The Under-Appreciated Radiant Historia Gets A Full Remake

The Under-Appreciated Radiant Historia Gets A Full Remake

In February of 2011, Atlus released a DS role-playing game called Radiant Historia that I described as the love child of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy Tactics. It was under-appreciated. And now it’s coming back.

This week in Famitsu, Atlus announced Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, a 3DS remake that will come with “a new scenario” and be out on June 29 in Japan. We don’t know whether it’s coming to the West — I pinged Atlus this morning to check — but hopefully it introduces a whole new generation of players to an excellent RPG.

Developed by a ton of experienced staffers who worked on series like Etrian Odyssey and Shin Megami Tensei, Radiant Historia is a time travel game in which you can make several pivotal decisions, then go back to the past to see what other outcomes might result. You can also use information you get in one timeline to alter your decisions in another, sort of like the Zero Escape series. Combine all that with a fun, challenging grid-based combat system, and you have a very good video game that I hope gets the attention it deserves this time around.


  • Less Zero Escape, more Back to the Future, really.

    From memory, the two timelines you traverse are one where you are still are a soldier but part of the on-going battle with the antagonist kingdom, on the front lines so to speak; and the other has you relinquishing your role in the army to basically work for a Varis/information-gatherer type as a Spy (but you’re still getting around acting like a soldier anyway).

    Military decisions/tactics in the Soldier timeline can help Spy You. Vice versa, in Spy timeline, espionage-like missions you undertake on the down-low away from the main war effort can then help Soldier You back in that timeline.

    I think it was the battle system that drove me away, I tried to learn it. I made it a ways in too. I should have another gander, perhaps this remake will make that aspect more compelling.

    • I never got to play Radiant History when it was released last time but I eventually bought it 2 years ago and finished it.

      It is one of the best RPG games on the DS. You should give it a go again with the remake.

      • I’m a bit foggy on the particulars, I was infiltrating some castle I think and I still had only the two first recruits in my party.

        Was there a trick to the combat? I knew I had to juggle the tough baddies to do the most damage, but apart from that…

        • Yeah the battle is kinda hard at the beginning because you got not enough skills to combo to maximize damage due to the lack of pushing skills you have. It will get easier as you go further since Stocke himself learns literally all the pushing skills alone.

          Basically the best way to combat is push enemies all together into one block then unleash the fury on them.

  • Wait is this the game that has been worked on by some of the people that worked on the Suikoden games?

  • Never heard of this, would totally be down for it! Kinda wish Ign was coming to Switch though.

  • I’m actually playing this now!

    The story is a little disappointing, as other commenters have mentioned it’s supposedly a branching time-travel story except the sole branch is ‘do I get transferred back into the regular army or do I stay a spy’. More Sliding Doors than Zero Escape. It does branch again, but the side branch always goes into a game over. It does the laziest ever handwave for how actions in one timeline affect actions in the other: sometimes it just… does? It’s fine, but I’m about half-way in and so far it’s a perfectly serviceable JRPG in the story stakes and nothing more. There’s some intrigue that’s been bubbling in the background that I would have liked to see boil over by now, and I would have liked to see a lot more elaborate branching and non-linear storytelling than a branch at the start that continues down five chapters or so before it unifies.

    The battle system is particularly great, though. Your paty lines up like a normal JRPG, but your enemies are on a 3×3 grid. Your attacks usually hit only one square on that grid, but most characters have an ability that will push the target around. Enemies in the back do less damage, and more in the front – but enemies in the front also take more damage. You can also swap your party’s turns individually at any time, including with enemies.

    What this means is:
    * you can knock enemies into each other, and then start hitting them both at the same time using your single-target attacks (including status effects!)
    * you can save up turns to set up a big combo
    * you can pull enemies towards you so they’ll take more damage, then push them back so they don’t do more damage back
    * you can steal off enemies that are ‘dead’ so long as there’s still party turns to take

    and so on – the game’s really good about finding new twists on the combat system for each new part of the game, like enemies that can’t be moved, or enemies that buff squares so anything in them doubles their damage, or temporary party members that can put down powerful traps but only on squares without enemies, or enemies that take up multiple squares that can collect multiple enemies when pushed, or obstacles that protect enemies that are directly behind them, and that’s just in the stuff I’ve played.

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