I have spent my fair share of time since becoming a reviewer playing countless RPG’s, which consumed a lot more than any other genre. Well today we got the chance to try out the latest RPG developed by Tri-Ace and published by Square Enix, called Radiata Stories for the Playstation 2. So is Radiata Stories another winning RPG? Read our full review to find out now!
Over the past few years the RPG genre has hit what I would call a rough patch, because of the inconsistency and the lack of high quality games. I was looking over some of my reviews of recent RPG’s, and to be honest besides maybe one or two games like a KOTOR, I have not really found anything that stands out in my mind. Where earlier in gaming history we saw great RPG’s coming out seemingly on a monthly basis. So could this possibly be the start of a change in the RPG direction?
Of course if you are a fan of the RPG genre you will already know that a good story is the core of an RPG. In Radiata Stories you play as a young boy named Jack Russell, the son of a world renowned Knight. Without giving to much away you want to follow your dad’s path so you basically are out trying to become a Knight. While training you screw up big time with your buddy and start an all out war, and there starts the game in a very interesting storyline.
So what exactly do you do in Radiata stories? Well the game has a lot of cutscenes that are fully dialogued, and for the most part you will be traveling through the games world and of course going from town to town. I would say that the developers did a nice job of keeping you pretty occupied throughout the game, and for the most part you knew what to do and where to go. Of course the big question probably is how is the combat in the game?
One of the things I heard a lot of talk about in Radiata Stories was the combat system, and how some people were upset this game wasn’t going to be a turn-based RPG, but instead plays in real time. To me however a real time engine is much harder to develop for as there are a lot of things happening of course in real time. The real time engine that is used in this game is pretty standard and not overly eventful. Radiata Stories manages to bring some decent combos into play, but in the long run dissolves into a button mashing affair.
With the action being good but not great, I might as well tell you that it’s the same with the gameplay. The game like I mentioned earlier moves at a good pace, but there are times where things just drag on a bit. For example about half way through the game I found that the story really died down and the gameplay got to a point where it was just the same old same old, and unfortunately there are more then one of these types of instances. With that being said you have to credit the developers for giving a lot of good characters, and some light hearted humor in the game. When I look at the game as a whole, it seems perfectly fine and doesn’t do really anything wrong, but at the same time never manages to wow you with anything overly great.
One of the neatest parts of Radiata Stories is really the unique presentation that the developers use in the game. In fact I must say that although there are some problems that needed to be dealt with, this is one of the most unique looking games I have played all year. I really enjoyed what the developers did with the character models, and although I am not a huge fan of the Japanese style artwork, this game really surprised me, especially with the great use of color.
Of course the environments look great too, although I would have liked to see more variety and a little bit more detail in the environments. Even with that being said they still are very impressive and do standout against most RPG’s this year. Overall the visuals are smooth and solid, and you have to commend the developers for going out of the box.
Radiata Stories is one of those games that you will enjoy but you won’t have that feeling in your gut like wow what a game. Instead you will enjoy your time with this game and find some of the parts of the game to be very enjoyable and others to be more forgettable. Radiata Stories is once again one of those games that is very hit and miss, and although the combat might not have the most depth out there, it still has some other elements like its story and visuals to really hold up a pretty enjoyable game.
Radiata Stories ends up being a good RPG that needs perhaps a little more variety and a deeper combat system to be truly memorable to its fans. Even with that being said it is easy for me to recommend this game to fans of the RPG genre, because I know we are really in need of some RPG’s. This game although not perfect is very capable and can be very enjoyable.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.