Resonance Of Fate
Resonance Of FateResonance of Fate, known in Japan as End of Eternity , is a role-playing video game developed by tri-Ace and published by Sega for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game was released on January 28, 2010 in Japan, on March 16, 2010 in North America and on March 26, 2010 in Europe.
Resonance Of Fate PlotResonance of Fate begins countless years after the move to the tower of Basel. Prelate Frieda dreams of a world where people could live free of their quartz, and enjoy a life on their own terms. She pushed for the idea of a world where people would control their own destiny. Because of this preaching, she attracted the cardinals as followers, with Cardinal Rowen as her closest friend and follower. Her ideas were appealing to people, but also radical, and she was unfortunately killed.
The death of Prelate Frieda drove Cardinal Rowen into a state of despair. He wanted to bring her back, as he loved her dearly. He discovered the truth of Zenith, and its powers over life and death, and wanted to exploit them to bring her back. He commissioned Sullivan to find a way to do this, and the experiments began at Aetersyl. They found 20 children, and began using the quartz to experiment on their lifespans and see the effects it had, ultimately setting their quartz to cause them to expire on a certain birthday.
However, Juris, who was in charge of the experiment, took a liking to subject #20, Leanne, and began to feel guilty over what they had done to the children. Juris decided to help Leanne escape Aetersyl, but was confronted by Rowen, who eventually allowed Leanne to leave despite his initial objections. Before leaving, Leanne learned of her expiration date from Juris' notebook.
With the disease ravaging humanity, some people were left outside to die. Some of them developed mutations to allow them to not only beat off the disease, but become incredibly strong and able to survive in this environment. They became effectively immortal and they hated Basel and the Zenith system for abandoning them. Rebecca, a human who lives outside of Basel, attacked the city because of this fury, and slaughtered many of the people, until she got to Vashyron.
Vashyron was a "Knight of Zenith", a person blessed by the Zenith system. When she attacked him, Zenith struck out against her, breaking her mind as well as saving his life. In this state Sullivan found her, and saw an opportunity. Sullivan dreamed of living outside of Basel, and this test subject would be perfect for his research. If he could copy her traits, he could free people from the place once and for all.
Zephyr was a part of Sullivan's experiment to transfer Rebecca's traits onto the children of Crank Seminary. He became the only success of the experiment. However, his transformation caused him to become mentally unstable. He flew into a rage, killing everyone involved in the experiment and blowing up the Seminary. He expected to die for what he had done, but his immortality prevailed despite being shot twice in the head by Vashyron. He decided to live to try to figure out why he was spared, and worked for Vashyron.
One year later, Leanne was nearing the time of her appointed death after running away. She attempted to kill herself, wanting to die on her own terms, only to have Zephyr catch her in the air and save her life. At the moment Leanne quartz was programmed to fail, Zenith intervened, and the artificial expiration date on Leanne's quartz was nullified.
Sullivan took the research that had been conducted and went to make the ultimate tool, something to control Zenith. He took Cardinal Rowen's ring and bound the Zenith control system to it, providing Rowen with control over life and death in Basel. With his newfound power, Cardinal Rowen undergoes a crisis of faith, as he goes from following God to being God himself. If God could be controlled, then his faith is being shaken to the core. Meanwhile, Sullivan secretly studied Rebecca further to find a way for humans to live separately from Zenith. Their goals are both in line with Prelate Frieda to an extent, but different methods. Cardinal Rowen seeks to control Zenith, while Sullivan seeks to depart from it.
Cardinal Lagerfeld, who was in charge of the Crank Seminary when Zephyr destroyed it and killed everyone inside, goes to the heroes' base and openly challenges Zephyr to a duel to avenge the victims of Zephyr's massacre. Cardinal Lagerfeld is defeated. Following the fight, however, Cardinal Lagerfeld reveals that Zephyr had a sister among the children at the Crank Seminary and that Zephyr had unknowingly killed her. Filled with guilt and wanting to die, Zephyr allows himself to be knocked the ground by the faltering Cardinal Lagerfeld. Lagerfeld is about to impale Zephyr on his staff when he is shot and killed by Leanne. Despite knowing Zephyr's past, she consoles him and convinces him to continue living for her sake.
