Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 42
  2. Negative: 2 out of 42
  1. Resonance of Fate is definitely for hardcore RPG fans only, but at the same time the map and combat systems make it substantially different from anything you’ll have likely played before.
  2. Stylish combat that is as challenging as it is exciting provides the backbone for this great role-playing game.
  3. There's nothing like Resonance of Fate out there anywhere. Sure, that means this new merging of turn-based and real-time battles has a few stumbles here and there, but for a first effort in an emerging genre, this is one hell of a debut.
  4. 85
    Quite simply one of the best games you'll never play.
  5. Much better than the average Japanese role-playing game. The unusual setting and the amusing story guarantee a fresh experience, but we hope for more weapon options in the sequel.
  6. Maybe it passes over without being noticed, but we hope its good ideas don't.
  7. You just need to accept the fact that Resonance of Fate will inevitably frustrate you, especially at first, and you have to resign yourself to grinding very, very often.
  8. Any true JRPG fan will find that Resonance of Fate, despite all its shortcomings, is an exciting and challenging adventure...and at its core - a great battle system that is as complicated as it is brilliant.
  9. Resonance of Fate is definitely not a game for everyone. What some may call insane micromanagement, others will call depth. What some would refer to as cheap and unfair challenge, others will consider challenging.
  10. Featuring a deep combat system and a huge load of interesting ideas, Resonance of Fate is one of the more interesting JRPG of these last months.
  11. A hugely interesting game, as fascinating as it is frequently frustrating, as engaging as it is eccentric and, for those who are hooked by its quirky charms, it will provide one of the most inspired approaches to the JRPG seen in a decade.
  12. It's a slow burner, but once you get to grips with the ridiculously deep battle system, its hooks won't loosen until you see all 16 long chapters out. [June 2010, p.117]
  13. Resonance of Fate is one of the best JRPG of these last months. Featuring a deep combat system and a huge load of interesting ideas, this game is a true gem for the RPG fans. The main story has a diesel acceleration, but after few hours everything looks great.
  14. There is a lot of exploration and side-quests to do, but only if you're willing to dedicate the time and effort to learn the mechanics and explore the world. If you're willing to overlook these potential problems, it's difficult to find a better choice than Resonance of Fate.
  15. Resonance of Fate is a welcome breath of fresh air in the bloated, clichéd JRPG world, Tri-ace have managed to craft a very tactical, hardcore battling system that is far from forgiving, but has some excellently unique ideas.
  16. Tough, but incredibly rewarding. [May 2010, p.68]
  17. An explosive JRPG hamstrung by drab environments and duff characters.
  18. About the only desire it does not quite satisfy is the one for a heavy, involved plot.
  19. Resonance of Fate is a good role playing game, probably the best creation from tri-Ace studio so far. A deep combat system allows hardcore players to find what they need, although poor storytelling and a not impressive graphics are two cons to deal with.
  20. The core gameplay - everything from character and weapon customization, to the incredibly nuanced combat - is fun and delightful. Almost everything else, though, feels pedestrian.
  21. Resonance of Fate has an amazing fighting system, but is also a very weird game, with strange sexual jokes.
  22. 75
    Are you looking for a RPG which offers something totally different than Final Fantasy XIII for example? Well, if you don't have any problems with a difficult and extensive gameplay system, then Resonance of Fate is your game to buy.
  23. It’s a solid effort from tri-Ace in the end, and a marked improvement on their other titles this generation, but the solid gameplay is let down by its sometimes overwhelming difficulty and a bland story and world-design.
  24. 71
    This game is a strange kind of role playing game. You play the battles during the game with guns and that’s original. The game also contains a nice story and pretty cool environments. This game is a nice RPG but it isn’t the best RPG of the moment. Nice to try and play one time, but the missing of the tutorial and a very extreme learning curve is something that could have been better.
  25. Like no JRPG you've seen. [Issue#95, p.120]
  26. The battle system is perhaps the game’s strongest asset, with stylish gun-slinging action that wouldn’t look all that out of place in something like Devil May Cry.
  27. Resonance of Fate tackles things fairly uniquely and that takes some getting used to. When you have the patience to learn the ropes, there’s an addicting and original adventure waiting for you. It’s not so much about the story or surrounding as it is about grinding to level up, though.
  28. JRPG comes with an attractive yet imperfect combat system, fascinating imaginative world and a couple of fresh ideas. [Issue#190]
  29. 70
    Resonance of Fate is for the hardcore JRPG fan. It can be difficult and confusing, and requires a lot of grinding and heavy lifting to make it through to the close.
  30. Whilst the steampunk atmosphere is really enthralling, the soundtrack delightful, the cut-scenes interesting, and complete with a level of sense of humour to the whole thing, the battle system really does have a massive and infuriating learning curve.
  31. Resonance of Fate is ambitious and has an exciting combat system, but you’ll need to immerse yourself in the game for a long time to master the steep learning and difficulty curves.
