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Showing 1-10 of 185 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 220 reviews
on February 22, 2011
Radiant Historia crept onto my radar courtesy of a Game Informer review. As an avid RPG-gamer, I am 100% satisfied with my purchase of Radiant Historia. Those familiar with the 16-bit SNES era of Console RPGs will find similarities to Chrono Trigger (time travel mechanic and depth of story) and Legend of Mana (ambiance and soundtrack), though it was hard to find a comparison to the combat system.

The narrative itself has satisfying depth in an age of watered down scripts laden with overly shiny cinematics and corny dialogue. The game features two parallel dimensions, of which you can travel freely between using a magical book named the "White Chronicle". Events in one dimension have effects on the other, allowing the game to deliver the story in a unique and innovative manner. The game is primarily dialogue, which very few animated cutscenes. This means anyone familiar with the genre should expect a lot of dialogue, though Atlus has done its best to make each NPC have something worth saying while not stripping the world of its life and population.

The story follows a trained military spook named Stocke on a journey to end a war which has stripped the land from hope; however, the game strips away linearity in favor of a time-travel mechanic. You can travel forward and backward through time to any major event in the story. If you lose a party member, you must soldier on until you become strong enough to defeat or discover a way to change the outcome of whatever event it was that felled your beloved friend. The time-travel mechanic can get repetitive at times, but the game keeps track of how much progress you have made toward completing a given "node" (major day) in time. This keeps you from having to search through all of your presently unlocked nodes until you complete an event that allows you to move forward in the main story.

The combat system is where the game really shines. In a fresh spin on the turn-based battle system, your enemies prepare to battle you in a 3x3 grid system (think Final Fantasy I-VI in terms of enemy placement). Each enemies' position on this grid affects its stats. Enemies in the front row will deal more damage than the same enemy in the back row; however the back row offers more defense. Some of your abilities will knock enemies onto the same square, allowing future attacks to damage both at the same time.

Get this game while you can! Being an Atlus game, this will likely have a small print run in the English Market, and the sheer quality of the game will leave very few gamers with a desire to part with it; both of these set up to make Radiant Historia a rare cartridge in the future.
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on February 28, 2015
I bought this because I wanted to try an Atlus game before dropping $50+ on Persona Q. Yes I realize it's very old.

Pros
1. Really interesting story line. Love the time travel bit, the characters are likeable, and it has the classic fantasy RPG vibe.
2. The battle system is interesting and fun. Definitely different from ATB and still way faster than a strategy RPG.
3. The menus are no nonsense. You get what you need, and nothing else.
4. The game progresses quickly. I hate games that take eternity to go nowhere. Inside of an hour and you're already time traveling.
5. The character art is really good. A little grungy but distinctive.
6. Over 200 nodes. That means you can travel back to over 200 points and do side quests or change history. That's a lot of content.

Cons
1. Uses the bottom screen for main game play while the much more glorious top screen is stuck showing stats. I've always disliked it when games did that.
2. The game is very basic. The story is deep, the battle is deep, but it seems like it's built on top of nothing. It's little things, like after battle screens, the menu, battle menus, etc. There just doesn't seem to be a lot there and it feels off. It's a design thing and not detrimental to the game. You have the tools to play, but you only have the tools to play.
3. I know it's from 2010 but even for 2010 the graphics seem a bit old to me. Chrono Trigger seemed more polished graphically. Doesn't ruin things but a little bit more polish would've been appreciated.

Overall, this is a great game. Lots of story, and it's a good story. After playing this, I have a lot more confidence in Atlus' other titles. Here's hoping they're a bit more polished than this one =)

*Update*
I have since finished the game and am upping my rating to 5 stars. Amazing game. Tons of story. Still wish the UI had better polish, but extremely satisfied. Will play again.
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on March 10, 2017
This game rocks. The story entails trying to save your kingdom from being overrun by, well, the enemy, and then the main character, Stocke, gets a White Chronicle which lets him time hop. So, the story is already great, and then the even better part - the battle system. Naturally, to get into battle, you have your wild encounters, staged encounters, and boss fights. Basic, run-of-the-mill RPG stuff. But it's the battle system that stands out. You have your three party members, which consists of Stocke and two others at your choosing, depending on where you are in the game, a 3X3 grid with your foes, and a turn chart showing when you can attack. If you put your units together, you get big combo attacks, and deal even more damage. I got pretty good at the battle system, and only lost a handful of fights in about 40 hours of play.

