Also known as End of Eternity.
What do you get when you mix Firefly, a dash of Final Fantasy, Valkyria Chronicles and a John Woo film?
You get Resonance of Fate
I keep hearing that its set in a ‘Steam-punk’ world, WRONG! I never saw any steam; It’s more of a ‘Clockwork-punk’ world, with lots and lots of gears. SO, apparently there was some huge world disaster and the remaining humans built a gigantic device called Basel, to cleanse the air and land. ‘Basel’ is a freakin’ huge tower; I thought it was some huge terra-forming complex at first, actually, I guess it kind of is. Anyway, those pesky humans decided to make a life out of it and decided to build houses and extra levels and themeparks and stuff on it. Nice idea, because I like the place, it has a very nice aesthetic.
Fuck you Gravity!
But this game, is not a AAA by far, but I have a love for the underdogs.
Now there is one thing I need to get off my chest:
This is the most ridiculously stupid ‘Rule of Cool’ game I have ever played, what were the creators thinking? I don’t know, but I love them for it.
I don’t think that the creators realize just how guns work. Or gravity. Or a whole lot of other stuff.
That's a good thing. Call of Duty, watch your ammunition stockpiles.
Let’s talk about the guns, you get Pistols and Machine guns. That’s it. But through defeated enemies and side-quests you can enhance them with some ridiculous upgrades, ranging from scopes to ammunition. There isn’t really a limit on this though, that’s what I love, as long as everything is properly attached, you can fill up the entire grid of the gun with enhancements.
I had a high mount pro laser pointer scope, pointing through a sniper rifle scope which was pointing through two more scopes that had 2 scopes on top. The gun itself had 9 barrels to fire the bullets from, using an extended magazine. This was just a pistol.
I only wished that this was reflected on the actual gun model in the game, not just the schematics. Although, thinking about that, I don’t think the game could handle it. If you put that much awesome on a gun and rendered it in 3d, the game would surely break.
If you gotta kill something, at least do it in STYLE.
So, the gameplay is a combination of real-time and turn-based shooting. First you select a character, then you move said character around and start shooting shit up, you have an ‘Action gauge’ exactly like Valkyria Chronicles and the turn ends when its drained, either by moving or shooting (or both.) Enemies have the same deal, but can shoot and charge up attacks while you’re prancing around, so you have to move wisely. As you level up, you can charge your gun up for longer periods to produce more powerful attacks and the attack is carried out when the charge meter is full, this is a necessity at every point past the first level.
Now comes the interesting and weird part. There are two types of damage you can deal: “scratch” damage is dealt by machine guns, and machine guns sure do a lot of it, damage ranges in the thousands for every attack, but the catch is, it can’t kill anything by its own and baddies can regenerate ‘scratched’ health. To actually kill something you have convert the scratch damage to direct damage with pistols and explosives, but on their own, pistols do a measly amount of damage, as in under 5 damage for every bullet.
So you can move around the field of battle as you wish, but the best part of the game comes when you use a Hero Action. Hero Actions slow down time and speed up your shots, while allowing you to flip through the air, shooting ‘til your heart’s content until you hit the ground again. Of course, this isn’t free, it costs a ‘Bezel’ in your Hero Gauge, I’ll be blunt here, if your Hero Gauge ever runs out of Bezels: You’re fucked. You go into ‘Critical Condition’ where you leap around like a deer in the headlights with a sprained ankle, every enemy can now cause direct and permanent damage to you and you can only fire single shots. If you manage to kill something in this weakened state though and pick up shattered Bezel Shards, then you can start refilling your Hero Gauge again.
I'm seeing hexagons. HEXAGONS EVERYWHERE. OH GOD.
Outside of the battles, there’s a overhead world map to move your pointer in. You have to use ‘Hexes’ to unlock new places and elevators to other levels. These are earned in battle.
But you can also move about in certain locations, such as some towns with shops (Shops to buy gun related stuff and shops with clothes, like a HUGE selection of clothes; mostly just pattern-swaps, unfortunately) and other useful places; this proves to be a nice distraction. I actually got a bit of a Longest Journey vibe from the home town, seriously just add a million gears of all shapes and sizes, and it could be the exact same place as New Venice.
Levelling up has a nice touch, you get seperate levels for your Pistol skills, Machine Gun skills and Grenade skills. For example, enemies don't give XP, the act of using a Machine Gun does, the more damage you do, the more XP you get for that weapon. All of these levels combine to give you a 'Master Level' so to speak. By swapping what weapons soemone uses, and keep changing it, you can gain levels (and incidently, more Hit Points) at a much faster pace.
I have heard some people say that it had a steep learning curve. I strongly disagree. The game just gets way, way easier when you get more Bezel shards to increase your Hero Gauge. You see, at first, you reserve your hero actions for only the most difficult boss fights. But a few more hours in the game and you are using them for every move in every battle, as you can easily refill the Hero Gauge by defeating multiple enemies with ease in a single turn.
Someone is about to get absolutely obliterated. Hint: It's the enemy.
The story itself is told in quite an episodic manner, each chapter has its own ‘story of the week’ vibe to it, with every other one linking to the overall plot. I have to mention that this game really had me laughing out loud, really hard, as in milk spilt from nose hard, at certain points (especially the cutscenes from the Christmas mission, where you have to hand out presents to kids. The best part is that you throw the presents just like grenades) So its worth the long trip just for the humour.
The weirdest mission request. You'll never look at Nathan Drake the same way again.
Although, I have to say that the story never reaches epic proportions, even though it seems like it will, the opponents and challenges keep building, but then kind of fall flat on the last chapter. With your team spouting comments about ‘I believe in myself!’ and ‘I have faith!’ I felt that the final battles were less incredible gun shooting and more ‘BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF LOVE!!’
But I don’t mind this. Because the three lead characters are fantastic.
I’ll just briefly describe them to you.
Vashyron is the father type figure, he’s a freelance hunter, taking all kinds of missions from the Guild for rewards and money. Personally my favourite character. And he’s voiced by Nolan North. It took me 3 chapters to realize this, but this makes him come across as a Nathan Drake/Captain Mal guy. Once again: I like this. He makes all sorts of snide comments.
Zephyr is that brooding emo kid. After getting hunted and surviving 2 bullets to the head from Vashyron (due to some kind of magic miracle something that I never really understood), he now makes a living with the guy. Nice. The main thing wrong with this character, is that he never really has any development; he’s moody from beginning to end. Yeah, actually, he’s a pretty weak character. But he shoots like a crazy mofo, so I can see why they keep him around.
Leanne is the token girl of the trio, she also lives and makes a living with Vashyron after she tried to take her own life by jumping off the tallest bridge I have ever seen in a videogame. But Zephyr saves her, PLAN=FOILED. She has the most interesting back story of the lot and also the best costumes. Seriously, mid-air flipping while shooting + skirt= Good times.
The way these three interact is what made the game for me.
"Do you want me on offence or defence?"
"Leanne goes both ways. Good to know."
"Hey, save it, why don'tcha?"
Do NOT mess with Token chick, Emo dude and Nathan Drake with ponytail.
So, I like this game, but I can see that it’s not for everyone. The story kept me interested, as did the game-play, so no problems there. It is definitely one of the better JRPG’s, I have played, although I’ll admit, I have not played that many.
TL;DR- Good game, although flawed. Not for everyone.
But it still gets:
Bullets out of a 100
With a scope attached. No wait, 5 scopes... And 4 barrels... and 6 grips... and there may be a gun attached there as well, it’s kind of hard to tell.
Dude, where did we park?