Radiant Historia DS

  • Publisher: Atlus
  • Release Date: Feb 22, 2011
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 73 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 73
  2. Negative: 1 out of 73
Buy On

Review this game

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Mar 20, 2011
    10
    "If Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy Tactics had a baby, Radiant Historia would be it."

    I can't remember what critic wrote that, but It's pretty spot-on. Radiant Historia is a fantastic game.
  2. Jun 4, 2011
    10
    Radiant Historia is a brilliant game that uses time travel to progress the game. I have put 20 plus hours into the game, and I'm only on chapter 4. I love the game so much it doesn't even feel like I have spent that much time playing it. If you can find yourself a copy(since by my knowledge atlas is done manufacturing any more copies of the game) please grab it, and enjoy one of theRadiant Historia is a brilliant game that uses time travel to progress the game. I have put 20 plus hours into the game, and I'm only on chapter 4. I love the game so much it doesn't even feel like I have spent that much time playing it. If you can find yourself a copy(since by my knowledge atlas is done manufacturing any more copies of the game) please grab it, and enjoy one of the best DS games I have played. Expand
  3. Mar 10, 2011
    9
    This game is unique and fun!

    Reminds me of Chrono Trigger in terms of polished quality RPG

    I am still in the middle of it atm but for sure, the gameplay is far better than Dragon Age 2

    This is a beautiful game, and the developers took care in the characters, and it shows
  4. Apr 12, 2011
    10
    When I first noticed Radiant Historia I was already a fan because of its time traveling theme, something that I never fail to enjoy even if it has been abused in countless novels and games. Having Atlus as the developer of course helped, since I have always loved their great SMT series.

    The actual game, however, was even better than I hoped: not only was the plot extremely well crafted
    When I first noticed Radiant Historia I was already a fan because of its time traveling theme, something that I never fail to enjoy even if it has been abused in countless novels and games. Having Atlus as the developer of course helped, since I have always loved their great SMT series.

    The actual game, however, was even better than I hoped: not only was the plot extremely well crafted and mature (as its main characters), but the time traveling was the best I have ever seen in any game, easily stripping the master of the genre, Chrono Trigger, of its crown. The two timelines system with multiple sub events and countless optional scenes really made me play like I never did on Ds, and at the end the great closure didn't erase my need for a sequel with similar gameplay. The soundtrack was another great selling point, even if I would have liked a bit more variety.

