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This review was submitted by Chris Gobbett. If you’ve played Resonance of Fate, or just want to ask Chris more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Resonance Of Fate (PS3)
Just when Final Fantasy XIII may have made you lose faith in the potential of JRPGs, Tri-Ace and Sega come through at the right time with this gem of a title.
Steampunk: There's nothing like the charm of a world in the future which requires giant spinning cogs, neon lights, and a gritty haze; a transitioning day-night cycle adds to the immersion.
Tri-Attack: The fight system is innovative without being gimmicky, where thought and prior-planning is far more rewarding than simply grinding and levelling-up.
Uncharted's Nathan Drake: Well, Nathan Drake's voice actually. Nolan North voices one of the main characters (Vashyron) in Resonance of Fate; the other voice actors are of equal high calibre, and if you're a complete Japanophile there's the option for the Japanese voices with English subs!
Snappy Lines: Her: "Do you guys want me on offense, or defense?" Him: "Leanne goes both ways, good to know..." - awesome one-liners which actually fit the characters, and never get old.
Missions Ahoy: Being mercenaries-for-hire, there's always plenty of missions to be accepted at the local bar for extra experience, weapons and clothing. Else just zip through the storyline missions for the 'quick' play-through, where there's enough chapters to keep you busy for 25+ hours.
Mr Music: The orchestral score matches the towns, characters and storyline perfectly, and in true steampunk fashion morphs into gritty techno when required. Brilliantly done.
Blue Steel: With the vast array of outfits and accessories, coupled by the slow motion mid-fight poses, you'd be forgiven for thinking that you'd interrupted a Vogue photo shoot. Stringing together a 200+ hit combo has never looked so stylish.
Story? What story?: If you're taking your time with the side-missions, you wouldn't be the first person to miss the main storyline; there's no impending doom like many RPGs, so at times the storyline's direction seems a little vague.
Tutorials: Given that the battle system is a little less straight-forward than the usual attack/magic/item selection, it's a shame that the tutorial is pages of text rather than something visual; e.g. pictures or movies. Tutorials aren't the kind of things where you want to find yourself stuck and wondering what to do. Like I was.
Difficulty: The difficulty level between fights is up and down like a ferret on ecstacy; while you'll trounce random encounters without breaking a sweat, many boss battles will have you retrying over a dozen times until you've finally developed a winning strategy. And blisters.
It's a shame really, because difficulty issues aside, Resonance of Fate is in my eyes a much better game than the newly-released Final Fantasy sequel. Snap it up if you're even mildly into JRPGS; it won't take long before the steampunk charm works it's magic, and you watch the hours and days disappear.
Reviewed by: Chris Gobbett
You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.