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on October 1, 2015
This game arrived on Tuesday. I had researched it a little bit, but had been careful to avoid spoiling anything. I knew it was going to be good, but I wasn't quite expecting to be so enthralled in this mobile masterpiece. I'm about 5-6 hours into it.

This game is absolutely brilliant. The music, much like Atlus's other titles (like Persona 4, for example), is such that I don't want to play it without headphones. The dialogue and characters are excellent, and the story is also very interesting. The dual-timeline and time-travel mechanic make the game that much more interesting. All of the cutscenes are skippable when you return to a pivotal point in the story to complete one or other sidequest, so you can keep going without interruption.

I absolutely love the combat system. Normally, I am terrible at TRPGs like Disgaea and Final Fantasy Tactics, but the tactical elements in this game are complex (combat is more like a puzzle than just mashing the A button to attack-attack-attack til whatever you're fighting is dead), but simple enough for me to understand and play with. All of your actions are executed in succession, and you can manipulate turn order to pull of devastating combos.

Your enemies are arranged on a 3x3 grid, and you can knock them in any 4 cardinal directions, and if you change turns so that all of your characters are attacking one after another, you can push a bunch of enemies onto a single square and hit them all with a spell or other devastating attack. With one fairly early boss, you can get 6-8 turns in a row!

It's hard to overstate how good this game is. If you're looking for a traditional JRPG with some interesting combat mechanics, great music, and a good story, look no further.
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on January 12, 2015
I honestly had doubts about getting this. Even after hearing so many good reviews on it. The reasons you ask? $30.00 on a Steam sale is 4-5 games. Even still I went against my better judgement and picked this up. I am sure glad I did. This has entertained me for well over 30 hrs of game time. Better yet, it has also provided me with much laughter, and entertainment. Mastering the battlefield, using the past & future to my advantage, remembering key points in the plot both minor & major. The writers of this game were geniuses. If I have any complaints they would be that the side quests could have been longer, and that the banter between the main characters sometimes got predictable. Overall though the story is engrossing, and something that will hold your attention.

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on June 3, 2013
I decided to give this game a go after a friend let me try it out. I was immediately intrigued within the first few minutes of playing it.

Radiant Historia centers on the main character Stocke, who serves as an officer in the SpecInt department for the country of Alistel. Alistel is currently at war with Granorg due to the increasing desertification of the world. Stocke is given a mysterious item called the White Chronicle. This allows him to travel back and forth through time to key points called nodes. It also allows him to go between the timelines that are created from a decision he makes early on in the game. The keepers of the world of Historia, the world within the White Chronicle where the time travel occurs, assign Stocke the mission of saving the world and guiding it towards its "true history".

The dual-timeline time travel alone helps to set this game apart from others with a similar premise. It makes gameplay more interesting by requiring you to travel back to one time-line in order to advance the other. It was interesting seeing how events in one timeline carried over and impacted the other. The battle system as well was both familiar and refreshing. Yes, it is turn based, but the enemies are on a 3x3 grid that effects their attack power and defense. Certain skills allow the characters to move the enemies around in order to form combos that gain the player more experience and gold. The player can also change the order of attack by switching one member of the party with another. This unique format keeps the battles from getting dull and adds in a level strategy.

The graphics for this game are decent. They rely mostly on sprites for the characters, and there are not many cut scenes. It can be rather heavy on dialogue as well, but this seems like a standard for the genre. I really enjoyed the music and found that it fit the mood of the game well. It never got repetitive or ground on my nerves like can sometimes happen.

This is also a fairly long game for a hand-held system. You can easily get 40 hours of play with the storyline and sidequests.

Overall, Radiant Historia is a very good RPG that has just the right balance of old elements and newer ones.
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on December 17, 2013
I played only Six hours. The story instantly caught me. The Strategic fights drew me in. However, the constant switching between different time periods during the adventure made me re-watch Cut-scenes. For example, I came to this mine and had to make a choice of two ways of handling the situation. I experimented with both and came to a dead end all the while having to go through the Cut-scenes and text over and over again. You could push the X button to progress the text during the conversations to help with this. That is the game changer for me. That one problem made me sell this game. If you can handle this, I highly recommend the experience.
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on November 15, 2013
I'm about 24 hours into this game, Ch. 6 of the Standard History (not sure what chapter in the AH). I am playing it on a 3DS XL, and the graphics are a little grainy, but still quite nice. The battle mechanics are refreshing and there isn't much mindless grinding because you have to use real strategy, even in normal monster fights (which can be good and bad. I'll explain later). The time-hopping makes the story feel a little fresher than the usual JRPG trope, but still isn't anything mind-blowing.

I do have a few gripes with this game. First off is the 8-bit footfall sound. It isn't a big turn off, but gets kind of annoying. I wish they made the characters just run around in their socks. Next is the rendering of the main character. Not the sprite itself, which is very nice. But they created only two sides and mirrored them. The result is very primitive looking.

My biggest complaint at the moment is how long normal monster battles take. They can be very drawn out, and in the later chapters/nodes, feel like boss fights. They aren't particularly challenging, just long-lasting. I think it's cool that even regular fights require strategy (a break from the mindless hacking of a lot of titles), but it feels a little excessive. I've gotten in the habit of completely isolating grinding from my progress in the actual story so that I can enjoy it more.

