Resonance of Fate Review
“Enter the World of Clockwork With Guns Blazing”
Resonance of Fate is probably a game that most may had missed, as it was released almost around the same time as Final Fantasy XIII; an obviously more mainstream title grasping all the attention. Certainly, Resonance of Fate is an unorthodox game in itself, completely straying itself from traditional RPG elements.
Humanity had declined; and was on the brink of extinction. Humans had abused the planet to the point that it was impossible to live on the soil of Earth. In order to improve survivability, the remaining humans constructed a massive tower they called Basel, and soon, civilization begun to reform itself around it. Cities, buildings and various settlements had been built on the tower. The new civilization sacrificed a lot just for survival, giving up the beauty of mother nature to continue living in a world of clockwork; they even had to fend off poverty and monsters on a frequent basis.
This post-apocalyptic story revolves around three middle-class Hunters; a group of three odd jobs handymen. Using their skills with a gun, they took on various tasks such as fetching a wine, retrieving power from a blackout and delivering presents as.. Santa Claus; they do anything, in hope that their skills could earn them a few bucks.
I feel that Resonance of Fate’s storytelling is unnecessarily slow and draggy, and just when it was supposed to provide us with details, it didn’t even accomplished that it. In fact, the storytelling is vague and abstract, and one had to really take notice of the subtlest hints during cutscenes to understand the plots. I don’t think Resonance of Fate draggy method of storytelling helps much either, Resonance of Fate is a huge-content game, and it’s plot isn’t something to chew at either, using such methods for storytelling may had dampen the quality itself.
The game forces you to go on irrelevant errands which occupies an entire chapter. You could be spending one whole chapter to fetch a bottle of wine and on another, you could be spending another full chapter just to fetch a cold medicine. Most of the major plot points are revealed in fragments, and it’s up to the gamers to piece up everything that had happened to solve the puzzle of the plot. My negative input may just be my subjective opinion however, as I think some gamers may also like this style of storytelling. For me though, I put so much time and concentration on the gameplays that I easily forgot most of the plot lines.
More then anything, Resonance of Fate is more of a character-driven story then a plot-driven one. The three main characters, Vashyron, Zephyr and Leanne were seemingly unrelated to all these chaos at first, but they are much more implemented to the story then one would think. All three individuals suffered traumatic loses at some point of their life, and it’s only through by some unknown twist of fate that they ended up teaming up together.
Vashryon, is the leader of the group and being the eldest, he took on the father and caretaker role of the trio, although shown to be slightly perverted. Zephyr is probably the most mentally weakest character there. For some reason, his movements are pretty awkward and he shoots like a wild beast in battle. Of cause, there’s a back story for that but Leanne’s backstory is probably the most interesting in comparison. She is the last to join the group and make a living together with Vashryon and Zephyr.
Being the three main playable characters, they has great chemistry. The dialogue between these three are at times hilarious as well, probably due to their contrasting natures.
The gameplay is Resonance of Fate’s main strength, and aforementioned, I put a lot of focus on the gameplays instead of the stories, and I meant this in a literal sense. There are a lot of fun gameplay elements, and one major aspect is Resonance of Fate’s combat system. As soon as you start the game, it immediately introduces you to it’s complex battle mechanics. It is difficult to explain Resonance of Fate’s gameplay battle mechanics in a summarized form, I could say that it is a more graphical improved version of Wild Arms, but that doesn’t explain even a small portion of it.
The premise behind the game’s combat is a combination between real-time and traditional turn-based movements. Before the combat starts, you can slowly plan your attack but while the offense starts, you had to move and shoot just at the right time before the enemies get the jump on you. The characters can also use Hero moves, where they can run and jump in preset directions, and shoot at enemies in a direction they least expected, all in real-time and features delicious cinematic sequences. There are also a lot of other elements to consider, like the different properties of machine guns and handguns, special bullets such as the metal rounds or incendiary rounds which are effective against specific enemies, special grenades which can cause various status effects and the prospect of dual-wielding. The many elements that compile Resonance of Fate’s battle mechanics made it mandatory for all gamers to explore everything within the battle system to try out every tactics and tricks possible at hand.
It is recommended to go for the tutorial in the Arena when one is just starting the game. It is incredibly difficult to grasp and muster the elements of the gameplay and even if you do grasp the theories, some other things had to be learned through experiences, and trail and errors. I do feel this is a good thing for Resonance of Fate; it’s complex battle mechanics provide a challenging difficulty for even the most advanced of gamers. During fights, and even boss fights, one had to be really prepared beforehand and to think of various battle strategies to defeat your foes.
Resonance of Fate is a game which is impossible to finish through in one single sweep. The amount of preparation, grinding and brainstorming to tackle down your biggest, baddest opponents require gamers to take things slowly one step at a time. You will easily feel underpowered if you rush through each story segments without finishing all the various quests, arena matches and red hex battles in each chapter. You get various rewards for doing so, and rare gun parts and bezel shards are probably your most useful and life-saving rewards ever.
Speaking of gun parts, that is another part of the gameplay I really like. If you’re skilled in it, even the most simplest and weak-looking guns can become an extremely powerful firearm. Fighting monsters and doing quests, you can sometimes get various gun parts, like barrels, scopes, mounts, grips and so on. You can also go to a scrapper to scrap most of the parts, junks and equipments you don’t need, in order to obtain other small parts which might be needed for making your desired gun parts. Customizing guns feel like you are crafting a mechanical tool by itself, assembling and disassembling parts, modifying parts, connections, etc.. It’s another fun and entertaining aspect of the game.
Unlike traditional RPGs, the “world map” of Resonance of Fate comprises of 12 levels of the tower. You will be spending most of your time moving around this map and unlocking hexes to clear off your path to your destinations. The world of Basel, although at first sight, breathtaking, it is indefinitely repetitive; the same, monotonous theme and designs can be seen no matter where you go, though it’s to be expected judging from the context.
Luckily, the character designs are especially colorful in hindsight, each of them has distinct styles and looks which is distinguishable from the rest, though one slight complain I had is that during gameplays, or even during cutscenes, the graphics have quite a muddy texture, most obviously seen from the character’s hair. It is just a slight problem though since overall, I think Resonance of Fate has pretty good visuals and character designs.
Furthermore, you can even buy costumes and accessories for your three protagonists to wear, to fit into wherever they are going. Dons on a trench coat and a pair of sunglasses if you’re going out and you can choose to wear a casual outfit if you’re at home or just wondering around your city. The huge amount of clothes selection make it harder to choose which one to wear at times.
Resonance of Fate is a huge-content game. The story is a hit-and-miss but fortunately, it has an incredibly engaging combat system which would challenge even the professional gamers. The sense of satisfaction and completion in beating down your opponents ten times your size is worthwhile. Even if the stories aren’t as good, the exciting battles more then enough serve as a excellent saving grace for the game.