Resonance of Fate Updated Impressions

A Japanese role-playing game with guns and real-time moves is exactly what you can expect from Tri-Ace Studio's upcoming Resonance of Fate. We sat down with two of the developers behind the game to find out all about this new IP.

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Inside the realm of Japanese role-playing games, the pressure to create something innovative and ultimately successful is ever present. While Tri-Ace Studio’s upcoming title Resonance of Fate for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 has yet to tick the successful box, the mix of real-time and turn-based gameplay and the absence of magic and swords in this JRPG is helping to keep things interesting. We sat down with a hands-off demo from Tri-Ace director Takayuki Suguro and Sega producer Mitsuhiro Shimano to get a better insight into what makes Resonance of Fate stand out from the rest.

Resonance of Fate’s story is about a futuristic Earth, where poisonous gases have permeated the atmosphere, forcing people to build a giant air purifier tower known as Basel. A city develops around the Basel tower, with a strong class hierarchy taking charge of society--the upper classes live in luxury apartments at the top of Basel while the lower classes reside in camps and districts built around the base of the tower. Unbeknownst to its residents, Basel has a mind of its own, and soon enough the giant machine begins to rule lives and control destinies.

The game’s three main characters are part of the middle class, working as mercenaries and completing missions and tasks for the ruling class. You will take control of the three characters in mission-based gameplay that will involve unlocking more areas of the Basel tower to reach the top, and you'll battle a mix of enemies and bosses along the way.

According to Suguro and Shimano, Resonance of Fate stands out from other JRPGs because of the decision to use guns rather than traditional magic and swords, something that the developers were unsure of at first.

“We wanted to step away from traditional RPGs and go with something that will make sense given the game’s gritty context and setting in a world ruled by machines,” Suguro said. “Traditional swords and magic in RPGs is becoming very banal. We wanted something different with acrobatic actions and camera angles.

“The other main difference between our game and other RPGs is the tempo. We know that Western gamers don’t really like the slow nature of the command and turn-based battle systems, so we tried to create something different with the incorporation of real-time elements. We wanted to make a hybrid between an RPG and an action game.”

The real-time elements are so prominent that Resonance of Fate is in fact being marketed as a real-time game. The tri-attack battle system in the game incorporates a mixture of real-time and turn-based elements in the gameplay--you will control each of the three characters in turn in order to defeat an enemy. Each character must traverse a fixed course (denoted by a blue line onscreen), which is set by you. The objective is to make this trajectory as long as possible within the limitations of the screen in order to give the character enough time to hit the enemy as many times as possible before reaching the end of the trajectory. It is also necessary to interject character trajectories to build up something called “Resonance attacks,” which will see all three characters attacking the enemy at the same time. Once a character’s turn is over, the enemy will make its move, followed by your second character, and so on.

During attacks, characters can continually switch weapons and use a charging system by pressing the attack button at the right time in correspondence to an onscreen meter, which will increase damage. Once an enemy is defeated, new areas of the map will be unlocked, and you will gain access to in-game currency and new parts to be used in the game’s extensive weapon customization menu.

“We think the battle system in Resonance of Fate is a lot easier than traditional RPGs,“ Suguro said. “We wanted to give players more room for exploration and strategic thinking in battles by giving them an easy system to master, which will allow for more creativity if the game is played through a second or third time.”

To keep the tempo of the battles quick, the developers severely reduced the length of the battle animations, which means you will not have to wait a long time before jumping back into it.

The game’s real-time element also comes through in the animated cutscenes, which all play out in real time. This means that things like the time of day and the characters’ clothes and appearance (which can all be customized) are reflected in the visually stunning mini movies.

The game also includes three features designed to heighten its replay value: a battle retry option that lets you restart any battle if you are defeated, a quick-save feature that lets you save the game at any point, and a new game plus feature that allows you to replay the game from start to finish using the same items you did in the last play-through.

“These features are there because we wanted players to think about the combat strategy they employ in battles and try out different things,” Suguro said. “We also wanted to give hardcore gamers the option of replaying through the game without the need to go back and acquire everything they need all over again. That way it’s more fun and challenging and gives players more time for exploration.”

While the game is still in its final stages of development, Suguro and Shimano are confident that Resonance of Fate will appeal to the Western market as much as it does to the Japanese market.

“We were careful to remove some of the things in the game that we know Western players don’t like, like the lack of tempo during battles. We hope and believe that everyone will like it. It’s very different, from its battle system down to the visuals. It was a leap of faith for us and we hope it pays off.”

Discussion

47 comments
Kaim91
Kaim91

This game definitely seems interesting. I'll be sure to check it out

Saije
Saije

Every culture has its own idea on what looks good. As xxjp09 mentioned the Japanese ideal of what constitutes beauty is very different from the western ideal. Personally if I have to choose between a semi-feminine but otherwise cool looking Japanese main character or a fat completely ugly brute like Marcus Fenix. I'll go with the Japanese style any day of the week.

xxjp09
xxjp09

well.. that look is the jap ideal. take a look at their celebrities. they're making the games, might as well accept it.

Grind-Bastard
Grind-Bastard

yeah, I'm also tired of that look. Come on make something new?! I would like more serious games, RPGs especially. Look at FF13, looks the same as always, childish!

michael39238
michael39238

What is this obsession with these wispy haired characters that always look extra feminine or cutesy? I have seen the same look in so many games, its an instant reason to skip over the game.

Dualmask
Dualmask

I hope their efforts pay off. I've been starved of traditional RPGs (traditional to me, what others call JRPGs I guess) as of late, with Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World and Cross Edge being the closest things to it on my current gen consoles. I don't want it to be another genre whose best games end up on handhelds (like 2D platformers and TBS games tend to be these days).

