Gaming has many hidden gems and Resonance of Fate is one of them. Resonance of Fate is a JRPG that is criminally underrated and was overshadowed by JRPG giant Final Fantasy.
When the game came out, Final Fantasy XIII had already been out a couple of weeks and Resonance of Fate fell off the radar. Yet, Final Fantasy XIII was most definitely not the best in the series. Final Fantasy XIII was an alright game, an alright JRPG. Resonance of Fate on the other hand is a fantastic game, a fantastic JRPG.
Resonance of Fate was developed by JRPG veterans Tri-Ace, who are known for making the JRPG series, Star Ocean. The back of the box for the game features the quote ‘Blazing cinematic battles, RPG is redefined’. That statement couldn’t be any more true. In my opinion, this game redefines combat systems in JRPGs.
The combat in Resonance of Fate isn’t turn based to a point but it retains that system’s strategy and blends it with fast-paced action and cinematics. The combat is the game’s biggest draw. I don’t know of any game before it that did what this combat system does. You would be hard-pressed to find combat in a JRPG that is as cinematic, exciting, satisfying and stylish. (Having said that, whilst the combat system is brilliant and unique, not all RPGs and JRPGs need this style of combat – but I’d like to see another game try it).
There’s so much in this game – loads of content and huge amounts of stuff to do. The story drops hints about the main overarching plot at the end of each chapter. It instantly engages the player because you’re left with so many questions throughout the game. The story keeps its cards close to its chest, until the end of the game.
Throughout each chapter you get to know each of the three main protagonists: Vashyron, Zephyr and Leanne. Each of the characters has their own personality and they feel different and are an absolute blast to play as. Whilst the story is serious, it does feature humour which isn’t usually present in JRPGs – and the good thing is that the humour doesn’t feel forced.
The world is unique too. Made up of a huge tower with different levels, but machinery and gears operate it. Navigating the map is just as different – in order to traverse the world you need ‘hexes’ which unlock parts of the map.
Of course the music is amazing, as in most JRPGs. The music for each location is unique and memorable (especially Ebel City). It has your typical orchestra but it also features some rock music, and the main theme to the game is just simply beautiful.
If you want a JRPG that is rewarding, satisfying and different, then look no further than the underrated and underappreciated Resonance of Fate. A game in my opinion that was brilliant yet sadly overlooked by many. I do one day hope for a sequel.
By Brandon Green
Available from Amazon: Resonance of Fate (PS3)