If you were extra vigilant throughout this year's 'not-E3' season, and you like your JRPGs, then you may have spotted Alterium Shift during the 2022 Guerilla Collective showcase. Originally slated for a PC and "unspecified console" release, publisher Gravity Game Arise and developer Drattzy Games have revealed that the game will indeed be coming to Switch in 2023!
While we all know there are a ton of Super Nintendo-inspired RPGs out there nowadays, Alterium Shift brings its own twist to the trend, letting you choose between three different characters. Depending on who you pick to take the lead, you'll be taken down a different story path that will lead to them discovering the mysteries of the world.
These heroes — Pyra, Atlas, and Sage — can all harness the power of Alterium Essence. After completing their training, their teacher, Dolion, sets them all off on an important mission. Alterium Shift will feature turn-based combat with a visible turn order (think Final Fantasy X) where you'll need to exploit enemy weaknesses, while on the field, you'll be able to discover hidden treasure and loot. But every decision you make will be important.
Here's a brief summary of what to expect from Alterium Shift from the game's Steam page.
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?
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.
Alterium Shift has a full-featured turn-based combat system with a turn-order display for important decision-making! Exploit enemy weaknesses and gain experience to grow your party into an unstoppable force! Of course, the loot you earn will also help you along your journey as well.
Explore the world of Alteria. Meet new and diverse people. Find loot and hidden treasure! Take on new quests. The decision is yours and every decision is important!
Those multiple paths do make us think of Octopath Traveler, but this is decidedly different as all three characters start together, and it looks like they also communicate outside of battle! At least in the early hours.
The game isn't due to launch on Switch until next year, but keep an eye out for more details. In the meantime, check out the trailer up top! And don't worry — the developer has spotted the typo in the video. We all do it!
Have an appetite for adventure in Alterium Shift? Does this game remind you of any Super NES classics? Let us know!
This looks fantastic. Exactly my type of game.
Would have been my type of game when I was younger, just don't have the attention span for these types of games now. (as I found out with Octopath Traveler)
This Pyra has red hair too!
Oh hey, I was just looking at this yesterday! This was actually made in Smile Game Builder from what I've seen, and it's mighty impressive for that tool.
Looks great! Reminds me more of a PS1 RPG than a SNES one, but the character style and font is like straight out of something like Secret of Mana.
Thanks for the heads 'up, I wish-listed it on Steam. The game looks cool.
Love that isometric in 3D look, it's difficult to do right...it almost looks like they're using rendering tricks rather than building everything that way.
The wavy trees look kinda funny, though.
@Asaki Yeh, that's a real pet peeve of mine: "We have to make our graphics more engaging... I know, we'll make things that sometimes move just move all the time in an unrealistic manner".
I love the art style, it brings back a lot of great memories.
However I fear, this might be just a average clone of 16-but RPGs, which ignores the improvements of the last decades.
@Bunkerneath Been sobering to realize this myself. I played the heck out of every RPG back in the day, but now I just cannot get through them. The grind ends up killing it for me. I really want to finish DQ 11, but I am at the point that I will have to grind for a bit and it just isn't worth it. I'd give anything for devs to offer an option to just let me level up if I so chose so I could move on with the game.
I can't believe they misspelled Pyra's name on her character reveal in the trailer (17 seconds in).
Looks like a nice end of system life rpg. Too many heavy hitters to finish right now though.
Has a bit of the SquareEnix HD-2D look. Only without some of the lighting/texture effects. I'll keep an eye out for this one.
I like that they took a stab at HD-2D but without the excessive bloom and similar effects. In fact it looks better than Square games, it doesn't seem to have as much of a flat stickers in a diorama effect.
Very impressive graphics... Definitely captures the era of JRPGs it's going for. Gameplay seems up to snuff. I don't know if I'd play each character's story due to time constraints in my life, unless each character's story is short enough for me to get through. I'll still keep an eye out regardless.
