Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology (Nintendo 3DS) Preview

By Renan Fontes 29.01.2018 9

Review for Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology on Nintendo 3DS

Originally released in 2010 for Japan and 2011 for the United States on Nintendo DS, Radiant Historia was a time-travelling JRPG that seemingly came out of nowhere. Made up of remnants from Atlus' Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey and tri-Ace's Radiata Stories, the development team slowly crafted a must-have RPG… that was in limited supply. Along with its unfortunate rarity, the title never made its way to Europe, meaning most of the globe was forced into importing. Seven years after its localisation, however, Radiant Historia returns as Perfect Chronology.

A good first impression is critically important for an RPG. More than any other genre, RPGs are expected to last a long time and take players through a dynamic journey. How someone is introduced to a world can make or break those opening hours, to the point where a poor introduction can loom over a narrative from start to finish. Thankfully, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology manages to do quite a lot with its Prologue and first chapter. Of course, it certainly helps that a single chapter here is effectively two chapters' worth of content.

Screenshot for Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology on Nintendo 3DS

The premise is simple enough: Stocke, a Special Intelligence agent for the Kingdom of Alistel finds himself in possession of the White Chronicle, a blank tome that allows him to pass through different points in time so he can prevent the Desertification, a seemingly apocalyptic cataclysm caused by the appropriately named Sand Plague. Apend Mode, a narratively untouched remaster of the original game, allows Stocke to travel between two timelines: Standard History and Alternate History. Gameplay isn't as simple as picking one timeline to complete, however, as Stocke's actions in one timeline will effect events in the other. Progression consists of jumping between timelines when hit with a roadblock in order to find a solution in the other timeline.

Each History has its own set of chapters to go through, as well. It wouldn't be unusual to make it through a good of Standard History's first chapter while still in Alternate History's prologue. Throughout the story, Stocke will also be tasked with making decisions that can prematurely end the game and lead to Desertification. These endings are merely flavour, however, and thankfully bring Stocke back to the deciding point almost immediately.

Screenshot for Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology on Nintendo 3DS

It would make sense for chapter one of each History to end rather quickly, as RPG first chapters oft tend to do, but Radiant Historia's opening goes on for quite a while. This is hardly a bad thing. In both versions of the first chapter, Stocke's party gets a healthy amount of character exploration, the seeds for development are planted, and Vainqueur's world is expanded considerably. Worth noting is that both timelines branch off significantly, offering more than just an alternate telling of Stocke's occurrences from one timeline to the next.

For fans familiar with the story already, Perfect Mode is available from the start. In Perfect, Stocke has access to a third timeline: Sub-History. Sub-History isn't woven as tightly into the main story, as it would break the flow between the Standard and Alternate histories, but the new scenario is welcomed and will surely make replaying the game a more dynamic experience. Added to the main adventure, regardless of which mode is selected, is the new Vault of Time, an optional dungeon Stocke can tackle after completing chapter one.

Screenshot for Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology on Nintendo 3DS

No remaster is complete without gameplay changes and, thankfully, Perfect Chronology keeps the spirit of the original intact by only adding quality of life improvements. Benched party members randomly use support attacks in battle, the touch screen now shows a mini-map, and full voice acting is included for every character with a portrait. The original battle system is likewise left untouched, as it should have been. The only potential downside to the remaster is how similar it looks to the original but, even then, more remakes should strive to preserve the aesthetic integrity of their source material. Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology looks and feels like the original release while adding new content for players to pick and choose from. This is how a definitive version is made, by honouring the original, and this remake is starting to look rather definitive.

Screenshot for Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology on Nintendo 3DS

Final Thoughts

Remasters and remakes always run the risk of damaging the original's reputation or misinterpreting what made the original so good in the first place, but Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology is shaping up to be one impressive retelling. The original story is preserved in Apend Mode, but anyone already familiar with the RPG can jump into Perfect Mode immediately. Along with some quality of life inclusions for the combat, near full voice acting, and an all new bonus dungeon unlocked at the end of the first chapter, Perfect Chronology will surely offer an engaging experience for fans and newcomers alike.

Developer

Atlus

Publisher

Atlus

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Our member of the week

The thing that worries me most wit this is that whenever I look at screenshots, I have to look at the aspect ration of the upper screen to be able to tell which version I'm looking at. It is rather unambitious with its visual presentation, it was already an OK game on the DS, not the best looking but not bad either, and here it looks practically the same. I can't even tell if the sprites were reworked at all.

By the way I hope they finally removed that annoying tap tap noise when the characters run.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

Oh yeah, I forgot about the tapping noise when running! Smilie Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I have this for ds (never played it) any point in just playing that instead of this?

Eric - it talks about the additions that make this better than the DS original in the preview above, like the new Perfect Mode and extra dungeon.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Yeah, the question though is if the extra stuff is worth it given I already have the game, vs buying a new one.

Personally, I doubt it. I reckon this is purely because RH came so late in the DS lifespan that it didn't achieve the sales Atlus believes it deserved. Saying that...it's now coming so late in the life of the 3DS! Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses
Our member of the week

Adam Riley said:
Personally, I doubt it. I reckon this is purely because RH came so late in the DS lifespan that it didn't achieve the sales Atlus believes it deserved. Saying that...it's now coming so late in the life of the 3DS! Smilie

Had this come out here and now, properly remade for the Switch, they'd be reaping the sales. Now however, with so little commercial push behind the release... I don't see it performing much better, though I guess the 3DS isn't plagued by piracy like the DS was at that point which damaged sales a lot.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

Well...maybe it's not as bad as on DS, but then again it's still pretty prevalent. Very easy to sort a 2DS or 3DS out...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses
Our member of the week

Adam Riley said:
Well...maybe it's not as bad as on DS, but then again it's still pretty prevalent. Very easy to sort a 2DS or 3DS out...

I didn't think that it was as widespread since I don't know personally a single 3DS owner who went through that process, in fact I have never held a modded system in my hands, whereas pretty much every DS owner I know had a linker back in those days... including me Smilie, but that never prevented me from buying a shit-ton of DS games, including an imported copy of Radiant Historia which Europe never got.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

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