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Resonance of Fate Review
Resonance of Fate is a tactical RPG from Tri-Ace. Tri-Ace is known for its Valkyrie Profile and Star Ocean series. The first thing you will notice about the game when you first play it are the crisp graphics and the extremely bloated combat system; however this is a good thing. In addition to looking good, the game sounds good; the voice actors for the main characters are believable and their lines are given professionally. Let’s break this game down.
Graphics: Cool, clean, crisp and attractive. Although it looks like your typical Japanese RPG, the graphics feel much more realistic and professional than cute, fuzzy and full of bright flashes. The environments are dark, brooding, with a heavy emphasis on steam punk. Something I haven’t seen in a good while. In short, the graphics are quite refreshing and calming to look at.
Battle System: Leave it to Tri-Ace to cook up some huge convoluted crazy battle system that is both rewarding and punishing at the same time. To be brief, it is probably possible to beat the game at a very low level with just your starting equipment, with the exception of a few bosses that require a little bit more health and firepower than your standard gun. Mind you, this is a scenario where you use all sorts of cover and utilize hero and tri-attack abilities to their utmost potential. It is also possible to lose at maxed level to pretty much anything due to the battle system. It is rewarding to be hilariously and blood-pumping awesome when you accept the flow of the system. On the flipside it is frustratingly difficult and unforgiving if you mess up. You have been warned.
The system is based on movement and placement. You get a few seconds to act per turn, attacking requires your gun to be charged. Charging a gun takes time, dependant how far you are from your target and the type of gun and your gun add-ons.(more on that later). The more charges, the stronger the attack and sometimes, skills may proc. Then you have hero mode, where you run in a straight line and gain the ability to attack multiple times on multiple targets during that run. You may also jump over obstacles if they are in your way, failing to jump will prematurely end your hero mode. (Faceplant @ wall plz) Tri-attacks are similar to hero moves except all 3 of your characters move to each other’s character’s position, which would always be in the shape of a triangle. During this time, all 3 of the characters gain the ability to attack your target. Once again, obstacles or large enemies will cause your tri-attack/hero move to stop.
Executing a hero move, takes one bezel. You start with 3 bezels. More bezels can be unlocked during gameplay. When a character is knocked down to 0 health, one bezel will shatter into 4 pieces, they can be collected by you or your enemy(healing them). When you reach 0 bezels, you enter Critical Mode. Critical mode is the worst state in the game, you take more damage AND all damage is now lethal, so if any of your 3 characters hits 0 hp in critical mode, game over. Bezels can be gained during battle by defeating enemies or doing enough damage, or simply being awesome.
One thing that needs special mention, the attacking maneuvers executed during battle are ridiculous. It’s like watching acrobats fight each other with guns and grenades. Gun juggling, soccer maneuvers with grenades, sliding, flipping, spinning, break dancing… aaaahhhhhh.
Story: Oh hey, there is a story! The story itself is strange but does come full circle and doesn’t run off in strange tangents. Unfortunately, it’s the type of story that if I mentioned any part of it, it would be ruined because it doesn’t have many extra ties. Many times, I cared more for the characters themselves instead of the story. For me, the characters and the battle system alone sold me the game. Another thing I have to mention, the dialogue is very comical. The game have characters that take everything so serious and then you have characters that joke and flop around bringing very effective comic relief. NPCs also have meaningful things to say, instead of just 1 line every-freakin-time like in most other standard RPGs.
Sound: Everything sounds as it should, especially the main characters, the explosions and the gun sounds…Which you hear 95% of the time anyway… My –ONLY- complaint about the sound is the vocal NPC greeting. While each one has a different greeting (which is refreshing), some of them sound extremely sub-par; a very minor detail/complaint.
The World Map: Alright. So it’s not a main point to talk about in most games but it’s a BIG DEAL in this one. The world map is done in hexagonal shapes. You start in a small town surrounded by some unlocked hexes. By defeating enemies you are given energy hexes in various shapes that can be used to “unlock” the land allowing you to progress. When you have colored hexes and energy terminals…ill leave that to you to figure out.
Low Level Gameplay
Customization: This is where the game shines. You can level up in 3 different weapons. Your level is the culmination of those 3 weapons. There are different models for each weapon boasting firing rate, accuracy, damage, type, ect. IN ADDITION you may also select from a plethora of gun add-ons like scopes and grips to increase it’s stats. You may carry two items into battle, They may be a gun, an ammo case(for special ammo), health kit(for healing items), or an item case(for throwing items)…Or nothing at all if you feel like punching things to death! :D
Extra notes: One thing that I really liked is the fact that
you can customize your characters with clothing bought in the game. All of the cut-scenes
use models rather than pre-rendered CG so if you put glasses and a bonnet on a
character, Lo and behold, they will have glasses and a bonnet in the cutscene.
My team looks like Adam Lambert, John Travolta, and a maid. When you die
you get the chance to go to a game over or go to pay some ingame-credit
to retry. Something I appreciated when the difficulty spiked from the first boss.
In short, I give the game 9 out of 10. The story doesn’t pick up until the very end of the game but it’s all in the name of character development and comedy. Graphics and sound are top notch and the battle system is refreshing and challenging. Customization will make the game feel personalized and at home for the player. Overall, it feels like a complete game/package.
Did you like the review? Let me know in the comments below!