Friday, 3 August 2012

Radiant Historia

Gamespot score:8.0 (Great)

My score:8.2

(+)Pros:- Great story, - Grid combat system is a welcome change from regular turn based combat present in other JRPGs, -Time travel mechanic is very innovative and provides some unique game play choices, -Likable characters, especially Stocke, - Has an awesome villain, -A lot of post game and optional content.

(-)Cons:- Backtracking back in time for story or side quests can be freakishly annoying and tedious, - Side quests can be ridiculously unclear at times.

Gameplay time:30-40 hours

I apologize for the lack of posts. I have a shit load of school work so posts are going to come in a little slower...sorry guys. Radiant Historia is a very unique JRPG. At least to me anyway, I have never seen any JRPG using the concept of time travel quite as well as Radiant Historia does. Because of that, Radiant Historia becomes quite the experience, providing a great story (like most JRPGs), a nice take on usual turn based battles and an innovative time travel mechanic and more. If you have a DS, you owe it to yourself to at least try out this gem of a game.

Stocke is a secret agent top class spy, with skills that are unrivaled by most others. The city of Granorg is at a dire state of war, and Stocke's boss,  Heiss, sends him out to escort a contact back to the city safely. This contact has information about enemy lines and formations, which is crucial to win an upcoming battle. Stocke sets out to escort this contact, like every other jobs he has taken, but Heiss sends him 2 others to help. These 2 are Rainey, a female spear wielder, and Marco, a little man armed with sword, shield and healing abilities. And before he leaves on the job, Stocke is given a strange book known as the white chronicle by Heiss, told to be kept as a "Good luck charm". Of course, when things start to go wrong during the mission, Stocke is suddenly sucked into the world of the book itself, and the tenants of the book, two young children, give him a chance to turn back time and set things right for the missions. What could this mean? Play the game for more!

Well, the story is pretty epic when it wants to be.

Well lets just start with the best thing the game has to offer, its time travel mechanic. In many ways, Radiant Historia is just like your regular JRPG, but the time travel mechanic is something that makes this different from all the others. Not only is it very innovative, it allows players to make some choices that you usually can't in an RPG, and to make things even better, most of these choices you take will dynamically alter the game's course of the story, and this is really cool. Watch your base camp burst into flames, and you are powerless to stop it, but travel to another timeline and acquire the power to see invisible items. Then go back to the time before the camp exploded, and find all the invisible bombs and stop that event from ever happening!

You can make plenty of choices and watch things happen with this time travel mechanic, as it also allows you to interact with past timelines for side quests and other interesting things. Speaking of which, interacting with characters of previous or other timelines that already exist in your current ones can prove to be quite amusing. The characters in this game are pretty likable, especially Stocke towards the end of the game, he becomes quite the man. While your party members each carry certain levels of charm on their own, other side characters also do a good job being pretty likable. And of course, our main villain (I won't spoil), whom is pretty f**king bad ass and awesome. If you think typical JRPG characters aren't your thing, prepare to be taken aback by Radiant Historia's cast.

The grid battle system is something new for standard JRPGs.

Another good focus for the game, is its grid battle system, which is something quite new and I haven't seen it being used in other games yet. Basically its like the old school Megaman battle network, where the enemies have 9 spaces on their grid, and your attacks take up spaces on the grid in which you may fill up and damage your opponents. A group of enemies cuddles up in a space of 4 squares together will take full damage from an attack that fills up four squares. With this system you can a lot of crazy stuff. You can line up and push multiple enemies onto one square, then unleash massively powerful attacks on that one square to wipe out all enemy opposition. Or, you can skip your turns and move them next to your next turns, and unleash twice the amount of attacks in one shot.

Hell you can make an enemy sleep, delay as many turns as you want, then unleash your fury by going all out using all of your accumulated turns at one go. This system makes for some great strategic play and is a ton of fun to play around with, rather than just regular turned based battles in most JRPGs. The game also has a ton of optional stuff to do, mostly side quests and optional bosses. Each of these side quests have little stories of their own, making them feel less boring or monotonous, giving your purpose to actually do these. What's more is that you get good rewards for doing these, and some even give you new skills for your characters!

I'll stab ya both with mah spear!

And here we are with the flaws. The game is great, but due to the time travel mechanic, you will be back tracking ALOT, and although you can skip scenes you have seen before, it will get annoying if you see the same area, people and scenario over and over just to get to the part you want to. And most of the time, you will be doing this because some side quests are VERY hard to do and the descriptions can be super unreliable and very unclear. And there is no freaking marker of who has a quest or not. So you'll be walking around entire maps in different timelines over and over....sound fun? Skipping side quests is one thing, but they give good stuff, so.....

Radiant Historia is a great journey through the time traveling white chronicle. It has likable characters, an awesome story, a well thought out and refreshing battle system. It also has a ton of side quests to keep players entertained, so getting a good 30 to 40 hours out of this game isn't a difficult thing. JRPG lovers will love Radiant Historia. If you're not one of them, but want a JRPG that isn't so mainstream, this is for you.

Happy gaming!