Editorial Miscellany: Radiant Evil

But without battles taking three hours. A nice balance.
Moderate strategy every time!

Here I am, LusiZombies! I am back and well rested and ready to provide a real Editorial Miscellany with real words about real games. In fact, I am going to cut this introduction short to for real prove I am for real serious.

Super serious. Always.

Radiant Historia

I got a used copy of this game on a recommendation from my youngest brother, the one who shares a similar taste in games that I do, but after my typical five hour binge on the opening of the game it got sent to the back of my backlog. But as I trudged through the likes of Final Fantasy X HD (which I still have not completed on this go-around, by the way, I am building up the stomach to fight Jecht), I felt the call of Radiant Historia and decided not to ignore it.

It is an odd little beast, and I am still not nearly far enough into it to have a sense of the game as a whole, but I do love that I have to engage with the battle system and that using MP is basically essential for success. It adds a more urgent and strategic element to the classic JRPG long-form style of resource management between resting points. Like pretty much any RPG, the surface writing is not great. The writers (or localization team) are so concerned with making sure that the point of the scene and the sense of the characters come across clearly, they do not seem to care if they do it particularly well. Of course, that much dialogue in a relatively new form should not be expected to be much more than it is, but I am just a little eager to see the genre move forward in this way.

Thankfully, the undercurrent of the story and characters is compelling and the music is largely very good. The biggest annoyance I have while playing is because of the terrible map design. Environments are generally quite large – which is fine – but without a map or any real way to keep oriented, thoroughly exploring an area, or even trying to progress can sometimes feel like a chore. There is no mini-map and no Dragon Quest-style map to refer to. The player is on his own to stumble upon the right way to go on, and being thorough in order to try and find all the treasure is a complete pain. I am not terribly far into the game, so hopefully I gain a map at some point, because the environment design makes no sense to me otherwise.

But rest assured that I will die many times trying to beat it.
I have not played this part yet.

Resident Evil 4

Two years ago, before Caileigh and I lived together, every time I went over to her apartment, she was in the middle of playing Resident Evil 4. It quickly became one of her favourite games and she has been requesting that I play through it ever since she beat it. It was an echo of what my best friend kept telling me in high school. Anyway, now that I am better at video games and have something of a thicker skin, I decided that I should finally start my playthrough. I am playing the HD version on the PS3 and after (slowly) becoming accustomed to the modified tank controls, I am starting to have a really great time. In many ways I am glad that I am playing so many important games over a decade after their original release (Metroid Prime being another) because it becomes so much more obvious when a game is strong. Resident Evil 4 looks old, but it looks good and it plays very well. Every encounter is a lesson in how to be better in encounters, and that is what I consider to be strong design in a game like this. Once again, I am not very far in, but if Caileigh has anything to do with it, I will be completing it before long. All LusiPresidentsDaughters can look forward to my enormously exciting updates!

CounterSpy

I was impressed by this game in the tutorial mission, but it quickly lost its appeal. Here is a game that I do not feel should be procedurally generated. In Rogue Legacy or A Road Not Taken? Sure! But in an action/stealth shooter? I feel like there should be considered, intentional, and repeatedly tested levels to get the most out of the gameplay mechanics. No thanks!

Final Thoughts

What games should I play next to increase my knowledge of the classics, LusiWhiteChronicles? I am loving the perspective on modern gaming that older games are giving me and I know that there are plenty of important games that I have probably never even heard of. Talk to me, you beautiful devils!

8 comments

  1. Radiant Historia is criminally under appreciated. The story is great and the battle system is one of the best I’ve ever played.

  2. @DA – I wrote this before I even got mana burst abilities. I also love how many people there are to talk to in towns and how they have a lot to say. I really like when gathering information in town also brings a sense of the culture and history of the area.

  3. Every time someone mentions Radiant Historia I think of Radiata Stories, which I think is Threads of Fate.
    I know that sounds confusing, but it’s true.

    You say, “Radiant Historia,” I think of Threads of Fate, but I believe it is called “Radiata Stories”.

    THIS IS MY WORLD.

  4. I had never heard of Threads of Fate before this thread, but mixing up Radiant Historia and Radiata Stories is common and understandable! Maybe I’ll just play Radiant Fate Stories instead to avoid all the confusion.

  5. @Lusi, I also get this and the god awful Radiata Stories mixed up!

    Also, RE4 is amazingly replayable. I have my issues with the game mostly eschewing the moody pace that it was originally intended to have (and that previous REs had), but I cannot deny that it is a very fun game. Once you get more skilled as a player with the controls, you realize you can cut through most normal enemies with even a basic pistol. It’s a very satisfying demonstration of what you’ve learned when you replay it and make a joke out of the early enemies just because you know how to play the game better.

    And while RE4 might mark a departure from past REs for a lot of reasons, unlockables is REALLY not one of those reasons. So many bonus guns and costumes and side missions that were rewarded by playing the game a lot. More than half of my time with the game was spent getting all of the bonus stuff.

  6. Also, Lusi, I love that when I googled Threads of Fate, one of the first results was the quote “barfing is always so refreshing)

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