Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky (PS4, Vita)

EXIST_BOXA group of high schoolers from Tokyo get involved in a serious accident (a huge hole appears in a road).  But instead of winding up dead, the bunch of teenagers ends up in a strange world full of floating islands, monstrous creatures, and a huge tower.  Now they must fight to uncover the truth as to why they’re there, and stop evil forces along the way in this anime styled RPG.  It’s available for Sony’s PS4 and Vita, but reviewed on the Vita here.

Like a typical RPG, you’ll explore dungeons and battle monsters in turn-based style.  There are no towns, so you’ll mostly be picking quests from a menu, like a dungeon crawler.  But there are a few tweaks that make this game somewhat unique.  Usually in RPGs, you view the action from a top-down perspective or explore 3-D areas.  Here, you venture through the dungeons in 2-D sidescroller fashion!  You can move left and right as well as jump.  Enemies appear as purple blobs, and if you can press the attack button before they get you, you’ll attack first in battle.  Otherwise, the bad guys go first.

When in battle, the screen switches to an arena style view and looks more like a typical RPG.  But even here, things are a little different.  Each character is assigned a button, and you press them to attack.  But each attack costs AP, so you’ll have to decide who and how many times they get to fight each turn.  When your turn is over, you can still press the buttons to make your team guard against the enemies’ blows, but it’s kind of hard since they all attack at once and are usually bunched up together.

After winning, you’ll earn experience points to level up, as well as SP that you can use to assign skills to your characters.  You can even change classes later on in the game to learn more abilities.  Most of the items you’ll get come from defeating enemies, too.  In fact, there are ways to increase the amount of items the enemies drop as well.  You can revisit old dungeons to take on tons of sidequests, and even view how much the other party members like you.  Connect online to do speed runs of dungeons and get more items as well.  The graphics are gorgeous and I like the subtle differences they used to make this game unique.  But the game starts off pretty slow and didn’t really draw me in.  But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad game.  If you enjoy anime and can’t get enough RPGs, you should check this one out anyway.


Kid Factor:

Exist Archive is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Blood, Fantasy Violence, Language, and Suggestive Themes.  You can smack around enemies with swords, guns, and other weapons and magic, but they just disappear when defeated.  There are plenty of anime cutscenese with blood, though.  Characters do curse sometimes, and suggestive themes are mostly implied in text only.  Even so, the game is probably best enjoyed by teens and older players who enjoy mature anime anyway.

One Response to “Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky (PS4, Vita)”

  1. Neat. I didn’t know about this one. Might be great on Vita.

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