If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the Forum Rules. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.
Welcome to RPGamer's new forums running under Vanilla Forums! If you're run into any odd or strange issues after our software migration please see this thread for details

A Year of One Hit Wonders - August - Resonance of Fate

redwing42redwing42 Just MonikaFull Members
edited August 2014 in Role Playing Games
For August, we'll be taking a look at a game I have a love-hate relationship with: Resonance of Fate. Resonance of Fate was developed by tri-Ace and published by SEGA. It is set in a world where some kind of environmental disaster has occurred, and the only habitable part of the world remaining is a large tower/purifier called Basel. Given the basics of human nature, the rich live at the top of the tower in their mansions while the poor live on the more dangerous lower levels in the slums. The primary story follows the exploits of three mercenaries: Vashyron, Zephyr, and Leanne. There is a larger story behind the scenes, but the game doesn't go out of its way most of the time to make you aware of it. The art style is a variety of steampunk. The environments are mostly monochrome, though detailed, with the different clothing choices for the characters being used to provide contrast to the surrounding world. What really makes or breaks the game in most peoples eyes is the combat mechanics.

Gameplay itself in RoF is markedly different from most anything else out there. The action is ostensibly turn-based, but in actuality happens in real-time. I'm not sure that I will be able to satisfactorily explain every system in play, but here it goes. During a character's turn, you can choose to move the character freely or you can choose a straight line path for them to travel on. Ideally, you will chose a path that bisects a line between the other two members of your party. You can then initiate a hero action that allows you to fire and jump multiple times while being immune to damage. However, your hero attacks are limited by a bezel counter which is generally recharged by breaking armor or killing an enemy. You can also initiate a tri-attack in the right circumstances, where all three members of your party are active at once and you can switch between them at will. There are two different types of damage, depending on the type of weapon you are using. Scratch damage is generally done by SMGs. It is done in large amounts, but it is only temporary damage. Direct damage is needed to make scratch damage permanent. Handguns do very small amounts of damage, but are necessary to kill enemies. Grenades also do direct damage in larger chunks, but there is a limited inventory for them. Generally, there seems to be a pretty steep barrier to entry on the combat system, but once it clicks it gets significantly easier. Aside from the multiple severe difficulty spikes in the game, that is. Weapons can be modified in ridiculous ways to alter their combat stats, and with some planning over a dozen scopes, clips, stocks, etc. can be added to a single weapon. There are ten difficulty levels in the game, with each one being unlocked after the prior one has been completed. That's right... ten. I have yet to beat the first one, for reasons to be described next.

Outside of combat, there is a separate puzzle game that limits where you can travel on the overworld map. You have to get pieces made of combined hexagonal spaces and fit these pieces onto the map in order to open up paths. You can also connect paths to certain colored generators which will grant combat modifiers to any encounters in connected hexes. There are hidden items that can be uncovered by putting pieces down in the right areas, usually clothing items or gun parts. It is possible to 100% every level, but therein lies the path to madness.

This being a game that I have actually put some time into previously (unlike many of the Year of... games), I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love the look of the game, hands down. Playing dress-up with the characters is fun also, as every change carries over into combat and cut-scenes. Combat has a great feel to it, once it clicks in and you get a feel for it. However, after a while, you start to feel like the same strategy works on 90% of encounters. Also, the overworld is terribly frustrating for someone who feels an irrational need to get everything. I am going to give this one another shot, provided I can get it back from a friend this evening, as it falls squarely into the set of games published over the past few years by SEGA that are almost criminally overlooked (along with Alpha Protocol and Binary Domain, among others). Enjoy!