On Christmas, Leanne walks past Cardinal Rowen at the Basilica, and he realizes she is alive. This causes his internal issues to come to a head as, according to Juris' notes, she should not be alive, and Zenith cannot be controlled as Sullivan had promised. He needed to believe that there truly is a God beyond Zenith, and sees her continued existence as proof of that possibility. Or perhaps Sullivan just lied to him about the experiments. He goes to find Sullivan for answers.
Cardinal Rowen overhears Sullivan telling the heroes that he has Leanne's quartz, and if he is killed, her quartz will be destroyed, and she will die. Cardinal Rowen shoots Sullivan, expecting Leanne to die shortly after due to this, and prove that there is no God, or live, and validate the existence of God. This sets Zephyr on a rampage of revenge, as his reason for existence has just been effectively doomed by Rowen in front of his eyes, and he swears to hunt Cardinal Rowen down and kill him.
Cardinal Rowen then gathers his forces into the Basilica, waits for the heroes to come kill him, and says that if God wants to stop it, he should step in and do so. He is attempting to force God's hand and validate his faith. The heroes fight their way to him, confront him, and ultimately defeat him, with Zephyr putting a bullet through his heart. The bullet passes through Rowen's heart into a portrait of Prelate Frieda, leaving a symbol. Vashyron recognizes the symbol as the mark of Zenith bestowing immortality, and has the party leave.
After the fight, Rebecca destroys the quartz she was given by Sullivan. Cardinal Rowen realizes that his faith was misplaced and leaves the ring behind on Prelate Frieda's final resting place. Sullivan, also resurrected, joins Rebecca in the outside world. The quartz that Rebecca destroyed was Sullivan's, proving his plan is a success, that humans can be successfully separated from Zenith and their quartz lifespans. The story ends with Leanne looking into the sky. It is shown that her quartz has actually been in her possession for some time, safely embedded within her hand. She stands outside of Basel in a grass field with Zephyr and Vashyron at her side, revealing that the world outside of Basel is no longer filled with poisonous gas.
In the bonus dungeon "Neverland", the party explores a twisted, abandoned theme park filled with unreasonably high-tier enemies. At the final stage they accidentally find Sullivan, and battle him and Rebecca as the Secret Bosses. Even if the player defeats him, Sullivan claims that he is immortal, and that the "theories" of the world are now see-through to him. Zephyr claims he will keep killing Sullivan until he dies permanently, to which Sullivan says he looks forward to it.
Resonance Of Fate GameplayResonance of Fate uses what is known as the tri-Attack Battle system. The battle system is a mixture of real-time and turn-based controls. The game consists of battle elements such as command battles and action battles. Players start the battle by selecting one of the player's characters to control, following which the player takes direct control over the character. The player can then move the character around and attack targets. The character's turn ends when the player's attack is over or his action points are all used up. Enemies are also able to move while the player's character is moving and will usually attack only the character being controlled by the player. Players can restart any enemy encounter if they are defeated during battle, and for a hefty fee can replenish health or even an important resource called bezel energy. Players are also able to suspend and save the game at any time.
Each character's turn is limited by action points, during which players can keep moving and switching weapons until the action points run out. However during each turn, players are only allowed to make a single attack, after which, even if action points remains, the character's turn ends. Attacking an enemy uses a charging system where the player selects a target. The attack charges up, and the attack can be carried out when the charge meter is full. Players can also choose to charge up the attack multiple times, for a more powerful attack, when the character has a higher proficiency level with his equipped weapon(s). The time needed to charge up is also dependent on the proximity of the enemy. The closer the enemy the shorter the time needed to charge up, though it renders the player more vulnerable to attack. Enemy charge meters can be observed, and enemies will attack a character automatically on their turn if their charge meter is completely red (all enemies' turns are in between the characters' turns). There are two damage types in the game. The first is "scratch" damage, which is only dealt by sub-machine guns. Scratch damage accumulates quickly, but can't actually kill anything. Killing things with scratch damage requires that the scratch damage be converted into "direct damage", which can be done by using pistols and grenades on an enemy with scratch damage.
Players are able to move about the battlefield freely, but they have the choice to create predefined paths for their character to follow. While moving along the predefined path, characters gain access to Hero action, which makes the character immune to damage and speeds up charge times. However, the use of these Hero actions requires the use of containers known as Bezels; the item is an essential element in battle and is recharged through a variety of methods, such as destroying portions of an enemy’s weapons and armor, or killing an enemy. Characters using hero mode can attack while jumping in the air, and are also able to unleash special attacks which play out as stylish firearm actions. Weapons in the game can also be easily customized, and any firearm in the game can attach at least 15 augments. Items earned by defeating enemies or obtained through side quests can be crafted into weapon attachments for pistols and sub-machine guns, such as a sniper scope, an extended barrel, or an extended ammunition clip.
