When Another Eden was first announced, it created quite a bit of buzz as it was to be JRPG veteran Masato Kato’s latest project. However at the same time, the fact that it was going to be a smartphone-exclusive game did raise concerns. Now that this free-to-play RPG is out, let us see what it is all about in this piece of Another Eden first impressions.
To its credit, Another Eden goes the extra mile to deliver a compelling single player experience while avoiding a majority of the trappings of the genre on mobile platforms. The influence of Chrono Trigger can be seen in Another Eden as it thrusts players into the role of a hero who has to travel in time to save the world from a great threat. The nods do not stop there as when the story progresses, you will meet several characters and encounter situations that are heavily reminiscent to the SNES classic.
In terms of visual presentation, Another Eden uses a contemporary fantasy art style that still manages to evoke the feel of classic JRPGs. You get actual towns to explore in, and you navigate them by scrolling back and forth in a side-scrolling fashion. Movement is for the most part seamless and you are only ever interrupted by the occasional loading screens.
Character designs are not particularly amazing but they get the job done. Another Eden opted not to go with the fanservice route when it comes to its cast, so take that into consideration. Given that this is supposed to be a callback to older JRPGs it makes sense that the developer went with more conservative designs.
Combat is turn-based for the most part, and involves you selecting your character’s abilities and target before executing them in order. While you can speed up the fight, there is no auto-battle shenanigans going on. You have a party of four to work with, with two members in reserve. Those in the backline will regenerate HP and MP at the end of each turn, and you will be able to call upon them at any given time.
Standing out from other the majority of mobile RPGs today, Another Eden has a heavy emphasis on its a single player campaign which 100% narrative driven. There is no stamina system to speak of, no daily objectives, no PVP mode or even a friend list. What you get is a pure and undiluted JRPG experience.
However at the end of the day, this is still a smartphone RPG that is free-to-play, so there is a need to address the elephant in the room, and that it is the microtransactions. Fortunately, Another Eden does not aggressively push players to spend, as you will be able to clear the story with just your starting lineup and those you recruit along the way.
Characters you obtain from gacha are obviously much better but they only complement and enhance your experience of playing the story. It is very easy to forget that this is a free-to-play game too, as you are not bombarded with banners found in other games. Even looking to buy premium currency takes a bit of effort on the player’s part.
At this juncture, it is safe to recommend Another Eden as it is one of the better single player RPGs on the mobile platform right now and it does not even cost you a single cent. A definite must try for fans of the genre.