Comments

  • riulynriulyn Member Full Members
    edited August 2014
    Started this one today and made it to Chapter 2. Had a really hard time understanding how to do a tri attack but thankfully Youtube exists. Still not using that much right now since I only have a bezel counter of 3. I also had a tough time with the first boss. Hopefully as I play longer I'll get used to the system as all I feel like I'm doing is taking a lot of damage.
  • riulynriulyn Member Full Members
    edited August 2014
    Made it to Chapter 6. Slowly getting the hang of the battle system. Somehow I am severely underleveled compared to the FAQ I used as a reference for some Chapter 5 optional missions, even though I have only skipped one optional mission so far.

    Sort of intrigued by the story, but it looks like one of those stories that I'll have to put together after it is all over. I do like the main trio, which is a good start.
  • redwing42redwing42 Just Monika Full Members
    edited August 2014
    I finally got to pick this up again last night. Last time I played (a couple years ago), I had left off in Chapter 6. Thankfully, the combat is like riding a bike and even though Chapter 6 has you without a party member for most of the time, I only had a couple of restarts when I fought the boss in the Chemist's Closet. I'm going to try my best not to obsess over all the hexes. I think the only thing that hasn't come back yet is how to use alternate items in combat and what my priorities on crafting and tinkering should be. I did have some fun with it, though, and I'm looking forward to getting into a bit more later.
  • ironmageironmage chaotic neutral observer SaskatoonFull Members
    edited August 2014
    I've just reached Chapter 7, having a blast. I finished this game a few years back, so this is a New Game+ run, on hard difficulty; I only get to keep clothing, and black hexes.

    I had a lot of trouble with the Chapter 1 boss, but since then, it's been mostly smooth sailing (the statue escort mission was kind of a pain). I thought this game was a lot harder the first time I played it, but then again, on my first playthrough, I don't think I actually started relying on tri-attacks until pretty late. Also, I'm using a guide to find the hidden bezel shards, which helps a lot.

    I had just enough money saved up to buy that handgun in Ebel, but then I blew most of it on gun parts when I got access to the Cranktown tinkerer. I must have spent half an hour optimizing my attachments.

    I love the ambiance of this game. Who wouldn't want to live in a vast clockwork tower?
    Only the livin' have the privilege of sayin' they'll fight ta the last breath.
    And words like conviction and resolve don't mean much to a dead man...
    --Raven (Tales of Vesperia)
  • JormungandJormungand Member Full Members
    edited August 2014
    I'm dropping in for the usual music-related post.

    This is a curious soundtrack. tri-Ace hired their regular, Motoi Sakuraba, to do all of the battle and dungeon/field? music. For whatever reason, someone on the development staff also decided to bring on one of the anime and game field's most prolific and celebrated composers, Kohei Tanaka. Tanaka is mostly known for his work on series like Gunbuster, One Piece, Sakura Taisen, and perhaps to a lesser extent Alundra, Paladin's Quest, and Xardion. He's actually got quite a lengthy resume though, and has been active in the anime/game industry since the early 80s. His most recent game work was Gravity Daze, and I hear a sequel's in development--fingers crossed for another Tanaka score!

    For End of Eternity (aka Resonance of Fate) Tanaka handled all of the town, world map, and event music. Because I haven't played the game, I may have missed something, but that should cover it. In any event, it is extremely easy to tell who composed what in-game with only minimal knowledge of either composer.

    The two composers together (but not collaboratively) produced a gargantuan 6-disc soundtrack for the game. However, there's a particular caveat to Sakuraba's side: it seems that, in composing each dungeon/field/area whatever-you-want-to-call-them, Sakuraba composed ONE piece per area, then divided the piece up by simply turning down/up the volume on certain instrument tracks and thus producing two separate pieces of music. I have no proof of this, but the method I described is validated when examining the soundtrack: each A theme is identical in form, chord progression, and tempo to its corresponding B theme, and subsequently, each pair of A/B themes have exactly the same track time.

    Sakuraba employs a much lower-key, grungier, more electronic style than his usual effort. This would have been an interesting experiment for the composer who struck gold with this sort of color when composing "House of Cards" for Baten Kaitos; unfortunately here his tracks meander on without particular direction, offering little development and often not even a chord change.

