Xbox 360 Review: Resonance of Fate

Tri-Ace makes an RPG worth looking at…

Civilization on earth has long been forgotten with the previously lush world now a burned out remnant of its former self. Originally built as an experimental life support system, Basel is now the only place on Earth where mankind can sustain their lives. As part of the PMF (Private Military Firm) the group (Vasheron, Zephyr and Leanne), must seek out and complete quests for their clients, leading them on a journey that will reveal the truth of Basel.

I must admit, I was sceptical when I first got my hands on Resonance of Fate. Tri-Ace hasn’t exactly wowed me with their past RPG’s like Star Ocean: The Last Hope. However, the game is surprisingly decent with fresh new ideas that although complex, make a memorable game. The story sadly isn’t upto much, so don’t go expecting anything on the scale of a Final Fantasy game in terms of plot, but it does just enough to keep you playing till the end.

Resonance of Fate stands out with its combat which is a mixture of real-time and turn based moves, it’s incredibly complicated and may be off-putting at first, but after a while it becomes great fun. The World Map is made up of hexagons that you must clear to progress, it feels like a board game in its design but there’s more to it than that as underneath these hexagons are towns and dungeons, making it surprisingly deep…and the map itself is pretty big, so be prepared to spend a lot of time clearing spaces.

Battles can be extremely difficult at times and when it seems you’ve got a good plan worked out, the game mixes things up to undo it. It might prove too difficult for some and I for one got my arse handed to me repeatedly. Battles require a great level of strategy as the combat system is very complex, there’s also a great level of customisation for your characters that are rarely seen in RPG’s, which is impressive and even changes what your characters look like in cutscenes.

Completing the game will take 40 hours or so if you follow the game without tackling any side-quests, but if you do then expect to put in 50+ hours. Of course, it depends on how much you can handle getting beaten in battle, the game is really challenging from start to end, so expect frustration to reach an all-time high. In terms of graphics, Resonance of Fate looks like a Star Ocean game with a little bit of polish. Voice-acting is a mixed bag, but the music is decent and matches the atmosphere of the game well.

The Verdict

Resonance of Fate has some great ideas that I hope will be implemented into other RPGs. However, the level of difficulty and complex nature of combat will be off-putting to quite a few gamers. It’s a must-have for hardcore RPG nuts that have had enough of FF XIII, but for the rest I would suggest to try before you buy.