Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology - Out Now

You know? It's kinda strange to think about the 3DS still getting new games. On one hand, it still feels like just yesterday I was driving home from GameStop on release day as I was wowed by the 3D effect of the new console. I can still picture my dad in the driver's seat as I opened the box sitting on my lap, and I can still remember the moment it asked me to switch on the 3D for the first time. That moment really stuck with me... But then I also can't help but remember all that's happened since then. The fact is that the 3DS came out almost seven years ago, and a lot of things have happened over the years. The Nintendo Wii U came and gone, the Switch released as a handheld/console mix, and right about now you'd think the old 3DS would be getting ready to die out. Well thankfully, that's not the case!

Today marks the release of the "newest" 3DS game. Although, I say "new" lightly. Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology is an enhanced port of the classic Nintendo DS JRPG "Radiant Historia." Yes, the very same one I went on a wild goose chase for back in 2011. Although it might seem strange for them to rerelease such an old game, this isn't the first time Atlus has done this (nor will it be the last), and the game is actually better for it.

You see, Radiant Historia was not a well known game. It was a very niche JRPG that attempted to capture everything great about JRPGs of the past, but while adding it's own spin on things. Rather than progressing through the game in a linear fashion as you'd normally do, RH takes the idea of time travel and mixes it into the core gameplay. Throughout the story you'll come across key moments where the timeline will diverge, and it'll be up to you to decide which path you can take. This moments however can then be revisited at almost any time, which allows you to choose different options instead. Go down one path only to see a main character get killed in front of you? Well just rewind time and go down the other path to see what went wrong. You might find out something which will allow you to prevent the death down the other path. Along with it's 3x3 grid based battle system, which asks that you push enemies into each other to create chain combo attacks, such systems make Radiant Historia is one of the more unique JRPGs to ever release on the DS. But again, sadly it wasn't one many knew about, nor was it one you could easily get your hands on... Which I learned the hard way. Of course, with today all of that changes. Thanks to this 3DS rerelease, the game is now much easier to find, and it's more likely that the news of it's release will spread. Even if a physical copy is sold out, the game is still up for download digitally on the eShop. But what is it that makes this version different? Well...

Although this game is not a "full" remake of the original, it has quite a lot of improvements. First of all, the game now features full voice acting for all major characters, and story scenes. While some lesser characters (such as one time NPCs) are text only, voice clips have been added to at least give them some personality. On top of this, the game's dialogue has been reworked to fit the new voice acting, and to improve the script in general. As a very story heavy game, these changes are very much welcomed.

Besides the voice acting, the game also features new story chapters, as well as a new key character. This new timeline not only adds to the original experience, but it also gives past players a reason to return to the game. Of course the game also offers an "original" story option as well, which allows you to play the game without the new content as it was on the DS, but chances are most would prefer to see everything the new game has to offer. The game also has new character art (with the old art being released as DLC), and has been updated for the 3DS' wider screen. Along with this also comes some new CG images during key parts of the story, rather than sticking with the simple sprites as the original did. (Plus analog controls have now been added thanks to the circle pad, but the original d-pad is still there as an option.)

Overall this version of the game is a pretty big upgrade from the original classic, and a must have for turn based JRPG fans.

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