Radiata Stories: Some thoughts about this game.

Fuck you tri-Ace. Seriously.

It just blows my mind. No matter how beautiful a scenery, how compelling the characters, how enveloping the atmosphere and how innovative and promising the mechanics and gameplay, your ingenuity always finds a way to reach the top of such marvelous creations and just shit all over it.

I’ve always had the same experience with your games. Overall very fun and addictive games with diverse and fleshed out characters, innovative game mechanics, good humor, mediocre plot, lame-ass endings and always, ALWAYS an extensive amount of minor-to-major mistakes that, no matter how great the bright aspects of the games were, manage to piss me off beyond any repair. And Radiata Stories is no exception.

Let me start with the good stuff:

The protagonist is NOT a modified clone of Cless Alvein, which I guess is some kind of major breakthrough for you guys since holy shit you’ve been copy-pasting him in almost every single game you’ve ever released (Yes, even Valkyrie Profile, don’t think I didn’t notice Lucian). Nothing mind-blowing, just the average lovable-dumbass-turned-brave-hero but at least he isn’t exactly the same.

Ganz Rothschild. Most lovable character ever.

177 playable characters, each one with a fully animated design, day-to-day schedule, considerable amount of voice clips, discernable personalities and techniques. But let me explain better because this is awesome:
[li]Each character has a fully animated set of poses, facial expressions and the like. This isn’t anything new, but consider the amount we are talking about.
[/li][li]There are very few improvised recruitments. Remember the “Suikoden characters join for no reason” thread? That’s what I’m talking about: There are very few copy-pasted scenes and there are even some that are really well done.
[/li][li]In the latest Harvest Moon games pretty much everyone has a schedule and moves around all the time. It’s the same here, except it’s a lot more dynamic with a LOT more people. Sometimes it’s just fun to follow someone around to see what they do.
[/li][li]There are also very few copy-pasted characters. Mostly everyone is quite unique, both in appearance and personality.

Some of the characters are really, REALLY well done. Gerald is just plain awesome.

In addition, the character’s stats make sense. The low-class recruits and farmers suck, while the commanders are simply unbeatable. No more Chrono Cross syndrome where a teenager with a frying pan could fight an elite warrior on even terms.

Even more, the AI’s are different. Some characters use their skills with a lot more efficiency than others, again, depending on their rank.

This may seem meaningless, but it counts for me: Jack’s appearance changes with each outfit. It always bothers me when I equip a fifteen-ton uranium-made plate mail and my character is still looks the same as with the initial equipment. As an add on: Some of the armors look pretty cool.

Weapon/Technique/Ally Raising system that works fairly well, even if you can’t customize your friends.

Jack’s Volty Blasts (Typical finishers) look cool and do a good deal of damage. He even does Omnisl-I mean, Limit Break.

Some of the jokes are funny. And I enjoyed the constant Easter Eggs like Vareth (Valeth), Genius (Who is obviously modeled after a certain someone) and Ganz’s “special” outfit.

The map is reasonably big, but the layout gives you a real feeling of space. You learn to memorize roads and intersections until you actually think you are in a real city/field. The intersecting sewers are HUGE too.

Teletransporters on key locations. Bravo.


Not only she has the same techniques and equipment as in her game, the recruitment scene (In which your characters are aligned in the same way as in the VP battles) is great. Her dialogue with Jack is just hilarious and hearing her scream "Divine Assault, Nibelung Valesti!” again was certainly nice.[/SPOILER]

HOLY SHIT LEZARD VALETH. He even uses the same spells as in VP.

Gabriel Celesta (Gabriel Celeste) and Etherial Queen (Iseria Queen) are back for those who missed them. Gabriel finally has a discernable gender too.

Now with the crap:

As always with tri-Ace, the voice clips get unbelievably annoying after a while. Following a notorious tradition set by Prescis’ “PARABOLA BEAM!”, Kashell’s “NOW DIE!” and many others, Jack’s “ALL RIGHT!” and other assorted clips that repeat themselves approximately 1.369.816.432.9162 times per fight will be forever burned into that little part of my memory I struggle so hard to repress.

The voiced scenes just stop at one point. Even plot-related scenes suddenly have no voice acting. The contrast is terrible.

Weapon/Technique/Ally Raising system completely ripped off from Legend of Mana but with less weapons. And I still can’t customize my friends.

I’ll never, ever, EVER use any of my allies’ Volty Blasts simply because they all suck balls in comparison to Jack’s.

