Tri-Ace and Spike Chunsoft’s new RPG, Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky was playable at this year’s Tokyo Game Show so I sat down and gave it a whirl.
The game is your basic action RPG with you playing as the main character running and jumping around fighting stuff. The triangle button is used for interactions, the circle to attack whatever’s in front of you, and the X button for jumping and double-jumping.
The square button was a bit of an anomaly which wasn’t really explained in the demo. By pressing the button, you shot something called a “bind sphere.” When a bind sphere comes in contact with an enemy, they temporarily transform into a ball of white light. By coming in contact with this ball, you’re sucked in and, about a second later, shot out again. Apparently, this allows you to access ledges and areas you wouldn’t normally be able to reach by just jumping.
When you come in contact with any enemies, you enter combat. In combat, as covered previously, pressing the circle, square, triangle, and X buttons make each member in your party attack. You have an action gauge which each attack depletes. When the gauge is empty, your turn is over and the enemy gets to have a go.
There’s also some kind of mode in combat called the “Demon’s Greed” but I never got around to using it.
Looking at each character attack, I got the distinct feeling that each character had their own weapon qualities and fighting styles. Unfortunately, since I was playing in the middle of the story instead of from the start, I hadn’t been really introduced to any of the characters and what they brought to the table in terms of strategy. All I could do was randomly mash the buttons and let them to their thing. I really wanted to get to know the characters so I could properly formulate a combat strategy — which I guess is part of the fun of the game.
The game handled all right, although the movement felt a little slow during the cutscenes. I couldn’t really tell if it was intentional, or if the Vita struggling to process things.
In the end, you could say the demo did its job perfectly: I got a solid feel for the gameplay and I was left wanting to know more about the story.
Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky is scheduled for release in Japan for the PS4 and PS Vita on 17 December.