    Handhelds really are providing the best jrpgs of this generation, with games such as this, Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky and Infinite Space to show gamers that the genre is still alive and kicking,
    Expand
  5. Jun 27, 2011
    10
    When i first saw this game on the shelf, i thought, "why not give it a shot, it looks like my kind of game." After i got home, I WAS HOOKED! The storyline grabbed me, the combat was genius, and even though there is one flaw in the "time-line crossing", just ignore it and you continue to love it. P.S.: the flaw is that if you save a man in one timeline, that would mean in order to be safeWhen i first saw this game on the shelf, i thought, "why not give it a shot, it looks like my kind of game." After i got home, I WAS HOOKED! The storyline grabbed me, the combat was genius, and even though there is one flaw in the "time-line crossing", just ignore it and you continue to love it. P.S.: the flaw is that if you save a man in one timeline, that would mean in order to be safe in the other timeline, he would have to cross timelines. He does however say "haven't i seen you before?" That kind of makes up for it, but in reality, it doesn't matter. Hope you love it!!!! Expand
  6. Feb 26, 2011
    9
    The game has beautiful character art, good music, and writing that makes me feel like I'm playing a classic SNES/PS1 era JRPG. Combat can be approached like a puzzle game and greatly rewards damage output for creative thinking. The down side is that even the easy battles require a significant time and MP investment, which left me constantly feeling starved of power and frequentlyThe game has beautiful character art, good music, and writing that makes me feel like I'm playing a classic SNES/PS1 era JRPG. Combat can be approached like a puzzle game and greatly rewards damage output for creative thinking. The down side is that even the easy battles require a significant time and MP investment, which left me constantly feeling starved of power and frequently desperate feeling. The time travel aspect is well used in the story, as there is constant tension and mystery. Overall the game has a lot of strong points and they work well together resulting in what I feel is one of the best Japanese RPG games to come out in quite some time. Expand
  7. Jul 6, 2011
    9
    I regret not paying attention to this game when it was released earlier this year, Radiant Historia is a gem among gaming. It is also a sure sign that the DS has more "great" releases this year than the 3ds. The story is amazing and nothing like I've ever played before. It reminds me of Chrono Trigger, but is more tactical in my opinion. The style and characters are jaw dropping, evenI regret not paying attention to this game when it was released earlier this year, Radiant Historia is a gem among gaming. It is also a sure sign that the DS has more "great" releases this year than the 3ds. The story is amazing and nothing like I've ever played before. It reminds me of Chrono Trigger, but is more tactical in my opinion. The style and characters are jaw dropping, even though the graphics are only decent. The graphics work though for the system's abilities. The story is like a choose your own story, but ultimately you do have to end it the same way. The music is top notch, actually I recommend playing it with head phones. I was a little disappointed by the lack of voice acting, but the cut scenes were amazing nonetheless. The game is fairly lengthy, clocking in around 35 hours, and there are plenty of side quests. This is by far one of the best JRPG's I've played in years, and it is a must play for any DS, DS lite, or even 3ds owners. Expand
  8. Dec 31, 2011
    9
    This game is fun and easy to pick up. It doesn't fall into the trap that other RPGs have done where they made either the story pretentiously over-the-top nonsense or made the battle mechanics ridiculously complex that half of the elements and characters are pointless. Radiant Historia however has a well-rounded story that's willing to make fun of itself at times. The battle mechanics isThis game is fun and easy to pick up. It doesn't fall into the trap that other RPGs have done where they made either the story pretentiously over-the-top nonsense or made the battle mechanics ridiculously complex that half of the elements and characters are pointless. Radiant Historia however has a well-rounded story that's willing to make fun of itself at times. The battle mechanics is set up so that strategy DO make a difference in how successful you are and all the characters have a purpose so you're willing to put the time in leveling EVERYONE up. This is a breath of fresh air in RPGs. I recommend it. Expand
  9. Jun 16, 2012
    9
    Radiant Historia is one of those rare breeds of jRPGs that manages to have both addictive gameplay AND compelling story. It's a great compromise between games like Final Fantasy, which has a good story, but poor gameplay, and Pokemon, which has a great gameplay, but no story to speak of. The battle system is very refreshing and easy to pick up. The battles are conducted on 6x6 grid, andRadiant Historia is one of those rare breeds of jRPGs that manages to have both addictive gameplay AND compelling story. It's a great compromise between games like Final Fantasy, which has a good story, but poor gameplay, and Pokemon, which has a great gameplay, but no story to speak of. The battle system is very refreshing and easy to pick up. The battles are conducted on 6x6 grid, and involve tactics such as area spells, traps, pushing assaults, air assaults and more. In other words, get ready to have your strategic taste buds tickled. As for the story... while one might say it is a pretty standard fantasy fare (be the hero - save the world, hurrdurr), I rank it higher purely by the virtue that it nimbly avoids kitschy pathos that is present in most heroic fantasy books and games. That's not to say that the game's plot is irrational or immature - things like politics, environmental disasters and messianism are hardly child's matter after all. My only complaint, and the point were the developers really dropped the ball, are the graphics. It is really disappointing to see a 2011 DS game look on par with some early GBA titles. Other than that, the game is a treat, a really beautiful treat to us, jRPG maniacs of the world, and I really couldn't recommend it enough. Sleeper hit right there! Expand
  10. May 27, 2011
    7