This is an awesome game, and I highly recommend it. Enjoy!
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on July 1, 2015
I am about 10 hours into the game so far, so I will update my review accordingly if my opinion changes as the game progresses.

First I will start with the good. This game uses a turn-based battle system where the enemies are positioned on a grid. The top screen shows a list of the upcoming attack order, and you can use the "change" option to re-order your own team in the lineup, but "changed" characters will be at a defensive weakness until they attack. You use your party's skills to manipulate the enemies around the grid, and if you pile up several enemies at once and continue to hit them, the combo counter increases. Combos not only kill enemies more efficiently, but you are rewarded with additional experience and money if you execute combos in battle. Overall its a pretty fun system that emphasizes planning and strategy, which I really enjoy. Additionally the game has a pretty intuitive, fast, and well thought-out menu system, which is always appreciated in this type of game. The "Story" tab in the menu even keeps a log of events, tasks, nodes, and dead ends you have uncovered, so you know what you still need to do. I have been making an effort to play this game with the volume turned up and the music so far is pleasant and appropriate, but with no especially memorable tracks.

Now comes the bad. What could be this game's most brilliant idea, could also be its weakest aspect. The time travel mechanic. It would be amazing if you could more precisely pinpoint certain times and locations to travel to, but you are limited to traveling between "nodes". Nodes are generally located during major plot events, with massive amounts of dialogue text and animation. Each time you travel to a node you have to sit through all that plot text AGAIN. Atlus even realized this and included a fast forward feature by holding X. I have sat there and held down the X button for literal minutes while waiting for all the dialogue to end so I can regain control of my character. This kills my desire to experiment with the time travel and see what happens. Also the game is EXTREMELY linear at this point. You can't explore any of the areas. If you so much as walk off the intended path, the character pauses and says something along the lines of "we still need to do X, maybe I shouldn't go this way".

As I stated at the beginning of this review, I am only about 10 hours into the game at this point, so I'm hoping the linearity eases off as I enter the midgame portion. If things improve, I'd be willing to give this game a 4 out of 5.
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on March 1, 2017
This is a must for anyone who loves RPG games. The concept in itself is not new but the history line will keep you attached till the end. Long story line and also different characters, discover your way traveling through time.
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on March 10, 2017
A real hidden gem for the DS.
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on June 21, 2016
good game
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on March 22, 2011
If the title of my review hasn't sparked your curiosity, let me explain why Radiant Historia is a breath of fresh air.

So many RPGs are similar in that their plots are linear, even if time travel is a device. Even if you travel back 1,000,000 years ago, you will technically arrive X days since your RPG journey began. Ergo, you can never meet yourself, you can never change decisions you've made, and such. This and many boring RPG conventions are not true for Radiant Historia. Radiant Historia innovates and challenges in plot movement, battle mechanics, and storytelling.

I was charmed by how Radiant Historia approached plot and its gameplay. The fact I could replay a scene I misunderstood, skip parts I had seen before, and choose a different outcome made time control an inexorable piece of the game. Instead of simply being a plot device, I felt that it was an exciting gameplay element. I felt like I needed to be aware of the plot threads left dangling by a poor decision or lack of ability. This was compounded by the fact that the plight of the main character, his world, and his best friend were compelling.

