|Resonance of Q&A
|April 14th, 2011
04/14- 12:00PM EST
This week, I spent a bit of time writing my first review,
and it was an interesting experience. Certainly a much different beast
compared to writing Q&A! Anyway, you can check
out if you're interested in my detailed thoughts on Crystal Bearers. This week, we've
got a lot of great questions, including one from twitter, which I hope
will continue to be a regular occurrence. I think I'm addicted to
twitter. Enough of that though, on to your questions!
wrote in the first time after the Q & A resurrection but haven't
written after that first time, busy with my study etc., although there
is of course no excuse not to write in :)
As promised through Twitter, I would write something about Radiant Historia haha :)
Really, this game does everything right for me. When it was announced,
people called it a second hand Chrono
(really, I read that somewhere on a forum when
first trailer were released) but that does not do justice to the game
at all. But that's just how it goes, a game with time-travel elements
get released and people go: "Is it like Chrono???" haha. The parallel
time-lines in which you travel feel so tight and coherent (don't know
this sounds silly, I'm not a native English speaker :) ), next to the
battlesystem which really remains fun. It took a while for me to figure
out that you can shuffle around your turn to create combo's (somehow I
never read manuals), but there really is a huge strategic depth to it
that is very accessible at the same time. I am surprised that this game
isn't a major hit. Then again, maybe it is and I just don't know about
since here in Europe everything Atlus releases is pretty niche :)
Hey it's OK! I know sometimes it's tough to come up with some good
questions to write in. If you're busy though, you can always e-mail or
or tweet me some short questions!
Anyway, let's gush about Radiant
Historia, shall we?
I must say, when the first details came out, I wasn't that interested
due to the involvement of former tri-Ace staff (this is prior to me
playing Resonance of Fate).
Calling it second hand Chrono
Trigger is silly, and I'm sure most people saw this very
quickly. There are some similarities sure, but by and large Historia is its own beast. I love
the switching around between the two timelines, even if the game is
more linear than you'd expect from this concept (I'm trying to avoid
direct story talk here as to not spoil anything). You can tell from the
graphics the game didn't have the biggest budget, but that hardly
matters. Atlus' developers once again have created a fantastic RPG. I
agree about combat, it's nice and straight forward, but with enough
depth to make it quite meaty and fun. I was quite impressed from the
As for how it's selling, I can't say how it sold in Europe (was it
officially released there are you talking about importing it?), but it
went on back order a lot of places here pretty quickly, so that seems
to indicate it at least sold as much as Atlus was expecting.
But what do you think, is there a possibility for this to become a
franchise? Is it even something that we should want or is it better to
just have this game and treasure it as a one-of-a-kind experience?
Personally I really like the idea of branching paths in the storyline.
Also, it just begs for a franchise that tie in with previous
installments. You know, a sort of "what if..." sequel for example.
I am happy to have pre-ordered the game, and so I also have the
soundtrack which is so good!
I think it could easily be a franchise if Atlus wanted to go in that
direction. I'm not sure whether or not that would mean connected
sequels or unrelated sequels, but I think it's clear that time travel
is a concept that people love to see in games. With nice 2D sprites
they can keep development costs down, and perhaps at some point do a
more elaborate sequel if the games do well. I mean, if Etrian Odyssey can find a
profitable niche for Atlus, I'm sure they could do the same for Radiant Historia.
The soundtrack is great, I am a bit sad that the pre-order bonus CD was
just a few piano tracks. I'd love to have the full thing!
I see one of your hot topics is about Resonance
Fate! Another favorite of mine! I am a big Valkyrie Profile-fan and weird as
it may sound, this is kind of the closest thing to it available now,
although I still hope for a Valkyrie
Profile 2: Hrist announcement in the near future. I do think
there is a future for this (type of) RPG. Not sure if a direct sequel
would be a good idea. If they do, they definitely have to change a lot
of aspects. For example, I really disliked the idea of switching
weapon-types between characters just so you could have a descent enough
level with every character. You weren't forced to do this of course but
still, the weapon equipmentsystem seemed to be designed in a strange
way, as if they wanted to do more with it, but somehow forgot about it.
Also, there was so much more there could be done story-wise. The game
remained kind of lighthearted, while there was some pretty serious
stuff going on in the game. The last thing I really want them to change
is that overworld. I want to see my characters move in an overworld. It
would be so much better if the world in
Resonance of Fate was totally connected and not a loose set of
Now I sound pretty negative but overall I really like the game! It is
something pretty different. That battlesystem or at least variations
of it, really holds potential in my opinion. Also, it just looks really
stylish. Slow motion in games just never gets old! :)
Anyway, was nice writing again! Cheers!
