So I guess the joke's on me, SJWs WIN AGAIN! Anyway, here we are finally, playing Square's first masterpiece, Final Fan- err, I mean Alpha. Oh, you play as a girl with no memories NOR any pants? GOTY!!!

Let's make Beta next! Naw fuck it, go straight to Final (Fantasy)
At first, I was so spoiled by the compass directions in Will Death Trap II that I was totally lost until I realized that the game was dumbed down even further by allowing you to use directional keypad to make your way around. (Geesh, kids nowadays...) Not the arrow keys, I'm talking turn Num Lock off directional keypad old-school.

Knowing how to move around, you can figure out most things by playing blind except it has this weird thing where you have to get caught by robots like 3 times to progress the game. HOWEVER, you'll lose all your items so you have to wait until a certain point to pick up anything.

They take the gun but apparently you were able to hide the gold key... somewhere. HEH HEH HEH
In typical old school adventure style, if you lose your items, you're pretty much screwed and beating the game is now impossible without starting from an earlier state.

I'm not doing anything shady, no siree!
This game feels like what Will Death Trap 2 should have been if it was 3x longer and actually had a plot. There's a bit of story with even somewhat of a minor twist. Plenty of that nice ascii por- err I mean traditional pixel artwork. There's lots of places to explore though the "maps" on either side of the screen are totally useless this time around. Good thing I have the trusty internet to guide me.

Yeah, there are some kinks, like how the Stadium which blows up at the very beginning of the game still have people running away even at the end. And sometimes you can shoot the robot police and sometimes you can't. Basically, if you can't shoot the robot, then you've missed something or you're going the wrong way.

The most incompetent robot police ever. Stupid devs probably didn't QA them.
Overall, I think Alpha is a huge step forward from Square's previous adventure games. There's a lot of great looking art, a couple cool animations, and plenty to like in terms of fan service. Though technically, the well positioned strand of hair means it's not really a 18+ game. The one song that plays in the intro and ending is pretty good too. If they keep this up, there may be some amazing visual novels coming from those guys in later years.

The rest of the game is filled with horrible sound effects but this OP is not half bad

Score: 2 I bet these Square guys must be making some great visual novels nowadays, right?! out of 5.

That's a pretty cool logo, wonder what happened to these guys?
Additional screenshot for the future gaming historians.

You might want to look into a chiropractor for that back problem...

Apparently radar is far more useful than we originally imagined

Zero-gravity and boobs... I think we're onto something here Square! $$$!!

0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

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