Hello everyone! Megan Highwind here again. Today I am going to be starting a new segment that we like to call “Retro Reviews”. It is exactly what it sounds like, a review of an older title. What’s considered “retro” to us at DRE for this the purposes of this segment is anything older than the current generation of consoles and we are going to try and pick games that did not hit insane amounts of hype or attention such as the Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, or Halo games. Rather, we are going to pick games that we really enjoyed and let you know how we rate them!
Today’s Retro Review is of a not-to-well-known PlayStation 2 game from one of most well-known RPG developers, Square Enix, called Radiata Stories.
Since Squaresoft turned into Square Enix it has been no secret to anyone that knows me that I have thought that the games produced by the developer have gone downhill. However, this game is one of the ones that I think Square Enix did right and there are quite a few reasons that I think that this game is definitely one worth playing. To begin, the characters that make up this game are each so unique and fun to play with that even though the story is not anything out of the ordinary, it is still a great game. The main characters of Jack, Ridley, and Ganz all have interesting personality quirks that make them completely different from each other and hilarious in their own ways. Ganz is a stout armor clad knight who is trying to protect Ridley but seems to never get his way, Ridley is the independent princess who never wants to do what others tell her, and Jack is the young adventurer who does not have a lot in the way of book smarts, but makes up for it by somehow maneuvering his way through any situation. The humor that the characters bring to the game is one thing that made me enjoy it so much. The game never takes itself too seriously and even in the situations where it seems like things are going to get too complex, something happens to make you laugh or appreciate that the developers knew that this was not going to be a very dark game. The voice acting and the graphics that are put into the characters are also well done and add to bringing the characters to life on the screen. The one main thing about the storyline and the way it is played out is that it takes place in a sort of real time setting. Characters can perform different routines at different times of day, ala Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask, and if a side quest or other potential event is missed, it may not become available again until the next night or not at all.
The combat system in Radiata Stories is not anything special, but that is not to say that it is bad. It is a normal hack and slash type where you are able to control Jack and give directions to Ganz, Ridley, and the other characters(there are something like 200 different characters with different personalities and combat skills for the player to collect throughout the game)you collect along the way. Jack has his own special set of skills that can be accessed that add some level of customization to the system. If you enjoy the kind of turn based style like a Star Ocean game might have, then you would enjoy the style of this game. Hack a character till it is gone, defend yourself from attacks, use items when necessary, rinse and repeat. While it may not sound like the most groundbreaking game play of its’ time, it was still enjoyable to me and others that I know that played this game. There is something pure just allows you to beat an enemy and move on without having to rethink your play style with every battle. Another thing that I thought this game had were beautiful graphics. The backgrounds all looked great and the different locales were done in a great amount of detail that I appreciated. Not to mention, as discussed ealier, the characters themselves have an entertaining and unique style of their own.
To sum it all up, not everyone liked this game or will if they decide to jump back in time and play it. I personally enjoy RPGs and games like this that allow me the freedom to explore towns and villages and do a variety of different side quests. Also, being able to choose which characters to have in my party and the inclusion of the time specific mechanics were something that I had a good time with. If you happen to love RPGs, like I do, and do not mind a game that is not the best or most groundbreaking thing on the market, then I suggest next time you dust off your PS2 that you give Radiata Stories a try!
As always we ask that you read, rate, review and share. Also! If there are any games that you all would like us to rate in our retro review please let us know!
-Megan Highwind has left the party.