Friday, May 6, 2011

Radiant Historia on Nintendo DS Impression

Change gaming history with Radiant Historia … really

Before there were RPG’s there were true RPG’s. No online, massive multiplayer. No pretty boys and girls with lush graphics and deep menu systems. No HD gaming. No, these RPG’s were 2 dimensional (barbaric right?) with 8-16-bit graphics and turn based gameplay that consumed the gamer. These RPG’s laid the groundwork for what fans enjoy today and in some instances have still not been surpassed. Radiant Historia on the Nintendo DS is a link back to these days of classic, incredible, role-playing. It’s twist and turns, gameplay features are unique and new yet hold ties to the past (Chrono Trigger) that both old and young gamers will dig. What is this RPG gamer ranting about exactly … let’s take a look.

Gameplay – Take control of Stocke, a member of the Alistel Special Intelligence Agency as he servers his part in a war involving Alistel in the east which is invaded by Granorg in the west. As only one man in a war of nations what can Stocke accomplish? With the White Chronicle and access to the nexus of time, Historia, well he can accomplish much. Set as a more traditional, classic, RPG in the 16-bit vain, Radiant Historia offers games the best of a golden age of RPG gaming long gone, one free of flashy CG sequences and pretty boy heroes. Stocke is a veteran, a warrior and his adventure unfolds as his party of three members battle enemies on a 3x3 grid in turn-based battles. Strategy comes in on who to target with attacks, trying to group enemies for multi-grid attacks. No fire and forget here, some thinking is needed. Party members can and will die so being able to travel

Graphics – Another tie to old-school RPG’s but with a fresh, polished feel and graphics that look great on the DS. The designers knew what the DS could do and handle and crafted good looking environments and characters to match. The level of detail is quite nice and a few times this felt like Zelda with its beauty and running around.

Sound – Music is solid and feels pulled from the best 16-bit games. It moves the story along and a few tunes will stick with gamers. Good music, not great, but good.

Design – The battle system offers a bit of strategy thinking for turn-based fans and is well integrated into the overall old-school feeling experience. The use of the Historia to change the past is refreshing and, while similar to Tactics Ogre system, integral to changing history not just taking a different path. There are a ton of RPG’s on DS but this one design aspect, applied into a very solid title makes Radiant Historia shine all the more.

Miscellaneous – The use of the Historia to change history, change the game experience offers so much more re-play to a well developed game that RPG fans really can’t go wrong. Rock solid all around.

Overall Radiant Historia is a well developed, nice sound, pretty to look at and play solid RPG that would be outstanding as a straight forward linear tale but is only enhanced mega-fold by the use of the Historia to change and manipulate history. Solid, rock solid RPG.

1 comment:

  1. Game with one of the best story lines I know =)