    While far deeper and better done than what I've come to expect of Atlus, this game reminds me more of Xenogears or Chrono Cross than CTrigger or FFTactics.. It lacks a true polished feel from moving around, and the combat system, while gimmicky (admittedly par for the course nowadays) is at least playable and as the game progresses, increasingly enjoyable. The story is extremely slowWhile far deeper and better done than what I've come to expect of Atlus, this game reminds me more of Xenogears or Chrono Cross than CTrigger or FFTactics.. It lacks a true polished feel from moving around, and the combat system, while gimmicky (admittedly par for the course nowadays) is at least playable and as the game progresses, increasingly enjoyable. The story is extremely slow to get started, and I found my palm on my face more than a few times wondering why I should bother to try to save this game world once it did. The characters, while strange-looking, generally lack the two dimensional quality I've been forced to endure all too often as of late in the genre, even though it takes a very long time for some of them to be fleshed out. Learning when to back off, move forward or backward in time or change story lines can be frustrating, and while sometimes you have a few leads, there were several times where I simply got lost. The ability to skip through long-winded exposition is definitely a saving grace, given the inherently repetitive nature of some parts. It's not the best ever made, but it's definitely above mediocre, and should be on the purchase list of fans of the genre. Just be patient when you're getting started. Expand
  11. Aug 22, 2011
    10
    Radiant Historia is the best RPG I've played in ages. Being a huge fan of PS1 and SNES RPGs, this game is a true embodiment of what an RPG should have: engrossing story, complex characters, fun battle system and a gripping ambiance. The story involves some familiar elements, such as time traveling to save the world, but it does a lot to stand on its own. You not only have to travel time toRadiant Historia is the best RPG I've played in ages. Being a huge fan of PS1 and SNES RPGs, this game is a true embodiment of what an RPG should have: engrossing story, complex characters, fun battle system and a gripping ambiance. The story involves some familiar elements, such as time traveling to save the world, but it does a lot to stand on its own. You not only have to travel time to prevent the end of the world, you have to balance two alternate timelines (due to the meddling of an evil third party) because events in one impact the other. Each choice you make could lead to a sudden end, in which case you have to go back to a key point and figure out the correct path. Don't worry, it's not at all confusing or tedious because you're given a detailed record of events and you can skip nearly any event or cut-scene to avoid repetition. To bring it all together, a varied and complex cast provides unique personalities and nuances to the story. The grid based combat, which allows you to move enemies around and combine them into slots to build combos and damage multiple enemies at once, provides a simple, fast, deep and incredibly fun battle system. The visuals are very vibrant and artistically marvelous, though the character animations are a bit limited. The music is simply amazing. It's probably one of the most beautiful soundtracks ever (listen to "Memories of the World", "Blue Radiance", and "And Earnest Desire of Grey" on YouTube). I've played all the great RPGs of the past decade... the Final Fantasies, Mass Effects, Fallout 3, Oblivion, Kingdom Hearts. But sometimes I don't care about the latest technological advancements facial animations, complex decision making systems that can change the whole universe, finding dirty water in demolished buildings, exploring huge lands or Disney/Square-Enix fan service. Sometimes, I just want a simple, absorbing RPG and that is what Radiant Historia is. Atlus deserves a standing ovation for not only taking a risk, but also for creating one of the best RPGs of all time. Collapse
  12. Mar 4, 2013
    8
    Radiant Historia surprised and amazed me in all the right ways. While I was expecting a mediocre, somewhat generic JRPG experience, I found that the story grabbed me from the start with interesting characters and well-written dialogue. The music also helped to keep me going, because it's very, very good especially with headphones. These are songs you would gladly put on your iPod. TheRadiant Historia surprised and amazed me in all the right ways. While I was expecting a mediocre, somewhat generic JRPG experience, I found that the story grabbed me from the start with interesting characters and well-written dialogue. The music also helped to keep me going, because it's very, very good especially with headphones. These are songs you would gladly put on your iPod. The graphics are good, but nothing terribly special. The combat system takes a lot of the good qualities from a tactical RPG without being one. You and your enemies stand on an invisible grid that is outlined when selecting targets. Based on your positioning or the positioning of your enemies, you can hit more than one at a time or do more damage. Some attacks may swipe at more than one hex of the grid, and there are even special moves to "push" enemies into other enemies' hex, allowing you to hit multiple enemies all at once. Tying together a combo can be super useful, such as one that pushes an enemy down into another enemy, then another move that pushes both of those enemies back into another enemy, and then a third powerful move that hits all three enemies at once, since they are now stacked on the same hex. But the supposed highlight of the show here is the White Chronicle and the Historia. Basically, you are allowed to travel back and forth in time using crucial branching decision points as your base nodes. Early on you are given the option to select to join OPTION A or OPTION B (no spoilers). At this point, whatever you pick, you split history and can thus return to this point from the future to choose the other option. Changing things in one line of history can effect things in others. This is a crucial point. While you do have to complete most of the historical lines one way or another, it's still a cool feature and interesting twist on the story. If you are debating getting this game, then stop debating and get it. Pick it up new or used, either way it's well worth the price. Expand
  13. Dec 29, 2011
    10
    This game is incredible. The time travel aspect was well done and the gameplay is great. Easily one of my favorite JRPGs. If you can find it, buy this game.
  14. Apr 27, 2013
    8
    Interesting and intriguing story
    + Avoidable, visible enemies (no random encounters)
    + Very good soundtrack + atmospheric visuals - Combat is a bit simple and tedious - Characters are somewhat bland Conclusion: A very lovely and underrated JRPG for the NDS. It's definitely a more classical approach at the genre, but it turned out very well. If you're looking for a story-driven
    Interesting and intriguing story
    + Avoidable, visible enemies (no random encounters)
    + Very good soundtrack
    + atmospheric visuals

