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Resonance of Fate Demo: Hands On

Newcomer mode provide some much needed battle system hints for beginners.


At a glance, the Resonance of Fate (aka End of Eternity) Jump Festa demo didn't appear to be all that different from the Tokyo Game Show demo. Like the TGS demo, the Jump demo placed you in a bland, gray dungeon that looked like an abandoned building. Those who made it through battles in five rooms were treated to a short cinema scene.

This actually was a new demo, though. Famitsu.com later confirmed it to be the "Playable t.A.B. Demo" that will be offered on Xbox Live and PSN on the 22nd.

End of Eternity and Phantasy Star Portable 2 were the only games in Sega's booth.
The End of Eternity demo was PlayStation 3-only at Jump.

While the setting is the same, the presentation changes tri-Ace has made to the battle system stand out. The battle system is more informative than I remember it being at TGS. At each step in combat, textual prompts in the lower part of the screen indicate what buttons you can press and provide hints as to what the various on-screen lines and icons do. I'm not 100% sure of this, but the character status info in the lower right of the screen also appears to be clearer.

It turns out that I actually played the demo in the "Newcomer Mode," which, as revealed last week, is a demo-only mode that introduces players to the battle system. I presume the textual help is exclusive to this mode, but I don't really see any reason for Sega to remove it, as it doesn't get in the way of battle. Newcomer Mode is not one of those annoying tutorial modes that pauses the action to instruct you on how to play.

Newcomer Mode should make the Resonance of Fate battle system a bit easier to grasp for beginner players. Just bit, though. Helper text or not, tri-Ace's latest battle system is still overwhelmingly complex.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. At TGS, I had somewhat of an epiphany on my second play through, where I felt like I'd finally figured out how all the strangely named systems like Scratch Damage, Invincible Action Attacks, and Resonance Attacks work together. I was able to jam through the final boss then with some amazing acrobatics. (For my TGS writeup, see this story).

It's been a while since TGS, so I'm going to need a bit more time to get back into the game than I was allowed at Jump. Thankfully, with tomorrow's demo, I'll have all the time I want.

The control chart Sega handed out at the event.
Screens of the demo that Sega distributed a couple of weeks back.


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