If there is one RPG that I can name that Tri-Ace did poorly on , it would have been Infinite Discovery on the Xbox 360. Since then, I had lost faith in Tri-Ace due to the fact that Infinite Discovery wasn’t really that good and was a big disappointment to fans who had high expectations for Tri-Ace. Now that the next Tri-Ace title—Resonance of Fate—is available, I can say that Tri-Ace is back on track in delivering RPGs that will be remembered.
Resonance of Fate is a challenging Japanese role-playing game. It will require a lot of patience and understanding to effectively utilize the battle system. However, if you are a hardcore RPG gamer, you might be able to appreciate this, and trust me: it is better than Final Fantasy XIII. Let’s get on with the HOTs and NOTs of Resonance of Fate.
Awesome Presentation & Story
In the world of Resonance of Fate, the planet Earth has decayed and the air is filled with deadly toxins. The only way to survive is by living in a giant mechanical tower called Basel. Humanity lives in a place where machines dominate the environment and the beautiful nature people long to see is gone. They have started to build houses under Gears and Cogs but as the population grows, organizations are formed and the Basel is on the brink of falling apart.
Resonance of Fate starts off with a prologue showing Leanne committing suicide by jumping from a very high place and Zephyr saving her. A year later, Zephyr and Leanne become Hunters with Vashyron’s help in the town of Ebel. They start doing work with the Guild, and the story begins with the uncovering of Leanne’s past and the history of Basel. Be prepared to see plenty of twists in the middle of the game.
When it comes to the graphics of Resonance of Fate, they are pretty decent. Characters look very detailed, as does the environment around Basel. There are interesting enemies in the game that are complex and rendered beautifully. Although it is not as good as the graphics of Final Fantasy XIII, it’s certainly one of the games with the best graphics in the RPG genre. The voice overs are well-done and fit the characters’ personalities. The voice of Uncharted 2’s Nathan Drake, Nolan North, is one of the voice actors in the game. Expect some comedy and drama in the conversations of the characters in the game.
Not So Linear like Final Fantasy XIII
I must admit, the linearity of Final Fantasy XIII was a huge letdown for fans of the series. The way Square-Enix took out towns or the chance to free roam and explore actually takes out one of the most important things out of an RPG. I am happy to say that Resonance of Fate is completely different and will bring you back to the roots of the Japanese RPG genre. In Resonance of Fate, there is some linearity—which is to be expected—but there are things that can get you sidetracked from doing the story missions, such as eliminating a bunch of Rebels, doing a pick-up mission to raise your Hunter Skills or just level-grinding. You really have control of your characters even when it comes to character customizations.
Another thing that will appeal to fans of the RPG genre is the way the World Map is structured. The game takes place in a giant tower where with at least 13 different floors that you can roam around. The paths from one place to the other will be sealed off by Energy Hexes. Before you can open up the path to reach your next destination, you must acquire an Energy Hex that can be obtained from enemies or from the shops. The Energy Hexes that you have will be used to open up the path and connect the floors, so it’s a bit like a puzzle. There are colored Hexes that unlock certain areas, which are only obtainable after reaching certain parts of the game.
Gun-Style Battle System
Resonance of Fate introduces a new kind of battle system that will either make you love it or hate it. Honestly, I find it to be very annoying and hard at first but after getting used to it, the Gun-Style battle system is now one of my favorites. There is a lot of strategy that factors into every battle that you go into. The battle system is a mixture of real-time and turn-based where the characters will choose a path to walk and attack. With the party’s Hero Gauge, you can do a John Woo style and attack the enemies until the time runs out. There are no headshots or critical hits in this game; instead, there are Scratch and Direct Damage types that you need to understand.
There are two kinds of damages that you need to understand when fighting enemies: Direct and Scratch Damage. When dealing Direct Damage, you must remember that it’s weak points and instantly reduce the character’s HP. It can only be performed when using a Handgun or a Grenade. As for the Scratch Damage, it will deal a massive damage to the enemy but it won’t be defeated unless you follow it up with a Direct Damage. The only bad thing about dealing Scratch Damage is that enemies can recover quickly if you fail to follow that attack with a Direct damage strike.
Guns are the weapons of choice that the three characters will be using in the game. By the items and scraps that you get from killing the enemies, you will have an opportunity to customize your gun to make it more powerful. From the scope to the magazine of the gun, every customization counts as it will help you in tough battles. The way the characters level up is based on the equipment you use and how many levels you obtain. Every time a gun levels up, you gain a level. It is best that you use all type of guns to fully max your level. Have each of your characters use the two types of guns that are available in the game, and you should level up with no problem.
Mission Based System
Aside from doing the story missions in the game, there will be a Guild in each town that allows you to do side missions to raise your Hunter Rank and get Rubies. In each chapter of the game, there are three side missions that can be done. Some are hard and take a lot of effort, while others can be quite easy. It is recommended to do the side missions, as there are some parts for the gun that can only be obtained from them, and every time your rank as a Hunter levels up, you will get an item.
Customizing the Look
Zephyr, Vashyron, and Leanne will have different kinds of clothes that they can wear in Resonance of Fate. The costumes that they can wear are unlocked by playing through missions or can be purchased in the Boutique Shop in Ebel City. There are also secret costumes that can only be unlocked by pressing a series of buttons. I suggest changing the look of the characters once in a while as it adds to the fun factor of the game.
One of the things that I find very disappointing in the game is the slow progression of the story. The game is divided into fifteen different chapters and in each chapter, you get tid-bits of the game’s story. Expect not to get into the storyline of the game until you reach Chapter 7. Basically from Chapter 1 to 7, you can expect nothing from the story, which can make it difficult at times to immerse oneself in the game.
Resonance of Fate is one of the most difficult RPG games that I’ve played in the past few years. It’s hard because there is a lot of strategy that needs to be put into the game. During my play through, I had to plan my attacks or else I had to restart and lose my rubies. It will take a lot of patience and deaths before players get used to the battle system. Level grinding is really needed in this game in order to succeed.
Hardcore RPG gamers who are really looking for a challenging game that will take them hours to complete should definitely pick up Resonance of Fate. The game brings back the traditional RPG game that we missed from the recently released Final Fantasy XIII. Casual gamers might have to watch out since it might prove too difficult for them to handle. In my opinion, the innovative combat system and nonlinear game play give Resonance of Fate a slight advantage over Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy XIII.
[Editor’s Note: Resonance of Fate was reviewed on a Xbox 360 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher]Resonance of Fate Review,