First off I'd like to point out that I'm not a huge fan of RPG's. They often put me off with their compulsory level grinding and uninteresting battles. But, if you already haven't worked out from the review score, Radiant Historia is an exception to the rule. RH's battle system offers up a healthy amount of strategy, placing your opponents on a 3x3 grid whose position on said grid can be manipulated in your favour. The aim is to use the skills at your characters' disposal as each situation requires. The battle system allowed me to sidestep having to level up my characters a lot, since all of the battles, including boss battles, could be beaten by good strategy, while offering the perfect level of difficulty.
With the battle system being thoroughly entertaining, there was nothing to hold me back from enjoying the story. And boy is it one heck of a story. You follow Stocke as he embarks on an epic journey to save the world in a Medieval-esque setting. That might sound like your by-the-numbers RPG plot, but the difference here is that RH's story spans time and space, utilizing a time-travelling mechanic. Rather than being a gimmick, this mechanic is integral to the advancement of the story, having you navigate back and forth between two parallel histories to trigger events or alter existing ones for better (or worse). I admit that despite keeping the game fresh and intriguing, I occasionally got frustated at having to switch storylines to continue just when I was getting into the current one, especially when they seem totally unrelated at the time. Also, the hints you're given as to where you have to time-travel next don't always suffice, so I ended up doing some needless backtracking. However I assure you that this was a rare occurrence, and most of the time you know what to do next as long as you pay attention.
I'd say RH is easily one of the best RPG's of its generation, let alone the DS, and hands-down my favourite RPG ever along with Tales of Symphonia. It holds its own against any of its more high-profile competition, if not surpasses it. The gameplay is great; the story has you hooked for its entire duration - around 40 hours if you take sidequests into account - you can tell the amount of care that was put into the graphics and sprites; and the soundtrack is up there with the all-time greats of computer game music (look up the composer if you don't believe me). My only concern is if this game doesn't get the attention it deserves, and will be forgotten in history in years to come (which would be ironic considering the content material). This diamond in the rough is waiting to be unearthed - go get it!
As a RPG fan I was thrilled when I played this game. It is easily one of the best RPG's I have ever played, if not the best. It has an amazing story with great plot and character development, a far better than average battle system, great music, and is just all around really fun to play. The gameplay is built up around time traveling, while trying to save the world, you will alternate between two different timelines. Changing something in one timeline will not only affect that, but changes made will also carry over to the other timeline. This might sound a bit strange at first, but once you try it you will get a hang of it real soon. Took me around 40 hours to complete with all sidequests completed, (with a minimum of grinding, also a really nice thing for me since i hate having to grind for hours for levels and equipment) which I would say is more than can be expected from a handheld RPG (and completing the game 100% is totally worth it if you ask me). Even after completing the game 100% it is still fun to play again, and I would actually recommend it. Small details in the dialog that you had no idea what meant the first time around will suddenly make perfect sense, and because of the way the time traveling mechanic is made, you can choose to do some things in a different order, and this way perhaps get a slightly different experience (you don't have complete freedom, but you do have some extend of choice on which order to do certain things). Maybe I haven't played as many RPG's as some of the veterans out there, but this is definitely one of the best I have ever played, beating games like Final Fantasy VII and IX and Chrono Trigger which are some of my favorites, actually the only other RPG i can say i have had as much fun playing would be the Golden Sun series which will always be a personal favorite of mine.
I bought this game on a whim - but it's one of the best whims I've ever had.
RH has a long extensive story that involves jumping back and forth between two sets of timelines. Normally I'd be a bit leery of the time travel element, but here it's utilised in a way that totally helps to advance the plot.
Although there doesn't seem to be a UK release, I'd say RH is well worth shelling out for the US version.
Radiant Historia is a JRPG for the Nintendo DS developed and published by Atlus Software. The programmers behind it have good “credentials” having worked on some of the Megami Tensei games, Etrian Odyssey and the truly excellent Sony Playstation 2 JRPG “Radiata Stories.” Having played a number of these previous titles I can see some elements from them all in Radiant Historia and they work well. The game was released in Japan in 2010 and North America 2011, but no European release, not that this matters too much as Nintendo DS games aren’t “region locked.”
The game is set upon a world ravaged by war between the nations of Alistel and Granorg. The main character you play with, Stocke, is an agent for special intelligence (no not James Bond! The setting is “medieval”) in Alistel and in the beginning is given a mission to “lift” a spy from the enemy back to Alistel; the spy having vital military intelligence to make a big difference to the war in Alistel’s favour. Stocke is assigned two subordinates: Raynie and Marco to help in his mission and a mysterious book called the “White Chronicle.” The White Chronicle allows Stocke to travel in time between pivotal moments (moments like the “turn left” episode of Doctor Who?) Can’t say too much more (spoilers!)