  32. Yes, the game may have some uncreative genre trappings, but the great combat and interesting map structure are fresh and even the established parts are still what fans look for in RPGs. [May 2010, p.80]
  33. 70
    Resonance of Fate probably won't be named game of the year or end up on a Greatest Hits list, but it is definitely one of the more enjoyable RPGs that I've played recently and should be taken into consideration the next time you need an RPG fix.
  34. Resonance of Fate may appeal to the JRPG connoisseur who is looking for an interesting and challenging new take on combat. Others most likely will be thrown off by the silliness, steep learning curve, required grinding, and other pains – especially when there are so many recent well-rounded RPGs out there.
  35. 65
    Resonance is a bold and intriguing role-playing game which is held back by an atypically poor narrative and a preposterous difficulty curve which will alienate all but the most dedicated.
  36. For all the spectacle of Resonance's gunfights, the game feels restrictive. It's a strategy game in which your tactical options are limited to one or two reliable strategies, and an RPG in which character development is chained to similar lines. [May 2010, p.96]
  37. Battles are random. You’re dumped in at the deep end with little indication of how to do what you’re meant to, and when compared to FFXIII everything feels so last century. The characters have the same emotion as a corpse. It’s not at all streamlined, and graphics are washed out and low-res; it’ll take the most hardcore JRPG fan – and we’re emphasizing the ‘J’ – to accept this. A pity, as the townships and world are intricately designed. [Apr 2010, p.76]
  38. The fighting is too complicated and the story could have been more interesting in Tri-Aces latest effort. Thumbs up for thinking outside of the box, though.
  39. While the battle system receives two thumbs up for trying, the rest of the game receives a thumbs down. The steep difficulty might turn off casual RPG fans, though hardcore RPG fans will enjoy the challenge.
  40. 58
    Resonance of Fate features some pretty substantial (and fussy) systems made for endless fiddling and tinkering -- which is why it's a shame that the learning curve is so ludicrously steep.
  41. Unfortunately, Resonance of Fate gets almost everything wrong and even screws up what it got right.
  42. You'd have to be the hardest of the hardcore to play Resonance of Fate through to the end (or an intern at Game Revolution). It is violently unruly and complex in its battle systems and structure. I'm sure there are plenty of masochists out there in the RPG community, but Resonance of Fate exudes punishment in spades.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 107 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. Aug 4, 2012
    Simply put, this is the game Final Fantasy XIII should have been. The tone and feel of the game is similar to that of Final Fantasy VII and VIII, with the same semi-open world map and a heap of minor sub missions. The world feels rich and alive, and the gameplay is fast and exciting. The art style mirrors that of a true anime and despite some stiff animations during some cut scenes, the game holds up well even a few years after its release. The reason it loses a point is due to its simplistic tutorial (that is optional and can easily be missed), which fails to fully explain how to perform all the moves in this somewhat complicated, yet easy to master game. Full Review »
  2. Mar 9, 2011
    Amazing game, this game got way too much flak for a "steep learning curve". It just requires some actual thought on how to battle and once you actually master the battle system you can pretty much breeze through all encounters surprisingly quickly with little thought. The characters are incredibly witty, there's some excellent banter going on in the cutscenes on the occassion immature humour is played straight as a mockery/for a laugh and this works particularly well (if they tried playing it seriously it would be... an affront to anyone's intellect but eh.)

    The only downside to the game I can think of is it can quickly become repetetive and at times if you're going for trophies an absolute GRIND-FEST. The storyline is told in a subtle way, lots of fore-shadowing and allusion rather than outright plot-progressing. At times it can feel that there is no over-arching storyline but it is there and it rewards those who go looking for it and investigating into matters personally. Other than that this is an excellent game well worth a purchase.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 25, 2010
    Firstly this is not a game for everyone. In some ways this is an old school J-rpg and at times it seems hell bent on beating the crap out of you.This game requires you to get used to get killed in an ordinary battle on the map and will punish you mercilessly for a slip of judgement and any moment of bad luck. There is grind involved and if you don't like japanese rpg storylines well you wont like this one. Having said all that this game is probably the best Jrpg on the PS3. The battle system is deep and one you get the hang of it incredibly rewarding which is good because if you don't get the hang of it this game will punish you. The combination of risk and reward in the bezel system which requires you to constantly risk everything allows for some incredibly tense battles and keeps the action fast and frantic and never loses its challenge. The puzzle system of the hex grid and the crafting system means that there is nearly always a reward for you grind be its stat boosts through the towers or new clothes or items discovered in a treasure chest from unlocking just that one extra hex. Added to this the numerous side quests the interesting and well designed towns and levels and good artistic vision this is my personal game of the year and to be honest i suspect that this game will go on to be much better liked than the vast majority of the "expert" reviews would have you believe. Full Review »