Resonance of Fate Updated Impressions

Tri-Ace turns to steampunk and heavy artillery in its upcoming role-playing game.

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Tri-Ace's upcoming Japanese role-playing game, Resonance of Fate, called End of Eternity in Japan, deviates from the traditional RPG formula by replacing long swords and magic spells with a copious number of bullets and customizable machine guns. We had an opportunity to meet with director Takayuki Suguro from Tri-Ace to go over the story and battle mechanics in greater detail. The last time we saw the game was in Japanese at the 2009 Tokyo Game Show, but this time our demo consisted of trying to wrap our heads around the battle mechanics and all the customization features.

The general premise of the story is that it is set in a future where Earth's environment has deteriorated to a point where life can no longer be sustained without the aid of machines. The humans have banded together to build an enormous tower called Basel, which essentially acts as your overworld. Instead of wandering through desolate wastelands or rolling plains, you'll be climbing this majestic skyscraper and exploring the intricate network that is found within. The layout is interesting in that the structure of each floor is composed of hexagons that are linked together. As you fight in-game, you'll collect hexagon pieces called energy hexes, which you'll place on the map like a puzzle piece to unlock new areas and discover new items. Unexplored turf is grayed out until you place these pieces on the map, and when you do, like magic, buildings will pop up for you to enter and explore.

Instead of leveling your characters as you would in a traditional RPG, in Resonance of Fate, it's all about your weapon and how it is customized. As you level, you can carry heavier, more-complicated weapons, with greater features like faster load times or a different scatter pattern. At first you might just be trigger-happy with a small handgun, but as you progress through the game and collect new parts, you can add some crazy attachments to machine guns that make them look impossible to carry, let alone shoot. In your customization menu, your weapon is placed on a grid, so as long as you have room on the grid, you can add pieces to it, as long as they fit and the parts match up. There are 10 different weapon types to experiment with and dozens of parts to collect.

Gameplay seemed a little confusing at first, because there are several elements to the fight, but it's fairly simple once you know all the rules and how it all works. You control a party of three and battles are a cross between turn-based and real time. After you aim at your target, the charging system--indicated by the reticle--determines how much damage you'll deal. By charging up your attack--which is faster if you're closer to your enemy--and taking more time to aim, you'll execute a more powerful attack. As you're building up your charge, you'll be vulnerable to enemies, so instead of standing there and firing, you can use one of your orange capsules displayed at the bottom of your screen to do a hero action attack. These orange capsules are limited and can be recharged only when you defeat an enemy, so you need to use them wisely if you want to survive. The hero attack lets you draw a line across the screen and lets you run and gun without taking any damage. By crossing paths with one of your teammates, you gain resonance points, which can be spent to perform a tri-attack with your entire party. This was a lot to digest at first, but it looks like the gameplay is a careful balance between managing your capsules and moving your characters around. You want to have them positioned in such a way that it would be easier to have them cross each other's path and form a triangle so that you can get in three attacks or more.

Keep up with the latest fashion trends by customizing your character's outfits and hair color.

All characters as well as enemies have two health gauges to keep an eye on. The blue bar indicates your scratch damage, and the green is your direct damage. Scratch damage is temporary and heals over time, but you need to have someone deal scratch damage with a specific weapon before the second person can come in and finish off the enemy by dealing direct damage. The members of your party will take scratch damage initially, and as long as you have orange capsules left, they can heal. However, if you're out of capsules from executing a hero action, you'll start to take direct damage. This may seem like a lot of gauges to keep track of, but you'll also need to keep an eye out for enemies that have armor or other body parts that you can target, which will be highlighted by a green semicircle. In some cases, you'll need to get through their armor before dealing real damage, but in some instances you can sneak around back and attack them from behind to avoid the armor worn in front. In one example, a creature was hiding inside an oil drum, and we had to break its shield first before we could attack.

Despite all these things to keep track of, the battle looked like it flowed smoothly as we watched the characters take turns doing outrageous flips and firing away. The fancy footwork made battles a spectacle to watch, because it's all very stylish and well done. You can customize your character's clothing, hair, and eyes so that he or she can be up to date with the latest fashion trends in-game. We were shown a brief cutscene that highlighted the main protagonists of the game, Vashyron, Zephyr, and Leanne. You'll likely find their voices familiar too, because Nolan North and Scott Menville provide the voices for the two male leads. We didn't get a chance to explore too much of the world, but from what we've seen so far, it looks like it's going to be full of elaborate, well-choreographed battles.

