Radiant Historia import impressions

Jun 7, 2004
30,398
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Orange County, CA
#1


duckroll said:
Atlus staff credits.

Director: Mitsuru Hirata (SMT SJ Field Planner & Direction Support)
Battle Planner: Sawao Katou (EO2, P3, SMT SJ Battle Planner)
Field Planner: Tatsuya Watanabe (Raidou 2, SMT SJ Field Planner)
Event Planner: Kenichi Takamori (SMT SJ Demon Fusion Planner)
Programmer: Daisuke Yajima (P4, P3P Programmer)
I got this today and I've put in about 4 hours so far. Game is really intriguing, but may not be for everyone.

The overall mood of the game is very, very adult, dark, serious war title. The writing feels like the SMT guys doing their best Matsuno impression. Tons of 40-50 year old gritty generals, backstabbing kings/queens, religious sermons, assassins, spies, characters deaths, politics, world ending looming, and that's just in the prologue! The more realistic character portraits and Yoko Shimomura's wonderful dramatic and heavy soundtrack keep the tone very epic war drama in the best of ways. If you are a fan of these rare kind of rpgs, you'll be hooked.

The gameplay is kind of crazy. In a way it's a combination of budget and high concept ideas. From a story perspective it's unique to say the least. You are a guy who comes into possession of a time travel book that has special rules. At certain points you have to make hard decisions and these are "keypoints" in the game. Depending on your decision the story branches in very different ways like a good wrpg. Sometimes you're decision will even lead to a BAD END like old adventure games. The screen will go dark and tell you how your choice led everyone to doom. But this is ok! Because at anytime in the game you can warp to any of the keypoints and because your character is in control and aware of the time travel you keep all your stuff. It's just like going from one town to another but you're traveling through time. But these timelines aren't totally independent. This part is a little iffy according to official time travel rules, but what happens in one path branch can affect the others. So for instance in one branch you might get to a wall and you need to wait for the guy with the key. Unfortunately he's been brutally murdered by an assassin hours ago. But you can take a different branch at the last splitting point, meet this key holder and save him from his assassin and then warp back to the original pathline and he'll get there on time with the keys. Is there some messy time travel logic in there? Sure! But oh well, it makes the branching more interesting :) Sometimes you won't be able to take a branch early on until you accomplish something way later in the game, so there's all these paths along the way you can come back to.

The combat is just as crazy as the plot progression. You fight enemies turn-based on a 3 x 3 grid so 9 spots for them to stand:

[][][] YOU
[][][] YOU
[][][] YOU

The closer the enemies are to you the more damage they do and more damage you do. What's more interesting is that the combat is about moving the enemies around. You have moves that push the enemies in certain directions like PUSH LEFT or PUSH FORWARD or PULL TOWARD. This is important because if you knock an enemy onto a spot where another enemy is, they share the spot and then when you attack one you do damage to both and it combos. So if you move 3 enemies onto the same spot you'll hit all 3 at the same time and get a 3x combo which will kill the enemies quick. The higher the combo multiplier the more damage you do, more exp you get, more money, better drops, etc...Also a lot of special attacks hit in a certain way like in a horizontal straight line. So moving the enemies into that line is a good idea.

And that's just the first part. You get combos for having characters attack in a row. So if all 3 characters attack a 3 enemy spot one after another you'll have a 9x combo. To accomplish this, RH has the most interesting queue system I've ever seen. One of your commands is CHANGE which lets you reposition yourself to any spot on the queue. This actually switches the person in that spot to the immediate turn where you are. This means now you can move not only allies around and immediately grab your healer and have them heal or keep switching to your best attacker, but you can also grab enemies and make them attack right away. So if you're fighting a boss and your DEF shield is up right now you might want to move him to the immediate turn so he wastes his attack now while your DEF is up and then goes back to the end of the queue. Or you might want to put your healer to the queue slot right after the boss attacks so you can heal. Or you may want to move the enemies around so you can lineup all 3 of your character turns in a row for maximum combo damage. The change option adds a ton of strategy. But I wouldn't have expected less from SMT guys doing a battle system.

So yeah, the plot is interesting & adult and the battles are fast & deep. So why isn't this for everyone? Well, in the 4 hours I played, I think there was about 30 mins of gameplay total. Maybe less. The game is extremely story-based. Possibly more than any rpg I've ever played. 10 min political conversations are the norm. You'll watch scene after scene of story. In a lot of ways it's more of an interactive novel with a kickass battle system for the gameplay that fills the gaps. Luckily there is a super speed text skipper button provided that instantly blows through those conversations since you're going to be going through the same scenes several times as you travel through time and have scenarios play out different. But it doesn't change the fact that the game focus is obviously on the storyline.

