TGS 2009: Hands-on: Resonance of Fate

The stylish Resonance of Fate (End of Eternity, as it's known in Japan) blends a semi-turn-based, conventional RPG battle system with a high-speed action game -- with guns. Guns fall into three categories: machine guns, handguns, and grenades. (Machine gun–class weapons do "scratch damage," which depletes an enemy's life, but leaves the possibility for it to regenerate over time.)

I got to check out the TGS demo before interviewing its developers, giving me this opportunity to tell you about it. More importantly, though, the experience gave me something to talk to the developers about (more on that later), and in turn I avoided a very awkward social interaction.
Resonance of Fate's combat is based on standard charge-and-release mechanics. Targeting an enemy with the A-button (on Xbox 360) brings up a circular reticule with a meter around it. When the meter fills, it means a bullet is "loaded" and you can let go of A to fire. You can load up multiple bullets for a combo, but this takes longer and leaves you open to attack. The speed at which the meter fills, and the power of your attacks, depend on how close you are to the enemy. Importantly, your characters move around the battlefield in real time.

Using another meter, your character unleash a special attack with the B-button. You can define a line along which to attack, and then you will begin to run along that line. Each additional press of B until you reach the end of the line will then result in some flashy, often airborne, shooting. You're invincible during this period. It's a unique wrinkle on the normal "limit break" kind of attack, and I appreciated being an agent to what is usually a mid-battle cutscene.

The game occurs on a giant machine that is the only thing keeping one town alive in a post-apocalyptic Earth. Something has gone awry, as is usually the case with giant support systems in any kind of story, and a mutation outbreak has occurred. The creature I fought against was some kind of tentacled monster with gas canisters strapped to it. No idea why, but it was interesting!

The fast pace of the turn-based gameplay of Resonance of Fate seems like it could hold action gamers' attention while still remaining firmly ensconced within the RPG genre. That's just a fancy way of saying it isn't boring.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.