Be sure to look for our full review when Resonance of Fate is released on March 16.

Discussion

181 comments
Doolum
Doolum

will consider it soon enough after i try FF13

lilmp89
lilmp89

I hope the review gets up soon. No one seems to remember it since FFXIII came out... Also, I really want the game right now...been watching gameplay on Justin.tv, and it's beautiful.

Jir11
Jir11

Interesting, looks very innovative. Gotta hand it to the developers it is a fresh looking game with a new perspective in the RPG genre.

ParisSun
ParisSun

I'll be picking up DA: Awakening instead. One JRPG a year, FFXIII, is all I can take in a year.

banjodude12
banjodude12

looks good mabe il get it ok im geting it it looks like its a rpg and i like rpg games so yah im geting it so cool game banjodude out

lsv4541
lsv4541

DO WANT. I'm totally getting this game.

Dualmask
Dualmask

The battle system was very confusing when I played the Japanese version, but that would probably be attributed more to the language barrier than anything else. I'm glad someone is finally turning the RPG formula on its head by getting away from swords and sorcery and doing something with modern weapons. I just hope the battles don't drag on because I could see the same acrobatic shooting moves getting old after the hundredth time seeing them against rudimentary foes. I'm interested in this...I hope it turns out well.

Charlie_1979
Charlie_1979

Its look great and fun JRPG systems, accept that Tri-Ace worries me of VERY VERY BAD VOICE ACTING and in my research something seems strange: There weapons are guns, but looks like all the game is just Hand gun, Machine gun and grenades...? WTF!!!!!! Where are shotguns, rifles, gun in each hand, grenade or rochet launcher and that future so lasers or something else?????

normpap
normpap

looks interesting and different, not sure if it's a good different XP

Eliaseen
Eliaseen

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Ashietaka
Ashietaka

I searched all over for the demo for the game on the Japanese PS3 store and could only find 3 video trailers, I heard there was a demo, I so want to try this out, please someone help me out if you've found the demo, tell me what I'm doing wrong. =*(

stunt296
stunt296

@VidGamAnonymous It's not made by Sega, it's published by Sega. It's made by Tri-Ace which is an incredible RPG team that made great games like the Star Ocean series and Valkyrie Profile. In any case, I have high hopes for this game. If I have the money, I'll maybe pick it up once I'm done with FFXIII. :P

mikeyc42087
mikeyc42087

Looks good, I'll be picking it up after I finish off FF13. On a side note, I wish they would do these interviews in a different way. I would rather just read subtitles then hear someone talk (who I can barely understand) over someone who I can't understand at all. Not to mention it makes no sense to put two people together who don't speak the same language and call it an interview.

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

wow can JRPG hater stop polluting around here,go play bad company 2, its good, better than wasting ur time here.It really destroying the mood. Anyway i really looking forward to this.Love the big explosive :D

Megachaoz
Megachaoz

Should be a good game 8/10 i'd say from what i've seen.

Meghterb
Meghterb

Looking forward to this game.

Isamu_36
Isamu_36

Ineteresting game, it should prove to be a nice addition to any library. Gamespot, please ask your interpreters not to use so many speech fillers [uhm, uh, ah, mmm]. There shoud be as few as possible because they are distracting. There was no need to do consecutive interpretation since you could have easily waited for a voiced error-less transcripiton to insert in the video.

Swwatter
Swwatter

I've already got FFXIII. In Canberra, Myer broke embargo, so JB Hi-Fi here in Canberra (in the Belconnen suburb) are the only JB in all of Australia to sell the game before it's official release. Not as good as I thought it might be; I'm gonna have to finish it as quick as possible then trade it in for Bad Company 2.

OldSnake20xx
OldSnake20xx

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Theprediction
Theprediction

Did they release a demo in the marketplace? im gonna check it out

Theprediction
Theprediction

Looks promising, the gameplay looks original and unique

OldSnake20xx
OldSnake20xx

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

kriptoblight
kriptoblight

could it be! a parasite eveish rpg!!!!! whooo hooo

Tseng
Tseng

Whats with the people taking time to post that they DON'T want this game. Nobody cares guys, go play Madden.

