Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 42
  2. Negative: 2 out of 42
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  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. 85
    Quite simply one of the best games you'll never play.
  4. 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.
  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. 83
    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. 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.
  10. 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.
  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. 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.
  13. An explosive JRPG hamstrung by drab environments and duff characters.
  14. 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.
  15. Games Master UK
    Tough, but incredibly rewarding. [May 2010, p.68]
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. About the only desire it does not quite satisfy is the one for a heavy, involved plot.
  19. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    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]
  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. 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.
  22. Resonance of Fate has an amazing fighting system, but is also a very weird game, with strange sexual jokes.
  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. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    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]
  29. 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.
  30. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    JRPG comes with an attractive yet imperfect combat system, fascinating imaginative world and a couple of fresh ideas. [Issue#190]
  31. games(TM)
    Like no JRPG you've seen. [Issue#95, p.120]
  32. 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.
  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. 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.
  37. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    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. Edge Magazine
    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]
  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 161 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 161
  1. GodOfWar
    Mar 17, 2010
    despite all of the negative reviews about the games silly nature or steep learning curve this game is superb... Anything worth having is despite all of the negative reviews about the games silly nature or steep learning curve this game is superb... Anything worth having is worth working for or towards and that is what makes it that much more enjoyable. screw game informers diagnosis of this game for whoever played it had no idea what a good rpg is. further more they obviously don't understand the rpg player. This game is a breath of fresh air in a genre that is now a days given more attention in the graphics department than the story and gameplay. Full Review »
  2. Feb 12, 2018
    Wow, what an experience. If only all niche JRPGs were like this. The multitude of recent low-budget Vita/PS4 JRPGS just don't compare.

    Wow, what an experience. If only all niche JRPGs were like this. The multitude of recent low-budget Vita/PS4 JRPGS just don't compare.

    All JRPGs need a gimmick these days and this one has many. Its combat system, weapon upgrade system, and world map are wildly different from other JRPGs (even in 2018). Trying to describe these effectively would require a FAQ, and there's already plenty of those around.

    But for a summary, the world map and weapon upgrading system are unique and fun. The combat is the biggest departure from other games, but don't leave much room for error. It requires careful planning, quick reflexes, and an intricate understanding of how it works. Most people call this "hard," but it's not really after you learn it.

    As for the story, it's a good one. The overall tone and primary goal of the leaders in this world is to find out why their lives are tied to specific crystals so that they can overcome death. All of this while the rest of the population is mostly religious and believes in God, while information on the true nature of life is slowly leaking out into the population.

    Your party of three takes a more or less side approach to the story. Instead of actively participating in the main goal of the world leaders, they're just trying to get by doing their daily jobs. Though of course, your jobs frequently get you involved with the leaders of the world.

    Your party is also incredibly interesting. In the beginning cut scene, one is trying to commit suicide for reasons that I won't spoil for you, another has quite a dark recent past that you get to uncover, and the third has connections to the world's leadership.

    The storytelling is relatively vague and you learn important bits of information in small chunks. It's up to the player to put things together to figure out why things are the way they are. And because your characters (and many of the world citizens) have dark pasts, it makes sense that they just don't tell everyone what happened in the past.

    So it's a great story if you like to piece together mysteries, but not so much if you like things told to you straight.

    Some more tidbits:

    - Just about every NPC in the game has something interesting to talk about. As you progress through the chapters, their dialogue changes and you learn more about their stories. In other games, this is overdone with too many NPCs and no set points when you know their dialogue is updated. In this game, the amount of NPCs is low enough and the chapter breaks makes knowing when they have new dialogue easy.

    - The game might seem kind of grindy, but there's no actual grinding in the traditional sense (fighting monsters over and over to level up / etc). It's just that the fights last so long that it can take you an hour or two to complete an objective or get through a dungeon. As long as you look at it from a strategy-RPG perspective, it's not bad.

    - The game includes Japanese voice acting and it's great (The English isn't so good). Pick the Japanese voice track unless you don't like the language or don't like that some of the in-battle banter isn't subtitled.
    Full Review »
  3. 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 andSimply 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 »