For a Nintendo DS game the music is excellent, and whilst my initial thought on loading the game and seeing the graphics was “meh” they work quite well as it happens and aren’t so bad. The actual “combat” is turn based with the enemies on 3x3 grid (like a smaller version of the enemy grid in Enchanted Arms if you’ve played that), so whilst my initial thought was “oh God not a damn boxes and grids RPG” it’s still turn based and actually very good. The time travel element of the game is reminiscent of Chrono Trigger meets Ocarina Of Time where different paths are taken at different times and things changed in the past where necessary and so on.
The whole game is refreshingly different RPG wise and brings some great dimensions to the genre, I really enjoyed playing it, it’s strongly recommended and like I said above, whilst there’s no European release the US version works just fine on a European Nintendo DS as DS games aren’t “region locked.” You can’t go too far wrong with this game, it’s excellent.
A game with a difference that made for a pleasant change. All the usual features there but the ability go back wards to correct things added an extra dimension. Trying to remember where things had happened in the past/other history stream stretched the old grey cells.
A very solid RPG. The story is brilliant right out of the door but loses momentum a bit as time goes on and could have done with maybe being a few hours shorter. Some character motivations also seem a bit questionable and certain mystical elements of the game world come accross as convoluted and poorly explained.
The time travel element is well done, locations, characters and situations take on different meanings in the two main different timellines. The downside is that sometimes you crave a bit more variety in terms of the game world as you replay the same areas again and again.
The combat system is a fun grid-like system that encourages you to hit enemies into each other and chain together attacks to defeat them. Ususally in each new area you will have to experiment with the best method to defeat the new batch of enemies. This is fun up until the end where the game just feels like area after area filled with enemies to slow your progress.
The graphics are nicely done, about the level of the DS Pokemon games with good and distinctive art direction.
Overall a highly recommended game for the DS. Recommended for someone who has played a few RPG's but this is not too harcore.
On the compatibility side, DS games are region free. This game was never released in Europe so you will be looking at getting a US copy. This will work fine on any DS or 3DS. 3DS games are region locked, but the system will still play US DS games as the games never were. I played this on a PAL 3DS and it worked just fine.
Having being intrigued by its premise I decided to give a chance to Radiant Historia. Its fine pedigree consisting of Atlus members among others attested to its unique quality.The main concept of the game, and also its greatest strength, is the ability to travel through time, observe the various events and change them to fit the much grander scheme of the desired ending. There are many intriguing characters with chief among them the main one, Stocke, who single-handedly tramples all clichés of RPG protagonists. Smart, cunning, dark but composed he has become the best protagonist of any game I have played to this day.
The rest of the game stands very well, with a tactical position based battle system that although not very challenging, still holds its own.The battle system is turn based allowing for calm decisions and the characters are customizable through their equipment. Position plays a big rule especially for the enemies since manipulating theirs is the key to success.
To anyone still looking for a mature game and understands the concept of maturity, I would urge to give Radiant Historia a try. It is very rare that such games get released that we must show our support in hope that others will try to mimic them.
One of the best RPGs with time travel to try other pasts. Great story. Atmosphere is gripping from the start, you are thrown in a city under siege, you will meet a lot of npc's that have some role in the future. combat is super fun, as you can push and shove monsters on a 3x3 grid and some bosses that need a different approach. I died numerous times but never felt frustrated.
However keep in mind that the text looks a bit grimy on a 3dsxl (perhaps too on a DSxl). I have no idea why this has not been released in europe, but it works fine on my 3dsxl eu version (where it keeps track of how many hours i played each game too).
The anime looks, the texts, the combat system, skill mechanism and overall game feel warrants a price of 50$ IMHO. There is not much like it, and it makes Chrono Trigger pale in comparison. CT had some nice scenes but it was so standard, so cliche.
In recent years I've moved away from japanese RPGs with their linear plots and pre-made characters and got more into western RPGs for their open ended nature. Radiant Historia, however, brought me right back to what was so great about the JRPGs I played as a teenager on the PSONE (in my opinion a golden age of JRPGs). Visually and sonically this fits in right alongside games like Xenogears and Star Ocean 2 and has a long complex and twisting story spanning two different timelines you can jump between at any save point. The characterisation is excellent and the dark tone and mature plot doesn't patronise players in the way I feel some JRPGs do now. Warning: If you don't like games with long story scenes and no voice acting forget about Radiant Historia. Personally I find both of these facts to be positives. The battle system has just the right mix of tradition and innovation to make it easy to grasp but challenging to master. Strategy is the key to even small battles, but this never feels boring. Throw in a fantastic midi soundtrack, that puts many orchestral scores to shame, and multiple endings and you've got one of the best RPGs on any system since Xenogears.
The one downside is the lack of a quicksave feature that actually makes it a pretty bad game to play anywhere you may be forced to quit suddenly. Really the quicksave function should be a standard feature of all portable games now. Even so as a game in it's own right (regardless of system) it's a masterpiece. Such a shame that it hasn't had a European release. I paid a lot to get the US version and I don't regret a penny of that. Excellent game.