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

this look awesome... i think it'll be a good RPG

wogboypaul
wogboypaul

looks so freaking good!! i so want to get this but first thing's first.. final fantasy 13

Jim60360
Jim60360

@HonorOfGod na, id prob do to it what i did to vampire rain, tie it to a firework and watch it go boom!! £40 damn well spent!!

Mister-Lee
Mister-Lee

why is anyone surprised by how unoriginal this game is looking, or how bizarre its title is? these recycled japanese rpgs are just twists on the old final fantasy formula, all the characters look the same as they did 10-15 years ago save the more elaborate hairstyles and how big their eyes are. they all seem to be set like 400 years in the future yet still use swords and fight dragons etc etc.. i know theres a massive market for this and im probably in the minority, but since squaresoft became square enix or whatever there seems to be a new iteration every month, be it on one platform or another and im sooo tired of it!

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

@Jim60360 same with me. Id prob sell it to some JRPG lover and buy a better game.

Jim60360
Jim60360

dont think id play this if i got it for free.

VidGamAnonymous
VidGamAnonymous

This looks...interesting. The attack scheme looks very cool and is the 1st RPG I've seen that allows you to use guns, but on the other hand, it's made by Sega.

FahlazadDelOra
FahlazadDelOra

Well at least this will be a bit better than FFXIII with all the customization features which FFXIII doesn't have and Square Enix is a rip off to the old SquareSoft

trallisit
trallisit

Why did they rename it resonance of fate? End of eternity sound way better, although still corny...

Heromoua
Heromoua

I've played both demo's of Final Fantasy XIII and Resonance of Fate...and quite honestly Resonance of Fate is out to killoff Final Fantasy....

Kiriyama12
Kiriyama12

will get one, looks promising, couldn't care less about the title

MikeInJapan
MikeInJapan

Just picked this one up in Japan. I have to say it's okay, but it's not going to wow anybody with its originality. Battle sequences feel a bit like FFXII with guns. Anyway, whenever American publishers decide to change Japanese game titles, it always sort of confuses me. End of Eternity is pretty cool sounding and Resonance of Fate doesn't make any more sense or anything

ThGy007
ThGy007

I completely agree with you solodine.

SchumiF1
SchumiF1

So many major titles releasing in March, hard to decide already

solidine
solidine

@Lykanthropie I agree with some of that. Many games are way overrated simply because they look good and are easy to get into. I'm not going to defend Nintnedo, however. That said, many quality games don't get the recognition they deserve because they don't look incredible or they veer away from standard, simple gameplay and experiment. A lot of it is because gaming has become mainstream. With mainstream success you have to appeal to a larger, simpler audience. A lot of gamers are still kids, while people that grew up on SNES reconize a lot of games as imitation trash, these kids don't. Even moving past that, there's a rule for this sort of thing. The better something is, the less people there are that like it. Most people aren't critics, they just want to kill time with mindless entertainment and don't have an interest in the medium they use to do it. Same with the film and music industry. Most people just seem to want mindless excuses to eat popcorn or audible walpaper to drown out the quite on their way from point A to point B. A lack of genuin interest in the material produces a need for the material to be straight to the point and watered down because everyone wants instant payoff.

Darkeus
Darkeus

Nah, chose both FFXIII and RoF. March is gonna be a busy RPG month.

WTFitsPauL
WTFitsPauL

Sorry ROF, im only buying 1 JRPG a year :(

tu2pac
tu2pac

@wonzan It was in the Japanese psn store (make a Japanese account ... google it); then they removed it. I wasn't too impressed by it. ... why one week after FF XIII ... are they mad!!!

TheAustrian
TheAustrian

I love Tri-Ace, but I'm a little miffed by their decision to release this one week after Final Fantasy XIII comes out. Not to mention God of War III comes out the day RoF releases. I have faith in RoF because of Tri-Ace's track record; I just hope this game gets the attention I think it'll deserve.

steini_kallinn
steini_kallinn

@ Lykanthropie Maybe your brain simply cannot comprehend FPS games and the "overrated" graphics. So the more simple and 2D the game looks the more happy you get? It seems that you are stuck in the 90's my friend!

ThGy007
ThGy007

What a risk releasing this game less than a week after people have already spent their money on FFXIII

ahnzz
ahnzz

this game reminds me of the battle system in Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria i think tri ace was part of it also