I can appreciate some of the things you didn't like about Resonance of Fate. Having to switch
around weapons to make characters level up quicker is kind of odd. I'd
like to play through it again at some point, this time not switching
weapons at all and seeing how difficult it is. Not a huge issues
though, as combat is just so unique and challenging that this never
really bothered me. I loved the combat so much in fact, that I did the
majority of the side quests, and that's something I never do in games!
I liked the over-world as well. Your idea would be cool, just making
the world a huge interconnected set of areas instead of having a world
map, but I really like how they tried something different with the hex
system. Maybe they could somehow do both?
As for the story, they could have made things a lot more clear, and I'd
like to see that improved upon if they do a direct sequel. Still, they
did a fantastic job in focusing the story on developing the main
characters, and the localization is absolutely fantastic. I honestly
don't think I could play it in Japanese after listening to the great
English voice cast. I know Sega kind of botched the marketing and such
the game, but at least they did a great job with the localization.
Finally, Resonance of Fate just
Great to hear from you again, don't be a stranger!
There is a 1/64 chance of encountering Warmech according to everything
I can find on the subject. You were lied to by the person who said it
was 1/63. However, you guessed 1/4000, so shame on you.
Ha! Good to see I wasn't the only one who was horrible wrong in that
particular situation (see video Q&A).
for my particularly horrible guess, I say if you have no idea what
the answer to a question is, you may as well make a ridiculous answer
to try and make light of your lack of said knowledge. Besides, that's a
tougher question than the "connect this early Hollywood star to this
rare video game" challenges I get from Jumes. Oh well, I'll likely
remember it now if I ever get hit with that piece of trivia again.
No Meat Puppets This Time...maybe
Hey Wheels, glad you liked my last plot concept.
To answer one of your
comments, I'd intended the "meat puppets" to be mindless hosts for the
weapons, but it might depend on the weapon. I could see some weapons
(mostly from the "bad" side of the war) intentionally taking on normal
hosts, and that would help reinforce the negative image that people had
all the weapons. But imagine, the character of the weapon remains the
no matter what body it's currently riding, but the reaction to that
character will depend greatly on what it looks like at the moment.
be a technical advantage to keeping a few bodies on ice to switch
as the situation demands.
Alright that's much less creepy and
disgusting than I thought, making heroes seem more like the good guys.
That's be a great system though! Sort of like how some RPGs have NPCs
react differently to your party based on who you have along, you could
allow players to experiment to see how they react to various hosts.
But how much personality should the weapons have,
and of what sort? The
Swordians in Tales of Destiny are the closest things I know to
I'm imagining, but they're like psionic copies of real people locked
weapons. The weapons in my plot concept were made to be weapons, but
had about five centuries to learn how to mimic humanity as a survival
How far does it go, though? Do they eventually "get" it, or remain
permanently sociopaths? And going with the body-switching, how would
possibility of romance turn out? That's the fun part to work with in
story, I think. Suppose one decided to have a "normal" life with the
mortals, but had to constantly hide the fact that it was actually a
That's a cool idea, sounds similar to what a lot of sci-fi does with
robots learning to mimic humans and such. You have a bit more to work
with here though, since magic allows for a lot more story flexibility
than technology does. That would make for a great side narrative to the
overall game, how the weapons evolve and change their mindset beyond
their original purpose.
Enough with this stuff, though. Let's talk time
limits. Plenty of games
have sections where there's a running countdown, often leading to an
earth-shattering ka-BOOM! I can think of two that present the player
timed situations, but without the timers. The first was Final
VIII, near the start of the second disc, where Squall had to cross
linkage between buildings hand-over-hand (while said buildings were
into the desert). If he went too slow, he'd get sucked into the sands
well, and it'd be Game Over. The second example would be from SaGa
Frontier II, in a scenario about a cave-in. The player is told from
outset that there's not much time, but is encouraged to rescue as many
the miners as possible. Take too long, and the cave will
with the heroes in it.
I like these kinds of scenarios, as
long as it's clear to the player that there actually is a time limit,
even if there's no timer. There are so many games that have a perceived
time limit in the story, even though you have as long as you like. I'd
hate to anger players if they assume it's one of those such cases.
