One of the major criticisms of the PlayStation 3 since launch has been its lack of RPGs. Sega and Tri-Ace’s Resonance of Fate is the latest title to meet the demand, unleashed with promises of an all-new, innovative combat system that aspires to set it apart from the rest. Will Resonance of Fate be one of the more memorable games from the ‘Great RPG rush of 2010,’ or is it destined to be forgotten amidst big names like Final Fantasy XIII?
In the future, for reasons unknown, a poisonous gas has begun to invade the world, quickly killing a majority of the population. The ‘Basel’, a gigantic air purifier, was constructed to help battle against the airborne menace. Soon people began building cities underneath this new wonder of the world, and life was good, until the day that something went wrong with the Basel. This is where the three main characters, Vashyron, Zephyr, and Leanne come into the picture.
The developers over at Tri-Ace promised that Resonance of Fate would feature a unique and fresh battle system. That promise has been kept, as the combat is the best feature of the game. Battles are a mixture of turn-based and free-roaming gun-slingin’ combat that reminds me a bit of Valkyria Chronicles and White knight Chronicles, as like Valkyria Chronicles, there is a gauge that determines how much you can move around during battle. The game also features a ‘battle ring’ which is reminiscent of the combat ring from White Knight Chronicles. Once the ring is full, you’re given the chance to attack or wait so that you can further charge (which loads more ammo into your gun) the ring for more damage. The closer you are to the enemy, the quicker the battle ring fills, though you might find yourself surrounded by enemies.
There are also two types of damage in the game: scratch damage and ‘real’ damage. You can’t kill enemies with scratch damage, but it can be used to deplete enemies’ health before finishing them off with ‘real’ attacks. The different types of damage bring a strategic element to combat.
The battle system delves even deeper. ‘Hero Actions’ allow characters to travel a pre-determined path that you set with an anchor point. It’s a major component during battle and is the only way you’re going to be successful in Resonance of Fate. Not only does this grant you some awesome looking slo-mo attacks and the ability to launch into the air for even more slo-mo action, but it also gives you the ability to attack as quickly as your battle rings refill before your move gauge hits zero. Another unique angle to the combat is that when you cross paths with other characters but don’t input any actions while crossing through said path, you earn resonance points which allow you to use ‘tri-attacks’. Tri-attacks are essential for taking down larger and stronger foes during the game and at times can be difficult achieve, but are certainly worth the effort to use them.