The battle mechanics in the game make me feel competent, yet continuously challenged. Typical RPGs' feature battle difficulty by wars of attrition--Radiant Historia has left that in the dust. The first few battles in the game show how to move enemies around the 3 x 3 grid to defeat them quickly. That hooked me. I felt that "planning ahead" and playing with time had extended its emphasis into battle. Battles can be difficult, but never frustrating or unbalanced. This makes each battle feel more like a strategic compromise between defeating a few foes at a time or making yourself vulnerable to have one massive combo attack. Even when winning was distant, it was always just within my reach. I could easily avoid encounters or even run from battle when I didn't need to fight.

Finally, Radiant Historia manages to evoke emotion from me by telling a story well. It's been a long time since a game has made me feel even the slightest emotion. However, it manages to draw me in with spectacular storytelling and plot. In a literary sense, RH uses foreshadowing well (to make you wonder if clairvoyant visions, as well as evil intent come true), dramatic irony (between the main character's foreknowledge of events versus his friends' ignorance), and great characters. Finally, the plot conspicuously ignored telling me the hero's back story long enough to make my discomfort about my ignorance another motivating factor in the game. Many games try to use plot twists to compensate for bad storytelling, but Radiant Historia does not need that. (To be honest, deliberate omission/delay is going to be a storytelling tactic I will forever remember, now.)

Ever since picking up Radiant Historia, I haven't put it down. Make sure you get everything done before buying this game, because you won't work until it's over.
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on February 24, 2011
I love RPG's but I'll be the first to admit, the formula is getting a little stale now. Leave it to Atlus to create a game that completely switches things up and makes the genre fresh again. One of the first things you'll notice about this game is how the battle system has been completely changed from the standard turn based battle style that's been used since the 80's. The grid based battle system is almost like a chess game in that it allows you to position the enemies how you want for maximum damage and also allows you to change the turn order for characters. This last allows you to maximize the damage potential and strategize the best ways to dole out big combos. Also, the battles aren't random encounters, which is a huge plus to me as I feel that random encounters are extremely outdated now. The other new feature in this game is the 'White Chronicle'; a book that allows you to reverse time and change your actions in the past to create a brand new future. While you're playing you may need a skill that you don't possess for instance, just reverse time and choose an alternate path in life. Every decision that you make has far reaching effects on you, your party and the entire world.

While I love the gameplay and story in this game, I find a little fault with the graphics. They're somewhat subpar and could've definitely made due with a little more detail. That's not to say that they're horrible; just not great and probably could've been better. All in all I couldn't recommend this game more highly. Even if you're not an RPG fan I think you'll find a lot of fun here. How many games allow you to play and then go back and choose another path that you didn't take previously to see what the outcome is? I'm an Atlus fan and I think they always put out unique games, this one is no exception.
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on September 23, 2014
Radiant Historia instantly pulled me in, and kept me interested for the entire 40+ hour journey. (My completed time was 47:30.) The story is fantastic, and it has the best use of time travel in arguably any game, including Chrono Trigger. (Gasp! Blasphemy!) Very early in the game, you come to a choice, and it splits the timeline in two. There are characters in one storyline that you can't have in the other, and the story splits itself a few times along the way, based on the decisions you make. There are certain side quests you can do that unlock the "best" ending, I'd recommend looking it up first before you play (just because one of them you have to make specific decisions early on) and have a checklist of things to do.

The characters are well designed, and the music is fantastic. The battle system is your party up against a 3x3 grid of your enemies, and combat is turn based. But, you're able to manipulate the turn order, to make sure that you get a heal off before a boss attacks, or bunching up all your characters' turns after having your enemy attack first a few times for a ton of damage at once. Your characters have abilities that move your enemies around the field, and pushing enemies into each other allows you to attack all the enemies on that square in a row, and they stay put until all your characters' turns are done. The way you can use that to your advantage is really intriguing, and makes battles a lot more fun in my opinion. For turn-based combat, battles flow really well, and grinding isn't so... well, grind-ey.

It all comes together into a beautiful package. The DS had quite a lot of good RPGs, but this stands near the very top. If you own a DS and you love RPGs, you can't overlook this game.
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