    Tanaka carries the score as expected, but here, his work sounds more sincere if less well funded than his recent anime work. While only a handful of his tracks employ the full orchestra, the rest focuses on beautifully-arranged vignettes and motives set to small chamber ensembles. His main themes are well-developed and prevalent, bringing consistency to his side of the score. Overall, this is one of Tanaka's finest works, and it will be no surprise when players have to stop in places like Ebel City, Middle World, Chandelier, and more, simply to admire and be enchanted by the beautiful music.
  • ironmageironmage chaotic neutral observer SaskatoonFull Members
    edited August 2014
    Jormungand wrote: »
    However, there's a particular caveat to Sakuraba's side: it seems that, in composing each dungeon/field/area whatever-you-want-to-call-them, Sakuraba composed ONE piece per area, then divided the piece up by simply turning down/up the volume on certain instrument tracks and thus producing two separate pieces of music. I have no proof of this, but the method I described is validated when examining the soundtrack: each A theme is identical in form, chord progression, and tempo to its corresponding B theme, and subsequently, each pair of A/B themes have exactly the same track time.

    During battle, characters can execute a "Hero Action". During the hero action, the music shifts seamlessly to something with a more aggressive feel, like using heavier percussion, or switching from electric organ to electric guitar, but still basically the same music. (I don't think it's an instantaneous cut, more like a cross-fade). That is why there are parallel tracks. I think it's a nifty idea, and it fits well with the style of combat in the game, but regrettably the battle music isn't particularly interesting.

    I very much like many of the tracks in this one (especially the orchestral pieces), while others (the battle music) are servicable, but uninspired. I expect that matches the division between Tanaka's and Sakuraba's work.

    ---

    Anyway, I've just finished chapter 10.

    Tristamp (the chapter 8 boss) was a royal pain, and took me more retries than I care to admit. Poison can be very frustrating in this game, and I don't think
    Spoiler:
    losing a character for an entire chapter
    is a good design decision, especially when
    Spoiler:
    you only have three to begin with
    .

    I think I have a better understanding of some of the complaints levelled against this game in the Battle Royale. During my original playthrough (years ago), I was still figuring out the battle system, and quite enjoyed the process. On this second playthrough, now that I've remembered how most of this works...it feels a little repetitive.
    Spoiler:
    It would be nice if I knew there were going to be more skills to unlock later on.

    The gameplay is still pretty addictive, though.
    Only the livin' have the privilege of sayin' they'll fight ta the last breath.
    And words like conviction and resolve don't mean much to a dead man...
    --Raven (Tales of Vesperia)
  • upmagicupmagic New Member Full Members
    edited August 2014
    The hex dungeons in this game drove me up the wall. It was a very empty game environment and the aforementioned soundtrack only worsened the feeling. I put this game down fairly quickly.

    I loved the town layouts and such, though. The skits between the characters were generally pretty funny as well.
  • ironmageironmage chaotic neutral observer SaskatoonFull Members
    edited August 2014
    And I'm done, having once again failed to get the platinum. I guess 500 arena battles is a bit much.

    I'm glad to have replayed this one, although it's not one I will revisit very often. Although I love the idea of this battle system, the occasional difficulty spikes makes it a bit frustrating at times.

    I see some superficial similarities between RoF and Baroque; they're both post-apocalyptic, have decidedly strange characters (e.g. the Cardinals), and involve a tower that gets more dangerous the further you descend. I wonder if there was any cross-pollination, or if it's just a coincidence...

    This game gets full marks for setting, and a commendation for trying something different with a battle system. It isn't one I would recommend lightly, however; I think it will only appeal to a particular audience.
    Only the livin' have the privilege of sayin' they'll fight ta the last breath.
    And words like conviction and resolve don't mean much to a dead man...
    --Raven (Tales of Vesperia)
  • smacdsmacd Full Members
    edited April 26
    deleted.
Sign In or Register to comment.