Reading Time: 4 min read

A game that’s more than meets the eye. Previously released on the Nintendo DS. Radiant Historia was remastered for the Nintendo 3DS. The characters, story, and battle-system make this game feel like a unique JRPG experience. Providing 60+ hours of tantalizing, and entertaining gameplay.

The game introduces you to the main character, Stocke. A knight, whose country is in war with another kingdom. The setting is a world that’s slowly losing its mana (energy) and nutrients that provide the planet with life. In where they dwell, the countries are fighting for domination over the remaining resources.

With your allies, you set out to take over the opposing kingdom. An interesting mechanic to the game is the use of time, past, present, and future. To make decisions on what you think is right (partly). You are given a book called the “White Chronicle” which essentially acts as a time leaping portal. The time segments, the game refers to as “Nodes.” These nodes are time periods consisting of past, present, and future events. It’s your job to journey through these events, to recreate history.

screenshot Node system in radiant historia: perfect chronology

The chronicle is a very important tool in the game. The decisions you make have consequences that will alter the history ahead of you. With that in mind, you can jump back in time to prevent that event from occurring twice. Or maybe you just want to see things burn. Your choice.

In my experience, the Chronicle is both a great idea, yet one that could see improvement. It works great when you get to utilize the chronicle to solve underlying puzzles.

You may find yourself having to jump 2 or 3 points in time, before figuring them out. However, Radiant Historia promotes this method of approach as characters behave differently when you reach different nodes within the game.

Some events that you visited in the past also will change depending on what current event is going on in your timeline.

Timeline jumping may sound exceptionally confusing, and that’s because it can be, but Radiant Historia manages to keep the jumping around tame. You’re not overwhelmed with multiple nodes to keep track of, and luckily characters will give hints to where you need to be going, in case of being lost.

While the node system is not confusing. It leaves one to want even more from it. While a very interesting mechanic in a JRPG, the node system can indeed become awfully repetitive. In particular, when you are on a mission that necessitates the need to jump through different nodes in the game, you’re limited to what you can do around that event. The discoverability of content and the interaction you have with characters among others is quite literally “halted” in time. (No pun intended)

Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology Top and bottom screen of battle system.

The Combat System

Radiant Historia’s combat system is not one that is unique to the genre. It offers a turn-based strategy approach, that works with turns based on the degree of the commands you use for your characters. However, the system offers a ‘character staging’ setup. Essentially allowing you to position your characters in different ways, that would offer stat boosts or battle effects against your enemy.

One example of this is being able to change the turn of the current character, exchanging it for one of your other party members. Doing so would allow you to daisy chain combos which would increase the level of damage that would be applied to the enemy. When tactfully used, you could deal with immense damage to the enemy character with just a few simple changes to your party turns.

This tactic I found to be extremely handy when I was dealing with difficult bosses that would not let up. It was especially helpful for getting my healer characters to come up front and heal the party before we perished because of my inadequate decision-making.

Radiant Historia also offers a breadth of characters to choose from, spear-wielders to tank characters. You can choose whichever you’d like to main, with the exception of forced event characters.

Screenshot of Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, Character stocke making a decision.

The Story

Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology tells a story about choice, you as your character work for a kingdom waging war against another. However, your role entails either seeing the collapse of your own kingdom, the enemies’ or the entire planet. Do you allow yourself to be blind to what happens to the people of another land to protect those you love? Do you save those not like you?

These decisions are what make Stocke, realize who he truly is as a person, it’s a game about discovering your person. Saving a dying world, sacrifice, and determination to see the way forward. Stocke continuously relives the experiences he’s had, figuring out if the choices he made were best. With the help of the chronicle, you’re allowed to make mistakes, even if they mean suffering for a bit.

If you’re looking for a unique experience and a fantastic story. Maybe Radiant Historia will be just up your alley.