Linkthedueler
Linkthedueler

i just downloaded the demo from the japanese store and though i have NO clue as to whats going on word wise, i found the game to be pretty fun, i'm excited for it!

Axt428
Axt428

still up in the air on this one, will still pick it up more likely then not some time this year

tobelight
tobelight

Oh and resonance of fate looks like it will flop. predicting a last remnant quality game. (go ahead fill up that red thumbs down clicker button)

tobelight
tobelight

Grandia 2 which I played for the dreamcast at the time was 1 of my top 3 rpgs of all time. awesome seeing others talk bout Grandia.

Shishio817
Shishio817

A Grandia for PS3 would be sooo great (at the very least, PLEASE release the original Playstation Grandia for the PSN!!!)

Alex_09
Alex_09

Is there a single Asian game that doesn't have anime characters? Seriously..

akechi419
akechi419

sounds like a hybrid of parasite eve(had guns and so did wild arms) and grandia

bakasora
bakasora

from what i see in trailer, i already feel its repetitive

Gammet25
Gammet25

To me this combat system sounds just fantastic and quick for my needs, but i dont think its a JRPG anymore.

quattroslasher
quattroslasher

looks good but like tobelight I could use another Grandia 2 or Lost Odyssey. (I'm currently playing Lost Odyssey) it's great and I beat Grandia 2 which was another great game.

tobelight
tobelight

I live in the US, JRPGs are my favorate , but this one... um Id rather have the pink hair, swords, and traditional lets save the world for the 100th time. Never gets old. ill play this one but prob not til 2011. Just me or does anyone else want another actual turn based rpg like Lost Odyssey or Grandia? (see there could of used FF but didnt)

HAZE-Unit
HAZE-Unit

I tried the demo and this game sucks, one of the worst games ever, repetitive somersaults to shoot guns with poor animations and they look hilarious when they do the moves I was lmao the whole time playing I couldn't even finish the demo. No wonder Square-enix didn't want to publish the game.

howardorr
howardorr

I didn't hate the demo as much as I hate most JRPGs. At least there was some fluidity to the combat. And there were no young men with pink bouffants -bonus!

PS3burritoman
PS3burritoman

@ropumar It doesn't matter. Why is everybody so biased? "Oh, the graphics suck, so the game sucks." I'm not saying that's what you said, but so many people have and it annoys the crap out of me!

ropumar
ropumar

The battle system was enjoyable in the demo, but I hope it becomes more deep and complex as the game goes on. But graphics suck and the characters model are uninteresting and bland.

sanpa
sanpa

The demo u can download from the japanese psn...i liked it...

Vividnightmare
Vividnightmare

This had better do well, this looks freaking amazing! RPG/DMC elements mixed to make a freakishly awesome looking shooter RPG. I can't wait for this game!

UnitedGamerz
UnitedGamerz

I thought western players like guns. Doesn't this game have guns. This game has a lot of guns. But you people still dont like it. IM SHOCKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

i remember seeing a trailer of this it looks good.

Squirrelatwar
Squirrelatwar

This could go either way, i think...but my gut is saying it won't float well here in America.

SDBusDriver1979
SDBusDriver1979

I thought Tri-ace was a part of Enix which them emerged with Square. All the Star Ocean games have been published by Squareenix but this one is labeled under Sega published?

bakasora
bakasora

looking at the trailer, i think this would be a flop.

DEATH775
DEATH775

Another JRPG, as long as its good. I'll buy.

FaintRain
FaintRain

nothing wrong with more JRPGs especially especially if they're great as RoF seems

FallenAngel
FallenAngel

Really looking forward to this one, more a traditional JRPG fan myself, but I've always enjoyed Tri-Ace's real/turn based hybrid combat systems as well. I just hope Resonance of Fate turns out to have a better storyline than the last two Star Oceans did...

soldjango
soldjango

@ TruthOpinionSpk: I don't think he looks very girly, though the eyes do look a little weird in that screen. Probably just a trick of the lighting.

Rizer
Rizer

I hope this is successful.

lilmp89
lilmp89

This game sparks my interest. I'm liking the basis of the story too. Going to keep my eye on this.

tigger16
tigger16

Some people like traditional JRPGs. This looks like it's going to satisfy the western audiences, at the risk of losing the JRPG fans. Why can't we have both types of games. After all, other games have attempted to create a "better" RPG with mixed success. And yet, traditional RPGs, including strategy RPGs (NIS America's specialty) continue to command a very loyal fanbase. One day, game companies, and gamers, will realize that there are many different gaming preferences out there. Trying to appeal to the "typical" western gamer simply isn't possible. You will satisfy some, and alienate others. This game will make the action RPG crowd happy, but that's about it.

tu2pac
tu2pac

@ TruthOpinionSpk I think that's part of the culture. They like "cute" protagonists.

TruthOpinionSpk
TruthOpinionSpk

Ugh, no more girly-looking male protagonists. Is that eyeliner he's wearing, or is he supposed to look troubled?

Quinzark
Quinzark

Infinite Undiscovery and Star Ocean: The Last Hope both let me down, hope this is better

SvV_Ying
SvV_Ying

Need some RPG's for my PS3. This one sounds good.

pooyanh
pooyanh

Here's hope for a good JRPG at last.

bgranli
bgranli

I hope this will be better than Infinite Undiscovery and Star Ocean: The Last Hope

NoLifeGamin
NoLifeGamin

If this is anything like Crisis Core, i'm all for it! Except without the swords and magic of course :D, and finally a RPG that doesn't look like it'll get responses like "OmFgZ, FinAl FantAsy RiP-OfF!"(hopefully)

Sonic_P
Sonic_P

This game will be awsome!!!

soulless4now
soulless4now

I'm hoping this game turns out good. This console generation could use more rpgs.