While exploring Square Enix's booth for a game that
did not have a massive line in front of it, I found an
open station with Radiata Stories. The special "E3
version" began with a talking goat, who was actually
the game's producer Yamagichi. He gave players two
options: venture into a castle to kill the fiend that
cursed him, or view the game's introduction. I ended
up exploring the castle.
I wandered the halls and stumbled into a few enemies,
which are visible in the field. Each one draws Jack
into a separate battle field. I could only control
Jack; the three other characters were controlled by
AI. My party members included a hulking golem with the
hilt of a sword sticking out from his eye socket, a
prissy winged Elven girl, and an extremely effeminate
man who attacked by blowing kisses at the enemies. An
SE booth employee told me that I could issue specific
commands to the others by pressing L1.
The battle system was quite action-oriented. I could
freely move Jack around the battle field and swing his
large axe by tapping a button. Pressing the square
button made him execute a special attack, and when his
volty gauge was full, pressing X and square made him
execute a massive special attack. Battles moved
quickly and there was a lot to do with my time divided
between issuing commands and making Jack fight. The
battle system seemed to be much like that of Star
Ocean 3, which is no surprise because Radiata Stories
is a tri-Ace title.
There was some voice acting in battle, but it was all
grunts and shouts. Instead of spoken lines, the
characters' battle catchphrases appeared as text at
the bottom of the screen. Jack would shout taunts, the
Elven would complain about her attacks not working,
and so forth. Characters would celebrate a successful
assault or ask for help if their HP was low. Each text
box included a headshot of the character, but instead
of still images, the headshots were 3D animations.
Eventually I stumbled upon a sign that pointed to a
door and promised a "party and pretty ladies." I
turned to Elliot and said, "Yeah, that's where the
boss is." My prediction was correct. A boss was
waiting behind that door, and even though its freeze
and petrify attacks were irritating, I managed to beat
it. When I emerged from the castle, the goat was gone.
A woman appeared and told me that he had been restored
to his own world, and that another world -- Radiata
Stories -- was waiting for me. This concluded my demo.
I turned to watch the guy next to me, who had chosen
to watch the introduction instead of saving Yamagichi.
The goat was not pleased, but I was glad to see the
other half of the demo. The introduction presented
Jack and Ridley, two members of a new squad called the
Radiata Knights. The two are obviously bitter rivals.
Ridley was mostly quiet, almost snobby, while Jack
made several jokes and goofed around.
Y'all better recognize
The visuals of Radiata Stories are not
earth-shattering or impressive, but they are quite
pleasing to the eye. One featured I noticed in the
intro is that during cutscenes, characters that are
not the main focus of the camera become slightly
blurred as they moved closer into the foreground, just
as in television and movies. This gave the game a
different perspective, making it more like a film.
I appreciated the humor in both the game and the demo
setup. The game was enjoyable to play and the
characters were interesting. I'm looking forward to
playing more of Radiata Stories in the future.