Radiant Historia Perfect Chronology for the 3DS is a remastered version of the original game for the DS. It was meant for the PS Vita but due to Sony’s lack of support for the console, the 3DS was chosen. This version was worked on by both Shin Megami Strange Journey and Radiata Stories developers.
The setting is steampunk medieval in a place known as Vainqueur where two nations, Granong and Alistel are at war with each other. The world is settled by both beasts and humans with a long history of war with each other.
The story focuses on an Alistel intelligence agent Stocke who, along with a couple of mercenaries Rayne and Marco, is sent on a mission to escort a spy to back to Alistel. Stocke has a vision where he and his party members have fallen and the mission has failed and this turns out to be true initially as they were ambushed. Stocke encounters mysterious twins who claim to help him change the past to save the future and will be helping him along the way. This eventually leads him to a special book known as the White Chronicle. The book enables him to travel to various different timelines to change many different story events known as “nodes” where certain events are happening that can change to dire at any given moment. The twins will often pop in forks in the road in story mode and they give you clues on what you are to do next in order to progress. He and his party members set off to prevent future disasters from happening and to also to travel from past to present in order to stop a massive threat.
There are two timelines in the game: standard and alternate and both intersect with each other. Side missions are very important and some of them are required to seeing the extended version of the ending in the game. Side mission progression just like main story progression and require you to go to multiple different time periods in order to complete them. Unlike many other games where you can’t go back to previous chapters when you beat the game, you are going to have to revisit chapters at certain points to progress.
The game is a pretty with 6 chapters. The story feels cliched at times and the characters were cutouts of other types of fictional characters seen in other mediums. Stocke does not have much personality and is very flat due to his bland nature. The villains were evil just for the sake of it and the main villain felt sort of like a carbon copy of Igor in Persona.
But this makes way for the character development and you learn more about the players and what motivates them as the story progresses. You get to experience their gradual evolution to more complex and multilayered beings.
You can now choose the difficulty of how would you would like to experience your adventure if you are new or if you are veteran player. Friendly mode is very easy and accessible to those who are new to this game or jrpgs. There are also two different modes, append mode is where you could experience the original game if you are new. Perfect mode is where a new character, Nemesia is introduced in a new scenario. The main goal of this scenario is to find missing artifacts to repair the Red Chronicle and these missions give you cash rewards based on the difficulty. These are all what if story modes that are mostly standalone. It also teaches you more about the lore of the story and also to see the effects of Stocke’s actions during the main story.
The way the story handles time traveling is very impactful sometimes with unexpected results. The game has multiple different endings based on the choices you make. Your dialogue choices matter as well and they also impact how the story unfolds in the game. Bad endings occur when you make the wrong choice and you end back to the White Chronicle to try again to select the other choice. The Historia can be used anytime at save points where you can heal up with mana crystals, in addition to accessing the White Chronicle.
Your party member status, level and equipment will always be the same no matter what timeline you are in. The remastered version has voice acting and very well done opening anime sequence made by Aniplex. The art style has been updated making it clearer and more refined and there are new event scenario art drawings and new character portraits to look at once you meet them. The graphics and animation sprites have also improved quite a lot and are really nicely detailed. Back tracking in the game is handled differently than other jrpg games. You have to backtrack to see other events playing out in different ways than what was previously shown while the player was in that chapter.
The game uses a top down perspective during gameplay and the controls system was easy to learn and pretty straight foward. As you explore, you are able to visit many unique locations that are all self contained and you can freely explore them at your leisure. There are also elements of small puzzle solving. As you progress in the game, you are given new abilities for Stocke to use like moving barrels and crates to open new areas or to also explode them as well. Stocke can also use a cloaking ability to conceal himself from enemies. Later in the game, he gains the ability to see hidden objects. This is very important as sometimes at places you won’t expect, you can find hidden barrels to use to explode obstacles and also hidden items like potions or accessories too.
You have 3 party members at a time but you gain more as the story progresses. Each party member has their own special abilities and skills that you can use.
The turn based combat uses a 3 x 3 grid system and is a lot faster paced than the original. Enemies move from many different places and some enemies can take up an entire grid. Depending on where the enemies are placed in the grid, actions are either more or less effective. You can also use magic to heal, status boosts or to inflict massive damage to enemies but like many other jrpg games, you need mp potions to restore magic. You can also place traps to injure enemies during combat.
Chain attacks can cause massive damage and also higher rewards after you successfully defeat enemies. Certain special magic or physical attacks are also grid based and meant to be placed on certain areas of the grid. Actions in combat are queued instead of just using a singular option meaning that you can also chain up many different actions during combat. Pushing one enemy to another for example will cause damage to both enemies at the same time on the grid and you can do so for all different directions. Occasionally, party members that are not being used can randomly help you in combat using a special ability to boost your status or to deliver critical blows. This is also a new feature in this game. You can use the mana break system to unleash special moves or to even delete an enemy’s turn but this has to be charged up by successfully defeating and attacking enemies.
Both sides of combat in the game can use a change feature which allows you to swap out options for another to give you the chance to use multiple actions all at once. You can also set the combat to auto battle system where you can perform basic attacks. You could escape combat almost anytime like in many other jrpgs.
The game has an impressive array of enemies to fight but some felt like reskins with just different abilities. Enemies can inflict status ailments and boosts and so can your party. They drop items in combat and xp points in order to level up and the more skilled you are in combat, the more bonus xp and items you can get.
You can also learn new abilities for each of your party members as you level up.
In friendly mode, you can attack and kill enemies without having to engage in combat. Stunning them the first time while exploring allows you to get the first strike while in combat mode.
The user interface is much easier to use now. The translation of the remastered version has been updated to touch up most of the original dialogue to clear things up. Each of your party members can equip various equipment exclusive to them and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. You can hold up to 3 acessories at a time for you party members. The prices of the equipment and items are now a lot more expensive than the original game. In the remastered version, you can now equip items to characters not in your party at present saving a large amount of time and micromanagement. You can now fast toggle during the white scroll section which helps speed things up and prevents time being wasted. You can now see the skills you use outside of battle all at once instead of switching to page to page saving more time to explore.
The musical score is remastered and sounds incredible. Yoko Shimoura returns to create the soundtrack and has provided new tracks to this game. The game had a lot of replay value and extra content. Completing the game allows you to fully immerse yourself in the story and look at its finer elements. It also allows you to access append mode and you can now fully explore the world at any part anytime you like.
In the new game, the vault of time serves as a combat arena where you fight many different enemies that you encounter on your journey. Occasionally, really powerful boss fights occur and you can choose whether to fight them or not. You can use the mementos in exchange for a variety of items and equipment you would not often find in your journey. More areas unlock as you progress through the game and new items will be available periodically.
There are a couple of drawbacks in the game. The dialogue was awkward at times and the voice acting fell flat just like the characters. The use of the term “bro” would have been suitable for a contemporary setting entertainment piece but not for something set within the medieval times. All of the stuff that is presented in the DLC are stuff that should have been in the base game. The original art should have been a feature where you can switch either to the new art style or the old art style based on your preferences in the base game. Puzzle solving at times felt tedious and not fully explained on what was supposed to be done in order to progress.
This was a pretty good remaster overall.
It gets 4 stars out of 5.
The game was certainly an enjoyable remastered version that really refines on the gameplay and has smoothed out many of the problems from the previous version. If you enjoy time traveling and JRPGs that Atlus has made, then this game would excellent for you to play.
This could also really work as a good full anime tv adaptation by Aniplex as well.