Obscure JRPG Resonance of Fate was originally released for the PlayStation 3 in 2010, and now, apropos of nothing, developer Tri-Ace is remastering it for PS4 and PC: Resonance of Fate 4K/HD Edition will release on October 10, 2018.
Resonance of Fate stars Zephyr, Vashyron and Leanne, an unlikely gang of bounty hunters who eek out a living as handymen in Basel, a steampunk tower and humanity's final bastion. Did I mention the world is ending? Well, the world is ending. Something about climate change—I'm honestly not sure. As we noted in our review, the story is incredibly hard to follow. I'd share more of it, but there are some things for which the human mind just is not equipped, so to protect itself my brain has forgotten most of it. The good news is that the story doesn't really matter, because for the detail-oriented Resonance of Fate is simply a delight to play.
It wasn't a smash hit commercially, but Resonance of Fate did make quite an impact thanks to its collection of bizarre yet compelling systems, most notably its gun-driven combat. While strategic and technically turn-based, fights in Resonance of Fate often feel straight out of an action game. Basically, each turn you draw paths for your characters to move down, then manually shoot enemies as they move, using a mix of rapid-firing and hard-hitting guns to rack up damage. But like everything else in Resonance of Fate, there's a frankly irresponsible amount of depth to combat.
You can slide under enemies to shoot them upward, for example, setting them up for other characters to jump over them, and shoot back them into the ground for bonus damage. Incidentally, enemies bounce back up when you do this, so you can slam them repeatedly. The best part is that money flies out of them every time they hit the ground. It is a joy to behold.
You also have to jump over obstacles as you move along the paths you draw, and by weaving paths together and using them to form triangles connecting your characters, you can set up explosive combo attacks. This is every bit as complicated as it sounds, and to top things off it's very poorly explained in-game, but stick with it and you'll find one of the most satisfying and unique combat systems in gaming.
Even outside of combat, Resonance of Fate pretty much does its own thing. You can customize your guns using a frankly laughable numbers of sights, scopes, barrels and magazines arranged on a grid. Even the world map is expanded via puzzle pieces earned in combat and placed to form an ever-lengthening path. Character customization is just as deep: for Leanne alone, you can change her shirt, skirt, belt, headband, boots, gloves, hair color, eye color and glasses, with a staggering number of unlockable pieces available in each slot.
This is a tremendously dense game, but trust me when I say it's worth working through it. You can find more information on its newly minted website.
Looking for some other great JRPGs? Check out our list of the 15 best JRPGs you can play right now.