Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky
Top Critic Average
The Valkyrie Profile successor you always wanted in both the good and the bad ways.
Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky is a test as much as a game, with some interesting new ideas being applied to a pretty standard JRPG. There are some highs and some lows, but the overall product is lacking in severe ways that are amplified by the generally promising new concepts. However, a strong story and some exploration options make this a game to consider.
Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky is an advertisement for the mantra that less is more. There's an enjoyable ten hour game here, but it's buried in a repetitive and frustrating forty hour experience in which the majority of the content not only feels superfluous, but actually detrimental to the whole. The story it tells might be good enough to justify grinding through the uninspired battles and platforming sections were the game dramatically shorter, but as it is the sporadic narrative can't save what is a largely tedious affair.
There’s a lot to be had here, but the PS Vita version of Exist Archive could have used some more attention. Still, in the proper hands, there’s plenty of JRPG goodness to get lost in.
Exist Archive is a title elevated by its superb combat that remained enjoyable even after a thousand encounters. However, it doesn’t have much more to offer outside of the combat, as there’s a serious lack of variety in the overall gameplay. The repetitive nature of exploring one dungeon after another, punctuated by the odd event here and there played against my patience. Even though I can safely say that I enjoyed my initial playthrough, I can’t say the same about the prospect of playing through it once more to get an alternative ending.
While it may not be the timeless classic that the original Valkyrie Profile strived to be so many years ago, Exist Archive takes that inspirational gameplay and infuses it with more modern tropes.
Despite the bumpy and confusing start, the excellent plot -combined with a rather satisfying gameplay and a delightful art style- make Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky a recommended experience for any fan of the genre.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky has a solid foundation in its art style, characters, and combat. It’s just a shame that a lack in variation holds it back from being something truly engaging.
With a cool cast of characters, a suspenseful story, a huge and beautiful world, unique exploration, addictive combat a and main scenario dozens of hours long, Exist Archive has quite a lot to offer the action RPG fan. You can and will spend many fun hour playing this. Despite the issues it’s worth the price of admission, particularly for its fast combat, a wonderfully pleasant contrast to the waves of purely turn-based JRPGs we constantly see.
Within Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky you will be treated to a game featuring a unique storytelling angle, amazing art design, a roster of a dozen compelling and unique characters and a beefy campaign. It legitimately feels like a successor to the Valkyrie Profile series, from the people that made the series what it is today. Despite its repetitive nature, this is still an adventure that is worthy of exploring, as long as you have plenty of free time on your hands.