...Stalking people and kicking objects at will...

User Rating: 7 | Radiata Stories PS2
Radiata Stories shows some very unique and amazing visuals, some kind of hand-drawn crayon palette of colors,it's very eye candy and one of the most appealing points of the game.
After the great intro battle you'll get yourself introduced to the main character(and the only one under your direct control) I personally, I didn't like him, I'll explain him in a while, his name is Jack Russell, hes a teenager who lives with his sister since their parents passed away. They live in a town named Radiata and his dream is to become a Radiata Knight
Let's explain Jack's persona: He's the typical cheerful yet annoying teenager that takes things lightly and has this supposed "I'm too cool attitude", this kind of characters may be appealing to kids and some teenage gamers (thats the game's market sector) but it has been overused,his dialogues consist almost entirely of childish cheesy lines and ends up feeling generic,if you like this,you'll enjoy the game a lot.
Ridley is the key character for the whole plot of the game, she's a girl who wants to become a Radiata Knight too and joins jack for a while
The story has some plot twists which we all like, surprises, and shows some very interesting ideas,nothing innovative,but good enough to keep you playing through it,the problem is that,maybe as a mature player that I am,it feels a bit simplistic and those interesting ideas reveal almost at the very end, instead of being present during the whole gameplay that could have used better treatment to make things more interesting and to really get you involved with the plot itself.
At a specific part of the game you'll have to make an important decision, this decision will affect the story from that point to the end of the game, wich also influences the ending you'll get, it determinates wich "path" to follow, the Fairy Path or the Human Path (when you get there, the game will warn you about this).
The world is full of lively characters and races, from humans to goblins and elves,each one of them with their unique personalities, in fact the character cast is so big that you can recruit more than 100 people to your team,just take into count that the main party consists of 4 players, 1 being the main and only fully player controlled character,Jack, the other 3 will have independent AI but you can given them certain orders during battle for a more strategic fight.
The battle system is quite simple but theres a bunch of handy options in case you want to get strategic, there are no random encounters, enemies will walk around the map allowing you to chase or avoid them if you want, Battles take place in a battlefield with a real time action, no turn base here,where enemies and allies will fight to the end, the battles conclude once you defeat all enemies or the main character dies (doesnt matter if there are any remaining allies) so you must be careful not to die (duh). Some interesting battle options are: battle formations, known as "links", with this you and your allies will take certain battle possitions, giving you some advantages depending on who you are fighting, for instance, if you encounter several enemies you can tell your allies to form up in a "line link" wich is good to fight numerous enemies at once, just choose from different formations depending on each battle circumstance.
You can cast items to heal, revive, or status change the enemies and do "volty attacks" these are more powerful hit combos.
Depending on wich weapon you wield ( yes you can select from several weapons) the combo attacks and hits change, as you use a weapon, new "hits" will be unlocked for it, by combining hits in the menu screen you personalize your own combos, and execute them by pressing O button repeatedly during battle.
You will face some problems while battling numerous enemies at once since the auto lock-on doesnt move as fast as necessary to change quickly between enemies, for this, pressing R1 manually locks the target you want to hit.
Since the game's difficulty is very easy,it'll basically resume to tapping O button repeatedly until all enemies are defeated.
The overall game is a combination between Legend of Mana series,suikoden ( for the character recruit thing), fable (the endings) and the psone game Threads of Fate, wich is itself a copy of Legend of Mana. Think of this game as a Threads of Fate sequel...nothing new, but something fairly good...
This title aims for young teen gamers,but mature players might enjoy it as well not only for the comedy style,but also for the incredible details it has (sadly not in the main plot),all characters have different personalities and its own unique daily routine wich you can follow, towns are greatly designed, main character's clothes change depending on the armor he's wearing, and of course the main attractive, the visual design is detailed even to the characters' fingers.
This is a solid action RPG that could have used its concepts more properly to create,for instance, an incredibly great medieval game with a richer and ambitions plot, but fits better the place: fairly good for teens, although dont let this discourge you from playing Radiata Stories, there's a huge chance you'll enjoy it.