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Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky Impression - TGS 2015


Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky

So there's this game I've played.  It exists.  The rest, I'm still trying to figure out, but it is definitely in existence.  The characters of Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky aren't too sure about the particulars either, as they have absolutely no idea where the are, only that it's a very weird place. Some guess that it's an afterlife, though they argue over whether it's Heaven or Hell.  Others say it must be an alien world or another plane of existence, and the scenery really does support this hypothesis.  Any world where giant crystals grow up to become trees is going to be a weird one.

There's a loud, disembodied voice who tells the characters what they should be doing, but when they ask him questions, he's far from useful.  When queried on the nature of a strange device that looks like it could be a transporter, his response amounts to "Stand on it and see for yourself, morons. Geez, do I need to do everything for you?"  No, the mysteries of this game won't be revealed so easily.

2D-scrolling RPGs seem to be popular this year (at least four by my count), and this one shares antecedents with Valkyrie Profile  The heroes run and jump, platform style, but the controls could use some work.  It was all too common an occurrence that I tried to jump one way, and ended up sliding instead.  It took me five tries to make this one, short hop because the game really didn't want me to jump, it seemed.  On a more interesting note, it's possible to shoot wandering enemy sprites before they can be engaged in battle, which turns them into a sort of warp bubble that launches the party a short distance.  Several jumps were only made possible by this trick.

Combat also resembles Valkyrie Profile's at first glance, though I felt it wasn't quite as deep.  The four party members are mapped to the circle, triangle, square, cross buttons, and there's an action bar along the bottom that depletes as attack moves are chosen.  However, there's no real sense that timing is important, no breaking of defenses or juggling of enemies, at least in this demo.  The full version might have more to it.

So yes, it exists, and we even have archival footage of it.  What it all means, though... that is something to be discovered on another day.

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