Ladies and gentlemen of Kotaku, children of all ages. I will now attempt to explain to you the battle system in Sega and Tri-Ace's upcoming role-playing game Resonance of Fate. Drumroll please. (And let me know if I lose you.)
Resonance of Fate, fine people, is a role-playing game set in a fantasy future. Imagine a mile-high beanstalk of a tower, with leaves of terrain sprouting from the stalk. This terrain represents the neighborhoods of this world, The Machine. Each leaf is a neighborhood of hexagons full of towns and battle zones. These are the places where you may have an adventure. The higher you go, the richer the society you will find. Observe the day and night cycle. Observe the realistic outfits. No cloaks here. Just jeans. Leather coats. The Sega man says, there are no spoiled-teenager stories being told. This is political intrigue and the adventure of some people who find that they cannot die.
Across this terrain you will fight, and you will fight only with gun. Your party of three has no swords, no magic and no beasts to summon. It has pistols, machine guns and grenades.
Your fights will be random battles. They will occur in confined battle instances, three of your party against some enemies.
You will take turns in combat, as you do any classic Japanese RPG. You will use guns that you've modified, having bolted on larger clips and special scopes.
Your combat turns will be on a timer, kind of like, the Sega man says, Valkyria Chronicles. The further you walk toward the enemy, the more your move meter will be drained. Once you stop moving and begin the attack, the rest of the meter will drain. As it drains, your targeting reticule over the enemy will sort of spin. With each rotation it will gain more potential power. As you press a button, you will unleash your gunshots. During this time the enemy may be shooting back.
But, wait! You will be able to do special Resonance Attacks. These will involve aiming a beaded line across the floor toward the enemy and then starting the assault. Your character will run along that line and you will be able to press a button to make him shoot as he runs. Each Resonance Attack will cost a jewel from the meter at the bottom of your screen.
You will want to intersect the path of the other members of your party. This will earn you Resonance Points.
Strategy twist: With enough Resonance Points, you will be able to do special Resonance Attacks called Tri Attacks. These will allow you to aim one character at the enemy and have all three of your characters commence the attack. Pressing the action button will fire shots during the attack rush.
Pay attention, because you can do and take two kinds of damage: Scratch Damage. Direct Damage. Machine guns do Scratch Damage. It knocks an enemy health bar down a lot but leaves behind blue on that bar. This damage is temporary and will be healed over time during the battle. Only pistols do Direct Damage, which knocks the blue away and hurts the enemy.
Early in the battle, the damage you take will all be Scratch Damage. When you lose a full health bar of it, you lose a jewel from your jewel meter. Your health bar will be full again. When you are down to your final jewel, your character will die. Except! You will only die in the context of battle. The battle will re-start. In the context of the story, your character cannot die.
This is how a JRPG does turn based battles with guns. It is, fine Kotaku readers, hard to explain. You would even miss some of it were you to see it with the naked idea, as I was worried I did when I watched a Sega rep play the game in New York City early this week. But it does seem daring, complex and the Sega man was having fun.
For my next trick, I will stick my head in the mouth of a lion.
Look for Resonance of Fate on the Xbox 360 and PS3 in late March. It's out already in Japan. Maybe someone there can explain the parts of the battle system that you didn't understand here.