The time-hopping concept is generally well-executed. There are times when I've been lost, trying to figure out which node in what history to go to next, and it's resulted in repeating some scenes a few times. But for the most part, the story/development stays interesting and rewarding.

Overall, I'd say this is a great game, despite the few flaws that I mentioned. Definitely one for fans of the genre.
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VINE VOICEon September 7, 2011
Update (12/10/2011): So the difficulty takes a huge hike early on in Alternate History chapter four. I'm really pleased with this, though I got destroyed very quickly because I wasn't expecting it. And I'm well leveled. There is a LOT more strategy required for the battles now. So I'm more impressed overall. I've been playing a few other games in the meantime (Solatorobo and Atelier Totori), but I've been taking a few swings at this over the last few weeks and will complete the game then update the review further. Just note: Much more difficult now, so disregard the earlier posted comments on how easy the game is.


Update (10/12/2011): Well into the game and nearing the end of Chapter 3 (out of 6 I believe). Finally we get to see some other characters to use in battle, and actually get a pool of several characters to choose from. The story really gets into gear in chapter three. Pretty gripping stuff. The music has improved with access to new areas, there are several new scores instead of the usual 5 or 6 from the first couple of chapters.

Also of note with the music, the regular battle music is rather... not intense? It has a pretty good sound overall. But when you hear the three or four boss music scores... those are a vast improvement. And I like that they have several different boss music beats, that way the more intense and troublesome bosses have the more sinister music. Nice!

Another note: There will be times in chapter 3 and on where it would be... inadvisable to do a timeline jump since there are not any nodes to bring you back to the current timeline. This is nice because it keeps the story moving very well. You 'can' do a jump, but then you would have to jump back much earlier in chapter three and re-work through much of that timeline to get to where you were. Just saying that the developers seemed to say: "Hey! Stick with this storyline a bit longer, it's just getting good!"


Update (10/5/11): Despite the game starting off ridiculously easy... it suddenly goes into extra tough overdrive about 4 or 5 hours in. More than level grinding, what is required of later battles is a smart sense of tactics. Many opponents will arrange themselves in the grid for a special attack, or hit certain points on the grid with enhancements, such as a MAJOR attack increase. Your top priority at this point is to use your players to keep these opponents off those parts of the grid or to immediately knock them to a different point on the grid.

Also, there are a few techniques you gain which enhance the exploration aspect. You receive a technique to chop trees allowing you to access previously blocked chests/areas, and later you gain an ability to 'sense' hidden treasure and items on the exploration screen. Give this game 4 to 6 hours and you really get into the meat. It really doesn't even get going until the end of chapter one/ start of chapter 2.


Things that I enjoy? First and most notable is the music. The tunes are great old school RPG style songs with good variety. They're catchy and mood fitting for the most part. I also loved the included CD with the piano arrangements. Awesome extra for those like me who pre-ordered (though there may be some with the CD still around).

Graphics are amazing. They remind me a bit of Xenogears from the PS1 without the ability to freely move the camera. The sprites are chunky little 2d things but the use of character portraits helps to personify the main characters and overcome this. If you really look around you can see the rich detail in almost every setting.

Battles are fun and the use of the grid system really adds a bit of versatility. It seems this may have worked well as a Chrono Trigger like system with more are and line attacks and combos, but despite the seemingly simple system it works. And you do gain better rewards after battle with higher combos. I could sit here and describe the system and bore you to death, but better to check out an online video.

The time travel element adds a nice touch to the game. At certain points history diverges and there are nodes created to when you may return. It makes some parts repetitive, but you can rapidly skip text in the blink of an eye, just not speed up character actions (like little clouds of annoyance or people walking about etc...) so some of the repeated points in history can get a tad annoying.

The real gem of this game is the story. You immediately dive into a complex and rewarding story. Some of the other characters might get a bit annoying, but most villains and heroes are complex and rather a treat to engage with. It is one of the deepest and most interesting stories for any DS game (the exact opposite of Final Fantasy Tactics A2!).

If you enjoy deep stories, engaging characters, and fun battles then you ought to pick up a copy before they become hard to find and double in price. This is a late release for the DS, but another of those classic style games that makes me a huge DS fan!
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on January 10, 2018
what a game. i'm 7.5 hours in and i cant stop playing almost every day. the story gets pretty interesting right away, and kinda snowballs as you go. more story lines, offer more playability, and there is a type of grind system to the leveling of characters/enemies. anyway, i love spending my time roaming around fighting monsters and defending alistal!
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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 April 13, 2014
If you like RPGs, you can't go better than this on the DS. Astounding soundtrack, surprisingly good graphics, and a unique take on turn based combat. While each of those things is good individually, they support one of the most mature and well written stories I've seen out of a JRPG in years. No bs fantasy crap or ridiculous costumes, this is a game about one man's quest to save the world through time travel. Through trial and error you work to bring history to its "correct" conclusion. The game features a lot of text, so you have to like to read. However this is balanced out by the fact that there is very little filler or grinding. While most games give you dungeons to slog through before reaching your next story point, this game is somehow literally only story moments that last over 30 hours. You jump between different points on the story's timeline retrying events, either for the main plot or side quests. Combat rarely overstays its welcome, as most fights are story relevant and exciting, not a thousand random encounters.
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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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