Also to give an idea of the size and amount of plotting in the game. After four hours my timeline has 11 events that have happened across the branches, 11 out of 236 :p If you want to fully explore all the branches and ways the story could have gone and probably if you want the best ending it looks like it'll be a long, loooong game. Though I wouldn't be surprised if you could stick to the "normal path" and straight shoot it without time traveling much and it'd probably be a normal rpg length.

Anyhow pretty good stuff so far. Definitely is living up to Atlus standards. Though it seems to have nothing in common with Radiata Stories at all ^^;
 
Jun 7, 2004
30,398
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Orange County, CA
#4
Here's a picture of what your time travel book looks like "Historia"



The non-blue ones are normal events happening in a linear fashion. Blue doors are the keypoints where you make choices that branch the story and you can warp to at anytime. The red one is a BAD END.
 

thetrin

Hail, peons, for I have come as ambassador from the great and bountiful Blueberry Butt Explosion
Sep 14, 2005
43,287
0
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35
Osaka, Japan
www.playism-games.com
#5
Bebpo said:
Here's a picture of what your time travel book looks like "Historia"



The non-blue ones are normal events happening in a linear fashion. Blue doors are the keypoints where you make choices that branch the story and you can warp to at anytime. The red one is a BAD END.
Whoa, it's almost like a timeline in dungeon form.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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Orange County, CA
#7


Battle screen. The animation is somewhere between Suikoden 2 and Fire Emblem GBA. It looks nice enough.

Oh and forgot to mention a way the game balances the ability to change your queue position is by making your character who does the change flash red in a "baroque" state until their next turn. While flashing they take more damage so you have to be careful when using it on bosses.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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Orange County, CA
#8
I really like the character portraits. They have a nice style to them. The fact they take up a good chunk of the screen when talking lets you see them in good quality during all the cutscenes.









 

Lard

Banned
Nov 22, 2009
5,293
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Canada
#13
"The overall mood of the game is very, very adult, dark, serious war title. The writing feels like the SMT guys doing their best Matsuno impression. Tons of 40-50 year old gritty generals, backstabbing kings/queens, religious sermons, assassins, spies, characters deaths, politics, world ending looming, and that's just in the prologue! The more realistic character portraits and Yoko Shimomura's wonderful dramatic and heavy soundtrack keep the tone very epic war drama in the best of ways. If you are a fan of these rare kind of rpgs, you'll be hooked."

You sold me with this.
 
Aug 21, 2009
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#16
It looks so awesome! Dias look nice but I can't tell if it's a male or female

Surprisingly the banner and overall info of the game makes it look like generic anime rpg but the story seemed cool. Didn't expect it to be so gritty and awesome :O
 
Jun 7, 2004
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Orange County, CA
#17
What's neat is that it's a medieval fantasy political war story yet you can feel the SMT influences all over the writing. Like the game opens with the traditional megaten black screen and bible-sih words about how it's you and your destiny to change history as you see fit and lead it into the light. :)

I also loved the opening scene. It hooked me from the start:
It opens with sad shimomura song playing and two obviously non-mortal kids staring out into an endless sea of sand talking about how the world ended again. They couldn't save it. Everything's gone. It's happened so many times they've lost count. How many more times will they watch it all turn to dust? One of them says he's tired of it all, but the other one says they have to do it, do it or else...and so they decide to try it over again in the hopes that this time the right history will be woven.

disappeared said:
Why do I always, always read thread titles with this game's title as Radiata Stories. I can't unsee it.
That's the plan. I'm not sure why it's the plan since RS didn't sell amazingly well or anything. But they're banking somewhat on the RS connection in similar naming.

leroidys said:
Wat this actually looks awesome. Early impressions pegged it as garbage so I'm confused. Hope it gets localized.
Well it looked budget from the start, but the staff has always been good. And then yeah, Famitsu scored it really well (35/40) last week. Most of the pre-release negativity was because of the map sprites looking budget and the running sound being lol.
 
Jun 7, 2004
30,398
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Orange County, CA
#20
The running footsteps actually have different sounds depending on what you're stepping on. I've encountered at least 4 so far: metal (the one in the video that is obnoxious but you get used to it and ignore it), wood (quiet), grass, and dirt.

Metal is definitely a "what were they thinking" sound but after an hour or so I didn't even think about it.
 
Apr 20, 2009
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710
#21
Thanks for the heads up. Had no clue about it, but I'll definitely buy a copy if it gets localized. Sounds like a game I'd buy with your impressions.
 