In addition to fueling the Hero actions, Bezels act as a safeguard to character defeat. Characters will not receive any direct damage as long as there is at least one full, unused Bezel. If there are enough Bezels remaining, dealing a net sum of scratch damage equal to a character's Health point causes the character to be whacked into the air, only to recover with induced regeneration (restores all scratch damage, but not direct damage), while the containers for the Bezels, Bezel Shards, fly in different directions around said character. The number of Bezels used and smashed depends on the enemy attack that whacked the character's Health point to zero, and more importantly, the amount of total scratch damage dealt before the Bezel Shards exploded. If the player does not have any Bezels remaining, the characters go into critical mode. Critical mode causes the characters to become extremely scared, leaving them unable to shoot quickly, unable to use hero mode, and taking direct damage from every attack. Four Bezel Shards must be recollected by the characters in order to regain Bezels and replenish their power, and enemies can even pick up Bezel Shards to regenerate health and shields. Game Over occurs if any character is killed in Critical Mode, which was called "Danger Mode" in the Japanese version (or if all playable characters are frozen).
ReceptionThe story received generally positive to mixed reviews. GameSpot wrote that "the story in Resonance of Fate is told in a drawn-out, stilted way that only reveals its agenda dozens of hours into your quest" but that's what "makes this story engaging even before your ultimate goal becomes clear is that the characters are well-developed and easy to relate to," concluding that the "quirky story provides laughs and drama." Destructoid noted that "Resonance of Fate builds its world mostly through inference and implication rather than exposition" and added "the main plot being somewhat threadbare, it never really ascends to the kind of epic scale one would expect from the genre." RPGamer praised the storytelling, stating that it uses "a futuristic sci-fi setting as a backdrop to tell the story of its main characters" who are "trying to survive in a futuristic world gone mad." It chose the game as the runner-up for its Best Script award, for bringing the "characters to life" and "doing an amazing job with the localization." The game was also the runner-up for RPGamer's Best Voice Acting award.
Critics gave mixed reviews about the game's graphics. Destructoid stated that "while detailed, most environments alternate between concrete gray and brick red." GameSpot also noted the "lack of visual variety." IGN added that "the world map and dungeons are crying for more detail." But some critics added that "the colorful clothing helps offset the game's otherwise limited palette."
Eurogamer praised its innovative gameplay mechanics and calling it "one of the most inspired approaches to the role-playing video game seen in a decade." IGN stated that "the battle system in Resonance of Fate is strong enough to hold everything together" and added "the unique combat system steps up to be the star of the show." GameSpot noted that "the cinematography used during hero actions is so over-the-top and exciting to watch that it makes battles a joy to take part in." But some critics noted that "the flow of combat in Resonance of Fate is initially confusing, especially if you don't take the optional tutorial." The game was the runner-up for RPGamer's Best Battle System award.
Outside of the battle system, GameSpot stated about the world map that "the sparsely detailed overhead view gives the impression of a board game, and you need to employ a puzzle-game mind-set to effectively use your limited pieces to clear the appropriate number of tiles. It's an interesting way to open up new places to explore, and it even ties in to the combat". Critics also praised the weapon customization system, "the weapon upgrade system puts a unique spin on traditional standards. Although you do earn the occasional new gun, you spend more time enhancing your current firearm." RPGamer gave the game its Most Original award, for presenting "a gaming experience unlike any this past year", including a "unique battle system" emphasizing strategic combat, the strategic way in which "the world map was opened up", the ability to "modify almost every aspect of the characters' appearances", and "the way that its story is told." The game was also the second runner-up for RPGamer's Best Console RPG and Most Overlooked awards.
IGN disliked the fact that "large difficulty spikes are interjected every now and then" and "Resonance of Fate is built for those that enjoy the grind." While other critics liked this aspect of the game, "You need to use every trick you have learned, and a few you may not have even realized yet, to tackle these treacherous monsters, but there is nothing quite as sweet as toppling something that has tormented you for so long."
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