Clearing up the confusion between Radiant Historia and Radiata Stories

There’s a new Nintendo DS RPG from Atlus USA coming out in February 2011, at least according to a 1UP article, called Radiant Historia. I know nothing about it, but I want it, and I think I can sort of explain where this “do want” impulse is coming from.

It stems from a love/hate relationship I have with a rather unknown PlayStation 2 RPG dubbed Radiata Stories. Not really sure if these two are connected in the slightest; Radiata Stories was developed by tri-Ace and then published by Square Enix, and Radiant Historia is in the deft hands of Atlus USA. All previews go without mentioning a connection, but something about their names forces me to think of them as siblings–or rather just close friends. If anything, Radiant Historia is likened more towards that of Chrono Trigger, with its style and focus on time traveling. Oh well. Let’s sequeway back to that other RPG then…

Right. Radiata Stories. It’s a game my sister passed along to me after she found herself giving up on it; I think I gave her Dark Cloud 2 and Suikoden V to fix her RPG slump. I hope to one day get those babies back (are you reading this, Bitsy?). Anyways, Radiata Stories is a punny, action-based RPG, with a huge focus on character recruiting, kicking things, and a day/night system. You are Jack Russell, a fiesty teenager who just joined the Knights of Radiata to make his not-around-anymore father proud. Things go as expected until things go unexpectantly amiss, forcing Jack and his friends Ridley and Ganz Rothchild out of the army and on their own. Supposedly, it all eventually leads up to a point where Jack has to choose sides in a waging war; I never made it that far, and I’ve restarted my save slot at least three times.

Like the Suikoden series, the biggest draw here, for me, is in character recruitment. In total, 175 characters can be recruited and added to Jack’s friend list. From this, he can add them to his active party to help gain levels, money, and experience. Some characters are better than others, but the OCD nature of “gotta collect ’em all” is enough to get me scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of strong, worthy fighters. It’s gets even more tricky though as some characters can only be recruited at specific times or places with specific people in your party. Others might give you a quest or ask that you visit them X number of times. It’s imposible to recruit everyone on one’s first playthrough, and if the Internet is to be trusted, Radiata Stories has post-game content as well as a new game+ feature where they allow all previously recruited characters to stick around for game #2. I want that so bad.

But I seem to lose steam and motivation in all three playthroughs right around the same part. Eventually, the plot will fizzle down slowly, and Jack is given freedom to do what he wants for a bit–explore the city, surrounding landscapes, level up, gather friends, and so on. This is where it all falls apart for me. I start gathering friends and quickly forget about the bigger picture, and after struggling to get some specific dudes, I put the game down and never come back. And that’s a shame. The three main characters are greatly designed, especially Ganz, and I’d love to know what happens with the main storyline more.

Maybe playthrough #4 should be a straight beeline to the end, with whatever recruited characters I can get easily. Maybe…

Anyways, this rambling post is supposed to be me about making a connection–if any–from Radiata Stories to Radiant Historia, and it seems like there isn’t one at all. Except for maybe some tri-Ace designers having worked on both games. Oh well. Still, I want to play both, each for their own reasons. Even though the battle system in Radiata Stories is lame and horrible. Here’s to some motivation to hook up the PlayStation 2 again…

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3 responses to “Clearing up the confusion between Radiant Historia and Radiata Stories

  1. Sorry, sir – these are the only two games in my PS2 collection. I would have NO collection at all if I gave them back. So, I won’t….

  2. Hey! I just found this because I was looking for some Radiata Stories pictures. I have played that game through multiple times, and I have always loved it. The big draw for me is the storyline, characters, aesthetics (I’m an illustrator, and I LOVE the way that the world is colored, the character designs, costume designs, etc.), and yeah, the feature of recruiting multiple characters is just so much fun. If you get the chance, I totally recommend just playing it through and getting as many characters as you can/feel like in the first go through, because they are carried over and there is post-game content (though I’ve never completed all of it).

  3. Pingback: GAMES I REGRET PARTING WITH: Star Ocean: The Second Story | Grinding Down

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