    - Combat is a bit simple and tedious
    - Characters are somewhat bland

    Conclusion: A very lovely and underrated JRPG for the NDS. It's definitely a more classical approach at the genre, but it turned out very well. If you're looking for a story-driven RPG, pick this up.
    Expand
  15. Aug 28, 2015
    9
    It's George R R Martin's Chrono Trigger...sort of.

    Radiant Historia, despite being on a handheld, puts even most console JRPG to shame. It has it's slow moments, but those are quickly forgotten amongst the clever time-traveling mechanic, and several additions to the standard JRPG gameplay make for an incredibly engaging experience. Add on a politically-driven war story filled with
    It's George R R Martin's Chrono Trigger...sort of.

    Radiant Historia, despite being on a handheld, puts even most console JRPG to shame. It has it's slow moments, but those are quickly forgotten amongst the clever time-traveling mechanic, and several additions to the standard JRPG gameplay make for an incredibly engaging experience. Add on a politically-driven war story filled with complex characters, backed up by a score from Yoko Shimomura of Kingdom Hearts and Mario & Luigi fame, Radiant Historia is both a loving throwback to JRPGS of the 16-bit era, while also bringing a lot of new innovations to the table.

    And no colored weddings!

    THE GOOD
    + An fantastic political war story with no clear right or wrong side.
    + The time-travel mechanic is tons of fun to traverse.
    + Combination of grid-based and classical-turn based combat makes every battle require strategy.
    + Yoko Shimamura is at her absolute best when it comes to the music.

    THE BAD
    - The story has the occasional slow points.
    - Gameplay and story progression are rather linear.
    Expand
  16. Feb 26, 2014
    7
    Radiant Historia created a fresh battle system that I really enjoyed and would love to see another game pick up and improve on what was there. The beauty of this game comes in the simplicity of the battle system and menu scrolling.

    Considering you spend a lot of time going into historia you need a clean and easy to use system to travel throughout the story and it delivers. They could
    Radiant Historia created a fresh battle system that I really enjoyed and would love to see another game pick up and improve on what was there. The beauty of this game comes in the simplicity of the battle system and menu scrolling.

    Considering you spend a lot of time going into historia you need a clean and easy to use system to travel throughout the story and it delivers. They could have added lots of fancy mechanics to it but I am glad they didn't.

