10/20 – Resonance of Fate

Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day. 

Developer tri-Ace is known for some of the most unique JRPGs to come out of Japan. Star Ocean brought the genre to a sci-fi setting when very few other games were trying to break the medieval mold. Valkyrie Profile stands as one of the best examples of the genre and yet shares almost none of its tropes. Radiata Stories is one of my personal favorites on the Playstation 2, taking advantage of the new hardware to implement new AI routines to bring towns to life. Today’s game is one of tri-Ace’s oft-forgotten titles, releasing on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 at a time when JRPG’s struggled to find a mainstream audience. Today’s game is Resonance of Fate, released in 2010 on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 by tri-Ace.

Resonance of Fate puts players in a dark steampunk world where most of the Earth has been covered in pollution. Humans have formed a machine known as Basel, a giant air purification machine that has created a healthy pocket of the Earth for the last remnants of humanity. Cities have formed around Basel but due to the fear of overpopulation in this small stretch of land, people are controlled by the Zenith system, an AI that controls each person’s destiny from birth.

Players take the roles of Zephyr, Leanne and Vashyron, three friends who form a mercenary group, taking on odd jobs to get by. For reasons unknown to them, they become swept up in a plot by the cities cardinals to take over the Zenith system and overthrow the status quo.

Resonance of Fate uses a hybrid real-time and turn-based system. On a character’s turn, they can be moved freely but only have a certain number of action points, limiting their movements and actions. Also, enemies only move while a character is moving so enemy attacks can be made during the character’s turn if they move too much. When the character makes their attack, they start to charge their weapon which takes a different amount of time depending on how far away they are from their enemy. Being further away takes longer to charge but being close makes the character vulnerable to attack. This only scratches the surface of Resonance of Fate’s battle system but unfortunately, we just don’t have the time on this show to fully describe the system.

Resonance of Fate received mostly positive reception when it came out. The story is very slow-paced and takes a very long time to get going. Also, the fighting system has a steep learning curve due to the many nuanced systems, all very unique for the genre. Still, once players get past the initial slog, Resonance of Fate has been very well received. The setting and world are unique and the main characters are often praised as being interesting and relatable, even by those who don’t typically enjoy JRPGs. The battle system in particular is praised as being very cinematic and entertaining once players figure out the ins and outs of the system. Even the localization, something that is usually only tolerated in JRPGs, was praised with the voice acting in particular being called out as stellar. Resonance of Fate received a remaster in 2018, released on PC and Playstation 4. Despite the critical praise and the relative lack of JRPGs at the time, Resonance of Fate was mostly overlooked in 2010 as well as in 2018. Perhaps it just wasn’t fate’s will.

Thank you so much for listening. Quick announcement, I will be out of town starting this Wednesday, October 23rd and won’t be back until the next Wednesday, October 30th. I’m still figuring out plans for what you’ll be hearing on this show. I’m going to try and have something up for you, don’t worry. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day.

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