By Clinton Nix / June 26th, 2012
Resonance of Fate
I remember a while back I was reading Play magazine at Barnes and Noble, and they had a feature about Resonance of Fate. The game was being touted as a new RPG for the HD generation that doesn’t fall to the same tropes that are usual to the genre. Tri-Ace purposefully made the characters look edgier and more adult, and the weapons in the game consist of various guns and throwing objects like grenades, and the visuals have a less cartoon-like appearance. Even with that intention, Resonance of Fate feels more like a classic RPG than most of the current JRPGs being released (even moreso than Tri-Ace’s own Star Ocean: The Last Hope ).
While this game probably won’t make any haters defect over to the dark side, fans of challenging JRPGs will find a lot to like, especially Otaku who enjoy the more mature style of anime (think Cowboy Bebop). The game brings some nice twists to the standard role playing fare- in battle, you can now move around, albeit in a limited fashion; your characters attack mainly with guns, and there are some complex patterns to consider like attacking angle, your position in relation to your partners, and even taking cover behind objects. The overworld of Basel consists of a puzzle-like grid that you must make your way through with specific pieces you get throughout your journey.
Even though the game’s visual style consists mostly of the brown and grey variety, it definitely has a very stylish appearance and the game has a particularly unique vibe to it. I’m not sure if Resonance of Fate was released before or after Star Ocean: The Last Hope, but this game is definitely more appealing in a visual sense. It might be because Star Ocean had such a bad mishmash of confusing visual styles that brought down the overall presentation. Thankfully, you can choose between English and Japanese dubbing, which I chose the latter.
The game is quite difficult, and many features of the battle system must be learned and used correctly. If not, you’re going to get your butt handed to you on a platter. This game isn’t afraid to beat you into submission, and once your bezel gauge runs out (those orange icons that refill your characters’ health when they run out), your party members will literally panic in fear and start running around like chickens. Sometimes, the game pisses me off and make me shout at the characters that I thought were edgy and tough. But, that is all in the fun of a challenging game, and I always wanted to start over and return the favor of pain to my enemies. What happens is that I eventually figure out the correct tactic to surviving and realize that the game isn’t just hard for no reason. Again, coming from a man who has conquered SaGa Frontier, one of the harder games of the PSX era, you’d expect more out of me. Perhaps I’m not quite as tough as I thought.
Resonance of Fate can be had for about $20 new on Amazon.
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