    The battle system while simple to use and understand still manages to become a challenge as you try to shuffle the turn order to maximise your attack and minimise the damage you take.

    Presentation is where this game is let down. The graphics are nothing special and the environments are pretty boring with no real chance for exploration. While the character designs are good I don't feel their characters developed as much as they could of done, only Stocke I felt got this. This music is nothing memorable as well, which is a shame.

    Overall Radiant Historia is substance over style but well worth a playthrough. My playthrough took 45+ hours.
    Expand
  17. Apr 20, 2014
    10
    It's sad that this game is a NDS release. You clearly need a better sound system for this awesome music. The graphics on the other side are fine as they are, even with the DS limitations the style looks pretty good and unique.

    The game itself is one the best RPG's of all times. It gets better the longer you in it. Everyone who decides to invest some time in this game will get something
    It's sad that this game is a NDS release. You clearly need a better sound system for this awesome music. The graphics on the other side are fine as they are, even with the DS limitations the style looks pretty good and unique.

    The game itself is one the best RPG's of all times. It gets better the longer you in it. Everyone who decides to invest some time in this game will get something precious in return.
    Expand
  18. May 5, 2015
    10
    Awesome characters, gameplay, history and musics, this is one of my favorite RPG ever, if you like the genre, you have to play it.

    It could have a more difficult campaign, but it is still awesome.
  19. Jun 28, 2015
    9
    A well-written, heartstring-tuggin' turn-based RPG that is, perhaps, the best on the DS. Still holds up well today, and has one of the best storylines in JRPG history. Main story takes roughly 35-40 hours to complete, but you're looking at over 80 if you complete every timeline "node". Well worth the money.
  20. Jul 13, 2015
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Setup (Overview):
    The land is dying. Inch by inch is slowly being consumed by desert. The source of the corruption is the remains of ancient empire that used to rule the continent a thousand years ago. The ancient empire attempted a experiment that would have boosted the power of mana, the source of life and magic in the land, but something went terribly wrong and the empire was destroyed almost over night. Ever since the corruption has been spreading from the site of the experiment.

    From the ruins of that empire, four different nations emerged. Allistel, Granorg, The Beast Nation, and the rough and tumble desert wanders. As the land turned to desert the fight for resources and fertile land led to open conflict among the groups. Eventually this turned into a war of total domination for Allistel and Granog, with everyone else caught in the middle. Allistel is led by a cruel queen and Granorg is directed by the word of a hermit like prophet and controlled by a power hungry general.

    You play as Stocke, a agent for the special operations arm of the Allistel army. Your story begins on what should be a routine meet and escort mission. Except it doesn't quite go the way you planned...

    The Story(Some Story Details):
    Stocke fails. The informant is killed and so is Stocke's team. Stocke fight's to the death, but there is no way he can overcome the enemy forces. As his vision fades the last thing he sees is the crumpled bodies of his team mates.

    Except he wakes up again. He finds himself in a strange place of floating stair ways and closed doors. He also see's two children standing in front of him. They tell him that history is broken and that they can give him the power to set it right. They tell him that he can go back and save his team, but that will only be the beginning. Someone is altering history for their own ends, which always ends with the world turning completely to desert. Not sure whether he is hallucinating or not Stocke accepts their proposal and finds himself back with his team before they chose the wrong path that led to their deaths. Except this time he has the Historia, a book that was given to him by the children, that allows him to travel through time.

    Armed with the knowledge of what went wrong Stocke is able to complete his mission and return to Allistel with his team still alive. He would swear that he just had a nightmare, except that he still has the strange book. Then the children appear again. They tell him that he will soon have to make a major choice and from that point there will be two different time lines. The true history and the alternate history.

    If he wants to save the land then he must travel between the two histories in order to find the correct path to stopping the spreading desert. It won't be easy though. Each history affects the other, what seems like a good path often can end in utter disaster. Stocke must also contend with whatever or whoever is changing history using a power similar to his. Stocke's only edge is that he can return to Historia to live again and hopefully find the right way forward and stop the endless desert from becoming reality.

