Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology Game Poster Image
Excellent time-traveling tale whose time has come again.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Features strong themes of teamwork, overcoming obstacles. Time-travel aspect of story helps to show that decisions we make can have both direct and indirect consequences in future.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Player, most of his allies fleshed out as honorable heroes, trying to save their world while also making sure not to lose sight of those individuals needing help.

Ease of Play

There's a lot of reading, menu navigation, character/inventory management, but nothing too overwhelming. Combat is turn-based, giving players plenty of time to decide on their best tactics. There's also a lot of grinding involved, sometimes to earn necessary experience points and gear to take on more difficult threats.

Violence

Players fight in turn-based battles against various creatures, enemy armies, using a combination of medieval weapons, magical spells. Art style is more cartoonish; violence is shown with visual flash and flourish, but no blood or gore.

Sex

Some still shots feature artwork of female characters in revealing clothing, poses.

Language

Some profanity, including "s--t," occasionally appears in dialogue.

Consumerism

Supports downloadable content, scheduled to release post-launch, which features extended adventures, special equipment/boosts, cosmetic game changes. Most require additional purchases via Nintendo eShop.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drunk characters appear in taverns throughout game, often making references to their drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology is a fantasy role-playing game for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is an expanded remake of the 2011 original on the DS. The game has a complex plot, which requires a lot of reading and comprehension to follow. There's also quite a bit of menu navigation and character/inventory management, almost a staple of classic RPG games. Combat is a constant part of the game, though the art style keeps the violence from being graphic. Parents should also be aware that there are some suggestive art shots of female characters as well as occasional profanity that appears during some conversations over the course of the adventure.

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What's it about?

Check your clocks and revisit the timeline-hopping adventures of Stocke and the White Chronicle in RADIANT HISTORIA: PERFECT CHRONOLOGY, an updated and expanded remake of the classic DS role-playing game, Radiant Historia. In a land torn apart by war and struggling to cope with the spread of a deadly, mana-draining "Sand Plague," all hope for tomorrow lies with Stocke, a special agent from the kingdom of Alistel. After a mission goes horribly wrong, leaving his team defeated and him near death, Stocke finds himself transported to the mysterious land of Historia. Here, time is fluid, and history is not absolute. Through the use of a Historia tome called the White Chronicle, key moments can be altered, creating alternate timelines with vastly different outcomes. With the power of the White Chronicle at his command, Stocke must venture between these timelines, gaining new allies and discovering the source of the Sand Plague, all the while working to change the fate of his world for the better.

Is it any good?

Have you ever wondered how your life would be different if you changed one decision in your life, or what it would be like to see how both paths would play out? That's the premise of Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, as well as what makes it stand out from the usual RPG fare. From a storytelling perspective, jumping back and forth between alternate timelines is a great hook and keeps players' interest. It's hard not to get wrapped up in the thought that one decision can alter the world so dramatically while opening up even more branches with new consequences, or that all these different choices and circumstances can still lead to the same place. Layer this sort of philosophical idea on top of the game's more traditional fantasy story, and you wind up with something truly unique.

Of course, no matter how invested players get in the plot, this is still a video game. As such, it needs to bring some solid gameplay to the experience. Thankfully, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology does a pretty good job here as well. Anyone who's played a classic role-playing game should feel right at home here, with basic staples like leveling your party by grinding for experience points (XP) and navigating a deep inventory of equipment. Combat can feel a bit quirky, though. All actions on both sides are picked before taking effect, requiring a little extra forethought and attention. Enemies also can move (or get moved) from the front row to the back, or vice versa, affecting both their action order as well as the strength of their attacks. It's fairly awkward at first, but considering the length of the game and how often you need to jump into combat, it's something you'll get accustomed to in time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about choices and consequences. What are some of the ways that the choices you make today can affect your future? How can even small decisions lead to major results down the road?

  • Talk about teamwork. What are some positive ways that teamwork can help to accomplish your goals? How can people with diverse backgrounds and skills come together and benefit each other?

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