No way to speed up the clock. Sleeping always sets the time at 6AM so if I have to do something at 8PM, I have no choice but to wait, which can mean 15-20 minutes of idling. Even Breath of Fire 2 and Ocarina of Time had the sense of including a method of speeding time, and time was useless in the former while the clock moved a lot faster than this in the latter. What the FUCK where you thinking? Especially since 2/3 of the recruiting is done at night!

The “Giving Orders” system sucks in every possible way. Not only you have to give individual orders to each character (There’s no “you two attack A and you attack B”), but there’s a “resting” time between orders, meaning that by the time you are done telling your allies what to do, you could have done it yourself three times as fast.

Enemies can deliver blows that knock me back. That’s okay. Except that from the beginning of the second half of the game and all the way to the end, EVERY SINGLE ONE AND THEIR MOTHER CAN DO IT. This is not even a matter of strategic movement or level crunching, enemies that I can defeat with one blow take me forever since I just can’t get close enough. It is NOT FUN to watch your character get blown across the screen back and forth for the hundredth time in one battle. This turns some of the special battle against Lezard and Ethereal Queen into nerve-wrecking torture. Sure, there is a skill that prevents this but I need to equip others like Auto Cure so as not to get killed.

Teletransporters missing on some of the farther areas. And I mean fifteen-minute-walks (In real time) areas.

For some reason and even though she has no dialogue besides for battle clips, you switched Lenneth’s voice. The new one isn’t bad or anything, it just makes me wonder why did you bother recording a new set when they had the old ones.

I CAN’T PLAY AS LEZARD! His appearance is too short and you didn’t even give him a voiced scene!

Gabriel Celesta (Gabriel Celeste) and Etherial Queen (Iseria Queen) are still the exact same enemies difficulty wise: Gabriel is a reasonably powerful annoyance and Queen will FUCK YOU IN THE ASS.

Beating the special dungeon is still the same deal: Still the same near-death battles, still no save point anywhere despite the fact that it’s freaking huge and still no use for anything you get in it since entering means you already beat the entire game.

There’s a New Game+. That’s good. Except it’s not. You COMPLETELY missed the point of a New Game+. I restart as Level 1, I have to re-train everyone, I have to re-recruit everyone (ALL OF THEM!), I have to get all the equipment all over again, SO WHAT IS THE FUCKING POINT!?. Retaining my skills is nice but the money is entirely worthless since by the time the stores with the good equipment are available, I can get the money by myself playing normally.

But now I’ll make a separate section because this blows way to much.

[SPOILER]Holy shit the ending sucks. Both of them.

For starters, the sudden switch between lighthearted humor and medieval war is horrible. You can mix humor and seriousness, but you can’t start a game as a joke and then turn in into a massacre whenever you want. The second half feels like a completely different game.

Taking the human path means I get stuck with non-humans. That means ELVES. Who the FUCK wants to play with elves? Gil is a pretty good fighter but the magic users inexplicably suck (Especially healers) and there are absolutely no charismatic characters.

Both endings leave a terrible bunch of unresolved issues and plot holes. The Non-human path ends with the dragons going puff and the fate of the world now in the hands of the humans. Never mind all the built-up balance stuff and how-the-universe-works explanations, Jack is so AWESOME that him beating basically everyone solved everything. Also, the non-human path means Ganz dies for an incredibly moronic reason (So what if your dad is dead! Your dad was supposedly dead for 20+ years! Get over it before the building crashe-oh fuck.).

The human ending is ridiculous for the same reasons listed above, plus Ridley’s death.

The human path also has the “Fireworks Scene” which follows the tradition of SO2’s separate endings depending on your allies’ affection. Here you get a date with one of the girls in your team, except the entire scene is:

Girl smiles.
I smile.
We both look up.


Overall, very promising game that goes to fucking hell. Really, what the heck was I expecting from you?

I agree with a lot of your points (although I didn’t read the spoilered parts since I haven’t finished the game, I’m only at the part just after that big weird guy gives you 1000000 Dagols, but they’re counterfeit ). Also, I have a question, since it seems you’ve finished: Does it ever get to the point where hitting O as fast as I can won’t win an average battle anymore?

No. It only gets to the point where it takes longer because of the knock-back moves.

Sweet, no challenge for me.

I will say this, though: The “Attack Link” is god damn hilarious if used properly, to watch all your guys just run up and pound the shit out of an enemy.

If you want real funny then get someone with Berserker and do a four-character Attack Link. It’s like the three stooges on 3D.