    Conclusion(My Overall Opinion on the Story):

    This is a old fashioned game that has a neat story that made me want to see what happened in the end. There are plenty of twists and turns throughout the story and the game kept me guessing till the end on who the real villain was. The combat system, for the most part, is interesting and keeps the battles fresh. There are also plenty of things to collect and quite a few side quests for the player to track down and complete.

    I only had couple of small problems with this game.

    The first problem is that the pacing can be a bit off in some areas when the story doesn't quite explain what it want's the player to do. This only happened in a couple of instances and it usually involved instances where I thought I should win but the developers neglected to point out in some way that I was intended to lose. Not a big deal after searching the internet a bit for a guide, but still annoying.

    The second problem I had was just another small annoyance and that was with the combat system. The combat system basically lets you move, most, enemies together so that you can deal damage to multiple enemies at once. The only problem I had was that later in the game this can slow combat down a bit with either enemies that cannot be moved or enemies that are resistant to certain attacks. In my case I just switched to party that had one character that had a few arts that could move enemies, while the other two hit really hard with magic or strength attacks.

    Overall this is a neat little game that anyone who likes time travel stories and JRPG's should take a look at.
    Expand
  21. Aug 22, 2011
    0
    Radiant Historia is the best RPG I've played in ages. Being a huge fan of PS1 and SNES RPGs, this game is a true embodiment of what an RPG should have: engrossing story, complex characters, fun battle system and a gripping ambiance. The story involves some familiar elements, such as time traveling to save the world, but it does a lot to stand on its own. You not only have to travel time toRadiant Historia is the best RPG I've played in ages. Being a huge fan of PS1 and SNES RPGs, this game is a true embodiment of what an RPG should have: engrossing story, complex characters, fun battle system and a gripping ambiance. The story involves some familiar elements, such as time traveling to save the world, but it does a lot to stand on its own. You not only have to travel time to prevent the end of the world, you have to balance two alternate timelines (due to the meddling of an evil third party) because events in one impact the other. Each choice you make could lead to a sudden end, in which case you have to go back to a key point and figure out the correct path. Don't worry, it's not at all confusing or tedious because you're given a detailed record of events and you can skip nearly any event or cut-scene to avoid repetition. To bring it all together, a varied and complex cast provides unique personalities and nuances to the story. The grid based combat, which allows you to move enemies around and combine them into slots to build combos and damage multiple enemies at once, provides a simple, fast, deep and incredibly fun battle system. The visuals are very vibrant and artistically marvelous, though the character animations are a bit limited. The music is simply amazing. It's probably one of the most beautiful soundtracks ever (listen to "Memories of the World", "Blue Radiance", and "And Earnest Desire of Grey" on YouTube). I've played all the great RPGs of the past decade... the Final Fantasies, Mass Effects, Fallout 3, Oblivion, Kingdom Hearts. But sometimes I don't care about the latest technological advancements facial animations, complex decision making systems that can change the whole universe, finding dirty water in demolished buildings, exploring huge lands or Disney/Square-Enix fan service. Sometimes, I just want a simple, absorbing RPG and that is what Radiant Historia is. Atlus deserves a standing ovation for not only taking a risk, but also for creating one of the best RPGs of all time. Collapse

Awards & Rankings

#5 Most Discussed DS Game of 2011
#2 Most Shared DS Game of 2011
Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 30
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 30
  3. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 11, 2011
    84
    Radiant Historia's take on time traveling is a bit of a letdown, but it's nevertheless a strong and addicting JRPG. [Oct 2011]
  2. Aug 18, 2011
    85
    Radiant History is a great game, mainly due to the serious plot and the mature characters.
  3. Jun 27, 2011
    90
    Nintendo DS, without a doubt the queen of the RPG genre in recent years, gains another incredibly good addition to its library in Radiant Historia.