Kintaro

Worships the porcelain goddess
Jun 10, 2004
27,928
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#25
Bebpo said:
The overall mood of the game is very, very adult, dark, serious war title. The writing feels like the SMT guys doing their best Matsuno impression. Tons of 40-50 year old gritty generals, backstabbing kings/queens, religious sermons, assassins, spies, characters deaths, politics, world ending looming, and that's just in the prologue! The more realistic character portraits and Yoko Shimomura's wonderful dramatic and heavy soundtrack keep the tone very epic war drama in the best of ways. If you are a fan of these rare kind of rpgs, you'll be hooked.
Sold. Fucking sold.

*pounds money on the table*

Atlus, make it happen. This is priority #1.
 
#30
So, has the religion stuff become anti-religious stuff? I don't particularly care, especially if it's done well, but it's been a long time since I've played a Japanese game with a positive take on European religion (MAYBE King Story).

Edit: Amazon.co.jp wasn't helpful at all, but 1 of the bad reviews says it's an R.P.G. plus a graphic adventure, so it stays that way throughout the whole game, presumably. This is great! And bad for localization!
 
Jun 7, 2004
30,398
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#32
GhaleonQ said:
So, has the religion stuff become anti-religious stuff? I don't particularly care, especially if it's done well, but it's been a long time since I've played a Japanese game with a positive take on European religion (MAYBE King Story).

Edit: Amazon.co.jp wasn't helpful at all, but 1 of the bad reviews says it's an R.P.G. plus a graphic adventure, so it stays that way throughout the whole game, presumably. This is great! And bad for localization!
Going from the little bit of the religious aspect that I've seen, it's definitely anti-religion like every game from Japan in the last decade ^^;

This is what happens when you have a culture that isn't serious about religion (what was the quote? Something like Shinto on holidays, Buddhist when they die, and Christians on Christmas?) and from their perspective just see all the bad stuff that religions have been used to further over the history of the world.

jj984jj said:
Can you turn the sound effects off?
Nope. That was one of the first things I looked for! But it's really not a big deal like the videos made it seem. You're not walking on metal surfaces that often.
 
Oct 6, 2007
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#40
Sounds awesome, and I had no interest in the game prior to this thread. Nice to hear they're taking a more serious tone with the story, that's one thing I could do with more of in regards to rpgs.
 

Mejilan

Running off of Custom Firmware
Jun 9, 2004
38,485
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NJ, USA
#41
Sadly, there are way too many DS RPGs on my "I wish they would just localize this already" list. I really hope this doesn't become another. Thanks for the impressions.
 

7Th

Member
Aug 23, 2005
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engawa.2ch.net
#43
Bebpo said:
Here's a picture of what your time travel book looks like "Historia"



The non-blue ones are normal events happening in a linear fashion. Blue doors are the keypoints where you make choices that branch the story and you can warp to at anytime. The red one is a BAD END.
Sold.
 
#44
Bebpo said:
The writing feels like the SMT guys doing their best Matsuno impression. Tons of 40-50 year old gritty generals, backstabbing kings/queens, religious sermons, assassins, spies, characters deaths, politics, world ending looming, and that's just in the prologue! The more realistic character portraits and Yoko Shimomura's wonderful dramatic and heavy soundtrack keep the tone very epic war drama in the best of ways. If you are a fan of these rare kind of rpgs, you'll be hooked.
You had me at "hello".
 
Jun 7, 2004
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#46
Bebpo said:
Here's a picture of what your time travel book looks like "Historia"



The non-blue ones are normal events happening in a linear fashion. Blue doors are the keypoints where you make choices that branch the story and you can warp to at anytime. The red one is a BAD END.
Hey, what happens in the middle event after the first branch? This is really bothering me, because it seems to be a normal event which leads nowhere, and it's not a bad end. What gives? :lol
 
Jun 7, 2004
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37
Orange County, CA
#48
duckroll said:
Hey, what happens in the middle event after the first branch? This is really bothering me, because it seems to be a normal event which leads nowhere, and it's not a bad end. What gives? :lol
Same. Hopefully I'll know when I get there! One of the 3 path doors I got to early on, there were only 2 choices presented so I dunno how to trigger the 3rd path. Figure something will happen later on that will open it up in the earlier segment.
 
May 11, 2009
17,674
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Georgia
#50
Alright. I just took a complete 180 on this game. After finishing Infinite Space a while ago, I'm wanting more heavy story based, open jRPGs.
Lets see how the translation goes, if there is one.

Are the footstep sounds still horrible?