@Bunkerneath I tried to get into Octopath. Couldn’t. Thought it was going to be a good RPG for me as I loved games like Golden Sun or Chrono Trigger. The branching story lines were not for me. I couldn’t get into the story. Unoriginal. Oh well. Maybe this one will be better
Yes yes yes, more of this!
Octopath traveler was already amazing, nice to see more games like this.
Loving the Quintet-Soul-Blazer-Trilogy-esque font to this, as well as the look of it.
@Piyo Hello, developer here! Thank you! We hope to alleviate a few of those concerns by providing players with some quality of life features, like a world map that has quest markers and plans for ways to fast travel. We are always looking at player feedback to hopefully hit a sweet spot. We have a new demo coming out in about a month on steam for those who want to (or able to) try out some of the new features we're working on.
@PeterAndCompany I know right?! Oh man, you don't even know how much it pains me that we let that slip. x_x
@SmaggTheSmug Thank you, we like to think we've hit a sweet spot with keeping the nostalgic look while upping the visual fidelity with the use of a modern 3D engine. We're glad you enjoy the look of it.
@MeloMan Our plans are to have each character's playthrough average around 10-15 hours of game time, assuming you don't try to finish all side quests /content. Of course its hard to say in our current state of development what exact numbers will be.
@belmont Thank you so much for the wishlist on steam, this is the #1 way to support the game right now and we deeply appreciate it.
@DrassRay Always glad to have a response from a dev, so thank you! That's not too bad... Will playing through all 3 character's stories net a "true ending," or a comprehensive ending? If so that'll probably boost my chances of playing all three character's stories.
The art style had that combined Mana, Lufia, and Breath of Fire look while the battle system is turn based similar to Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy. Definitely an RPG I want to see more of.
@MeloMan My pleasure! Without giving too much away, we definitely plan to have some incentives (more than one) for players to play all 3 character paths.
@DrassRay HAHA, no worries dude! I've been a comic artist for 20 years now and I sometimes don't find typos in my work until someone points it out YEARS down the road. Always kicking myself for never catching them sooner, but there inevitably will be those that slip through.
If anything it just means you'll by hyper-aware of any potential typos in the final product, so it's all good! Looking forward to trying this out when it hits Switch. You thinking of offering a demo on the eShop when you have the chance?
@PeterAndCompany Lol! Happy to hear that we're not alone! We'll definitely keep a better look out for those pesky typos.
As far as a switch demo, I think that would be a good idea, but can't say for sure when that might happen.
@DrassRay I don't know anything about the development/publishing process, but I know plenty of games on the eShop have demos released ahead of the official launch of the game. Though I'm not sure if they have any restrictions on how far ahead of launch you could release a demo or things like that, so it might depend on when you plan on releasing the Switch port.
Might be worth looking into, particularly if you've already got a demo on Steam almost ready to go!
It does capture the SNES aesthetic, but the way the trees and similar plants move seem unnatural. They remind me of pulsating alien parts. Other than that, it looks good.
@umbreon_sylveon I had a similar issue with Octopath. The individual stories had interesting aspects, but because they never really intersected or had any stakes to them so I quit.
@PeterAndCompany Heard. It's only a matter of time, I think. There's some hoops we have to get through at the moment. Thanks again!
@umbreon_sylveon Our game will feature a cohesive story, and their relationship to each other will be meaningful. Without spoiling too much, the core differences between each characters path will be how the group meets back up after they are split up at the beginning of the game, and of course, the character you choose to play as will have their own flavor to the interactions and choices throughout their path.
This is the best RPG trailer I've seen in a long while, it doesn't try to sell me on the epic story with a bunch of dramatic cutscenes and cuts to gameplay. Good trailer.
I'll keep an eye out for this one.
However, big point for using that classic Enix font, I recognize those letters anywhere after a lifetime of playing and replaying Illusion of Gaia.
Oh! Nice example of a game that looks like Octopath should.
@Moshugan was going to say the exact same thing. Early PS1 RPGs looks very much like this, pixel art with some basic 3D polygon design. Love the style
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