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"[NDS] [Review] Radiant Historia"

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Tue 30/06/15 at 07:30
Regular
"eat toast!"
Posts: 1,466
It's the same old story. There are plenty of excellent games from Japan that never get released in Europe. Some do get translated into English, but going as far as North America in small quantities. If there was any small crumb of comfort until recently, handhelds weren't being region locked so importing games was still viable. Radiant Historia is one of those rare JRPGs on the DS that never came to Europe. Lured in by the high praise coming from critics and gamers usually associated with Atlus games, I sought out a copy to add to my DS collection.

Although Radiant Historia follows the archetypal open world JRPG, the game does deliver several unique gameplay features elevating it above more generic JRPGS available. Visually, RH is passable but never impressive or remarkable. But despite this, the game still maintains Atlus's high standards when it comes to presentation. The Orchestral music is excellent, with some catchy and enjoyable tunes during exploration or combat. The game tells an interesting story filled with betrayal and sacrifice, played out by a well thought out cast of characters. With the continent Vainqueur suffering from a mysterious blight turning all land and life into sand, 2 neighboring kingdoms (Alistel and Granorg) become embroiled in an (ultimately) futile war over the last cultivatable soil. With all signs in history pointing towards Alistel's defeat and all life reduced to sand, players must travel back and forth in time correcting critical points in history. Ultimately, carving out a future whereby Alistel emerges victorious in war and finding a way to ending the mysterious desertification that threatens all life.

Overall, the time travelling aspects are competent. Both the standard and alternate timelines offer very different chain of events leading players down different paths and face-off against different antagonists. It also gives rise to some interesting events during key story missions requiring some lateral thinking to solve. For example, certain events ultimately lead to players killing their best friend in one timeline to help that very same friend in an alternate line to progress forward. Implementation of this feature isn't free from criticism however. whilst it's easy to travel back and forth exploring history, critical decisions become increasingly trivialized and of little consequence. Important decisions turn into 50/50 chances of either progressing forward or being delayed a minute as they discover a doomed time line and being forced back to make the right decision. Consequently, there is little replay value once players complete the game because of its linear choices. But to be fair, the game encourages exploration of all possible events even it if leads to a doomed outcomes. Players will also be kept busy for a quite a while exploring and completing all the side missions totaling over 200 events, so there's certainly longevity to the game even if there isn't much replay value.

The game's time travelling mechanics also influences the combat to create thats something very engaging instead of a potentially tedious war of turn-based attrition. During each fight, the enemy deploy on a 3x3 grid; delivering and receiving varying amounts of damage depending where they stand. Although often outnumbered, players have the ability to view, manipulate and shuffle both friend and foes turns, creating opportunities to unleash combos that cluster large groups of enemies to inflict ever increasing amounts of damage or even eliminating them altogether. Do you concede turns early to the enemy, incurring extra damage penalties so that you can chain one long, devastating combo attack? Do you pull enemies towards the frontlines to deliver more damage at the risk of receiving more damage in return? Which attacks will you use to cluster enemies together to maximise combat effectiveness? Do you take out the biggest threat or the target who would attack next after your combo ends? These are some of the questions players will frequently have ask themselves during fights if they want to succeed. Combat can become occasionally formulaic when the same enemy formations encountered, but It's still makes a refreshing and lively change to the standard turn based combat of the genre.

Overall I didn't regret going the extra mile to get Radiant Historia and would recommend serious (DS) game collectors and JRPG fans to try the game. The game was both fun and engaging from start to finish. The game's time travelling mechanics are well thought out to deliver an interesting adventure with a solid combat system. Backed up by an interesting story and impressive soundtrack, the Pros easily outweighs the repetitive aspects of combat and exploration. If Players are interested in other time travel based JRPGS on the DS, they should also look no further then Chrono Trigger. Both are worthy of your attention if you want a solid JRPG with interesting ideas and excellent implementation.


8/10
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Tue 30/06/15 at 07:30
Regular
"eat toast!"
Posts: 1,466
It's the same old story. There are plenty of excellent games from Japan that never get released in Europe. Some do get translated into English, but going as far as North America in small quantities. If there was any small crumb of comfort until recently, handhelds weren't being region locked so importing games was still viable. Radiant Historia is one of those rare JRPGs on the DS that never came to Europe. Lured in by the high praise coming from critics and gamers usually associated with Atlus games, I sought out a copy to add to my DS collection.

Although Radiant Historia follows the archetypal open world JRPG, the game does deliver several unique gameplay features elevating it above more generic JRPGS available. Visually, RH is passable but never impressive or remarkable. But despite this, the game still maintains Atlus's high standards when it comes to presentation. The Orchestral music is excellent, with some catchy and enjoyable tunes during exploration or combat. The game tells an interesting story filled with betrayal and sacrifice, played out by a well thought out cast of characters. With the continent Vainqueur suffering from a mysterious blight turning all land and life into sand, 2 neighboring kingdoms (Alistel and Granorg) become embroiled in an (ultimately) futile war over the last cultivatable soil. With all signs in history pointing towards Alistel's defeat and all life reduced to sand, players must travel back and forth in time correcting critical points in history. Ultimately, carving out a future whereby Alistel emerges victorious in war and finding a way to ending the mysterious desertification that threatens all life.

Overall, the time travelling aspects are competent. Both the standard and alternate timelines offer very different chain of events leading players down different paths and face-off against different antagonists. It also gives rise to some interesting events during key story missions requiring some lateral thinking to solve. For example, certain events ultimately lead to players killing their best friend in one timeline to help that very same friend in an alternate line to progress forward. Implementation of this feature isn't free from criticism however. whilst it's easy to travel back and forth exploring history, critical decisions become increasingly trivialized and of little consequence. Important decisions turn into 50/50 chances of either progressing forward or being delayed a minute as they discover a doomed time line and being forced back to make the right decision. Consequently, there is little replay value once players complete the game because of its linear choices. But to be fair, the game encourages exploration of all possible events even it if leads to a doomed outcomes. Players will also be kept busy for a quite a while exploring and completing all the side missions totaling over 200 events, so there's certainly longevity to the game even if there isn't much replay value.

The game's time travelling mechanics also influences the combat to create thats something very engaging instead of a potentially tedious war of turn-based attrition. During each fight, the enemy deploy on a 3x3 grid; delivering and receiving varying amounts of damage depending where they stand. Although often outnumbered, players have the ability to view, manipulate and shuffle both friend and foes turns, creating opportunities to unleash combos that cluster large groups of enemies to inflict ever increasing amounts of damage or even eliminating them altogether. Do you concede turns early to the enemy, incurring extra damage penalties so that you can chain one long, devastating combo attack? Do you pull enemies towards the frontlines to deliver more damage at the risk of receiving more damage in return? Which attacks will you use to cluster enemies together to maximise combat effectiveness? Do you take out the biggest threat or the target who would attack next after your combo ends? These are some of the questions players will frequently have ask themselves during fights if they want to succeed. Combat can become occasionally formulaic when the same enemy formations encountered, but It's still makes a refreshing and lively change to the standard turn based combat of the genre.

Overall I didn't regret going the extra mile to get Radiant Historia and would recommend serious (DS) game collectors and JRPG fans to try the game. The game was both fun and engaging from start to finish. The game's time travelling mechanics are well thought out to deliver an interesting adventure with a solid combat system. Backed up by an interesting story and impressive soundtrack, the Pros easily outweighs the repetitive aspects of combat and exploration. If Players are interested in other time travel based JRPGS on the DS, they should also look no further then Chrono Trigger. Both are worthy of your attention if you want a solid JRPG with interesting ideas and excellent implementation.


8/10

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