The underappreciated Nintendo DS role-playing game Radiant Historia gets new life today on 3DS, and with it comes a feature that should probably be in every role-playing game: You can skip every non-story encounter.
I’ve been playing Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology on and off for the past few weeks, as tough as it is to go back to the 3DS after all this time with the Switch, and the real revelation came when I switched to “Friendly” difficulty. On this setting, you can bypass trash enemies by simply hitting them with your sword, collecting all that loot and experience without having to spend dozens of hours grinding. You’ll still fight bosses, and you can still battle enemies if you want, but this reduces friction and turns the game from a 60-hour monstrosity into a more palatable experience.
Radiant Historia has an interesting story but can get repetitive, so playing the game seven years later on this lowest difficult setting made me feel as though I could actually enjoy this second playthrough.
Combine that with an interesting new timeline and there are good reasons to play the Radiant Historia remake, even if the voice acting can get a little grating.
Radiant Historia, which first came out for the DS in 2011, is a Super Nintendo-style JRPG with turn-based combat and a heavy dose of time travel. As you play, you’ll move between two different timelines, changing events in one version of reality that will impact the other. Rescue a merchant in one timeline, for example, and he’ll show up with a helpful cache of bombs in the other. In 2011 I called it a “the perfect blend of innovation and tradition” – and that’s still true.