loolaa: (game brother move: mike and leo)
[personal profile] loolaa
I need to tell you about Resonance of Fate. I have to. I love it so much. It's been a long time since a game has grabbed me tight and refused to let go from the off. Not since I played Mario 64 for the first time and I used to get up an hour early just so I could play it before work. Not since my first Silent Hill (2) or my first Final Fantasy (10). Not since my beloved Ico and Eternal Darkness. I cannot say how much I love this game. I'm only on chapter five but I need to babble about it.

First off it's a Steampunk Japanese RPG. The ones I've consistently played are Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, which lets face it are very similar in gameplay. I've tried to play others but never gotten into them (One of the Suidokien and another I forget the name of)

Well RoF is nothing like them really, except perhaps the character design is prettified like Final Fantasy. There is no magic in RoF. Or swords. All three characters carry guns. I didn't know this until after I bought it and I felt dismayed and was sure i couldn't get into it. Especially when I saw I had to customise the guns with complex sounding stuff like barrels, magazines and scopes. I can only think of one game I've ever enjoyed that featured guns so I really didn't expect to like it and was annoyed at myself for the impulse buy. I'm so glad I bought it. Surprisingly, the lack of magic/swords/etc really doesn't bother me.

I've looked at reviews since i bought it and I'm amazed at the difference in them. Some like me, marvel at it's originality but there are many who say the battles are too hard and that there is a too steep learning curve. I don't understand this. The battles are no problem to learn at all. They take getting used to like any new battle system does but this apparent steep learning curve is baffling me. It's a phrase that gets repeated in reviews. I followed the tutorial and got it pretty much straight away. And I'm no gaming genius. I won't explain it in detail, it'll sound more complicated than it actually is. But the basics are:

It's turn based like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.

1.Choose a target. Wait for the gun to load (the guns load faster the more they're customised) when the crosshair shows the gun has loaded, fire by pressing x.
2. Hero Dash. Plan where you want to go with the square button (a line will show the direction, it can be shortened or lengthened). Press square again to begin the Hero run. The character will run along the pre-set route.  (And there will be an interactive  sequence of energetic kick ass animated scenes of the character summersaulting and guns blazing.) The crosshair will appear so you can shoot. If you press square again the character can jump. On a hero run you can fire multiple times but it depletes one 'bezel' (a gauge at the bottom of the screen).
3. Tri-Attack. You have three characters. When you plan a hero run and the line goes between two of the other characters you get a point called a 'resonance point'. When you get one, or more, you can do a tri-attack with the three characters. This is the same as the Hero dash but longer, they run in a triangle, and it's more damaging because all three characters are active.  You can also heal during this point.
4. You have to use a machine gun first to damage the enemy superficially. Then use a hand gun to do real damage. A machine gun can't kill but it does heavy damage. A handgun can kill but is weaker.  So basically you need to soften a target with the machine gun then take it out with a handgun.

And that's basically all there is to it. I don't get why all these hardcore gamers are having such trouble with it.
There is also moaning about the lack of story. Admittedly there hasn't been much so far. Little bits are revealed very slowly once a chapter in a patchwork kind of way.  I don't mind it, it keeps me curious. There's a cutscene after the end of every story mission but they don't go on forever like the ones in Final Fantasy.

There's not much detail on the world map which is another criticism I've read. But to be honest, I like the way it is. it involves opening the routes with 'energy hexes' I won't go into that though. It's like a lot of the reviewers are pissed off that RoF is not like Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest because it's omg different!

The characters are likeable enough, but the girl Leanne has very little confidence and the boys, the older man Vashyron in particular, can be quite patronising. Vashyron is a bit pathetic with his over the top love of breasts/women but at least Leanne smacks him one whenever he's inappropriate. I tend to play with the female characters the most in RPG's, it's rare than a male character is my favourite (but it happens) so my Leanne is always a couple of levels stronger than the boys. It's very odd to hear the voiceovers of her saying stuff like 'I hope I'll soon be as good as Vashyron and Zephyr' or the boys being patronising about her being careful and to stay in the background. For example one time she took out all five enemies (after they were softened by Zephyr's machine gun) and the following random saying from Vashyron was "Did you forget to reload Leanne?". Gaah.
Also there is a camp character behind a bar on one of the levels who bothers me a bit.
Other than those issues the rest is fun and enjoyable so far. The story is keeping me interested because I want to know why Leanne did 'that thing' she did in the introductory scene at the start of the game and I want to know why Zephyr went violently mental in the Seminary, also in a beginning scene.

Another brilliant touch is the customising of the characters. They all start off blonde and blue eyed

but over the course of the game you find or can buy different hair colours, eye colours, clothes, boots and accessories. It's completely pointless but cute and fun. 

More games should do this. I especially like Leanne's clothes. I love that they're not too revealing. Her initial A clothes set consists of a uniform like long coat and long dress with long boots with a Victorian edge to it and her B set are a knee length skirt, jumper, tights and boots. Sure the boots are impractical high heels, but I'm just glad she's not wearing a fucking bikini or tiny tiny skirt. And yes, when Leanne does somersaults you can see up her skirt. But it doesn't irritate me since she wears tights.
Anyway my goal is to have Leanne with ginger hair and Zephyr with brown hair. But I haven't found any of those hair dyes yet. Booo.

And here's a video if you want to see a battle in action: www.youtube.com/watch
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