This leads me to a show I was watching last night:
the fourth episode
of Mission Impossible. In that episode, they had to use
music to provide their inside man a means of gauging time, since he
couldn't wear a watch where he was going. The whole feel of that part
the episode reminded me of part of a game idea I'd had once, about a
made-up series of games I called Eternal SaGa (yes, a new SaGa
sub-series). The first game was intended to be similar in style to both
Romancing SaGa and SaGa Frontier in
that it had multiple
story-lines running through a shared world, though without many
cross-connections. In one of the stories (the 4th), the heroes were
crossing the northern continent trying to find and stop a group of
arms dealers calling themselves the Arsenalotti. The villains were in
habit of destabilizing any government that didn't want to purchase
wares, thus producing a suitable market (for the revolutionaries and/or
survivors). In one instance, a package is delivered to the hall of a
lord while the heroes are present. Inside is a beautiful music box in
shape of a series of rotating crystalline orbs. Once the box is opened,
begins to play automatically, and a voice from the device says simply
the following piece of music will last for 5 minutes, after which there
will be no survivors. The player then has five minutes to get as many
people out of the castle as possible, with only the music, complex at
outset but steadily slowing and becoming more simple as it goes, to
how much time is left. As the final notes play out, the crystal orbs
together, a summoning circle is formed, and an earth elemental in the
of a localized magma upwelling reduces the castle to rubble.
Wow, that sounds like a pretty
incredible idea. I really like the idea of a musical cue, perhaps even
some kind of haunting theme, being the only clue you have as to how
much time you have to finish some task. This would give an extra amount
of tension to the proceedings. I wonder if any game has done anything
similar to this?
Music to the ears?
Your fellow columnist,
Yes sir, as always you've got some
great ideas that I'd really like to see in a game some day. I think you
need to go apply at Square Enix and get working on some of these cool SaGa ideas! Well, once they start
making new SaGa games instead of remakes anyways...
Got a challenge for me? Something non-SaGa related
might be best. I
think the audience has heard enough about our pet series for the nonce.
related? Well alright, I think I could
come up with a suitable challenge. Here we go:
Take one of your favorite games, and conceive a Monster Hunter clone that could be
a sequel to this game, and somehow not seem like a cheap cash-in (for
example a Final Fantasy XIII
sequel where you're hunting down the giant monsters of Pulse to protect
a new community of people there). I think this should be a tough one!
@AskWheels No problem sir. I saw on your hot topic list you mention an
RoF sequel, what is your opinion of the first? I just got the game.
Well I've already talked a bit about Resonance
Fate in a previous response, but I'll try and give you my
overall feel for the different aspects of the game. The story is
largely kept in the background of the game, coming up a bit more
frequently later on in the game, but mainly left to sequence at the
start and end of each chapter. So for a lot of the story, you can both
ponder some of the mystery it presents, or dig around the world a bit
and find some more answers. Anchoring all this are some
fantastically written characters, who are anything but one dimensional.
It's not the strongest aspect of the game, but that's OK.
The battle system is where the game shines. Focusing on how you
position our characters around the battlefield, and effective use of
"hero points" (which allow you to move and fire at the same time),
there is an incredible amount of depth. Throw in different types of
bullets and grenades to switch between, and the different options you
have in battle are simply staggering. I won't go into detail beyond
that, as there's just so much to talk about. The game often feels like
a SRPG, especially given that dungeons take place completely within the
battle system. Great systems like this are usually tri-Ace's calling
card (or so I hear, the previous tri-Ace games I had played were bad),
and they don't disappoint here.
The last aspect I'd mention is customization. You don't customize
characters beyond their clothing (which is oddly addicting) and what
they have equipped. Instead, you heavily customize the guns in the
game. I'm sure you've seen some pictures from the game with insane
looking guns with several scopes and barrels. The system seems a bit
silly, but has a cool puzzle aspect to it as you try to create a
configuration that works.
The best and simplest thing I can say about the game is this: prior to
playing it I hated tri-Ace, after playing it I can't wait to see what
they make next.
That's all for this episode! I'm wondering how many of you readers have
purchased a 3DS. I've quite enjoyed mine so far, even if the big game
I'm playing, Super Street Fighter 4,
on PS3 for quite some time. Send me in a question about that
or whatever else is on your minds!
'Til next week
P.S. Programming note: Q&A may slip to
Thursdays on occasion for the next few months, but I will do my best to
get it up on Wednesdays.
Current Backlog: A Bit Light
March 23rd: Wheels
March 30th: Wheels
April Fools: Wheels
April 7th: Wheels
About the Host
What I can't wait for:
1. Tales of Graces F in English!
2. Disgaea 4
4. El Shaddai
5. Deus Ex Human Revolution
On my Playlist:
1. Trails in the Sky Soundtrack
2. Crystal Bearers Soundtrack
3. Resonance of Fate Soundtrack
1. Does Resonance of Fate deserve a sequel
(spiritual or otherwise)?
2. Should Konami continue the main series storyline of Suikoden, or
start fresh (if they make another Suikoden game)?
3. What character are you angry about not being in Dissidia 2?
4. Golden Sun Dark Dawn appears to be a success. Is it time for a
console entry in the series?
5. What makes Falcom's games so different than other Japanese games,
and why have they been able to have success on odd platforms for so