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Resonate ~call out my review~

  • Roden
  • 08/29/2015 08:14 PM
Resonate ~call out my angel~ is JosephSeraph's entry into the IGMC 2015, a game about growing a tree, growing a friendship, and growing an identity.


The gameplay in Resonate is very solid. You're given three characters to play around with, and can customize them with cards that give them magical abilities. The characters themselves each have unique traits though- Bell seems to be a very balanced character, Monche is a tank, and Agni has a high damage output both magically and physically. Monche is pretty much the best character in the game, IMO, as building on his tanking capabilities will make him nigh invincible in no time. Because of this, he took center stage in my view and kind of detracted from the other characters in battle. This isn't a flaw, just an observation of what could be a dominant strategy.

Even though the combat is fun, it's pretty breezy, and oddly enough the regular enemies in the second zone are perhaps the hardest challenge you'll face in the game. The bosses, while strikingly beautiful, don't offer much besides a few dicey turns while you figure out the strategy to completely destroy them- once you've got it down, they can barely touch you. As a note, the final boss is a little dragged out- you basically can't lose the battle, so there's no reason for it to last as long as it does.

The game is of course, very linear, and doesn't offer a lot of exploration- understandable given the time constraint of the IGMC and the phenomenal amount of work put into the maps that are already there. I was surprised at how smooth the movement in the game is, being made in RPG Maker and relying on 8-directional movement and painted backdrops- there was never an instance where I got stuck or couldn't walk where I wanted to.

Worldbuilding (Setting, Atmosphere, Writing, and Characters)

I can't comment much on the world or setting itself, because the game doesn't give you much. It seems to take place in a vague dreamworld, where the characters are one by one tested against their personal flaws in three segments. There's some subtext going on with Agni and the villagers in the plains, but the game never really explores it's world in any depth or explains anything that's happening outside of the main goal.

Honestly, the writing, characters and worldbuilding are the weakest parts of the game. I'll admit that I played this over the course of about a month and thusly some of the story may have been lost on me, but even so, the characters seem really reactionary- their motivations sort of just pop up out of nowhere with no prior explanation, which really hinders the three segment story. Monche suffers the worst from this- the third level is his challenge, and just beforehand it's almost like he suddenly realizes that he needs to have a personal crisis and starts acting weird. It's really strange.

The fact that the dialogue simply floats above the characters respective heads without signifying who's talking can sometimes be confusing as well, since they'll be standing close enough together that you can't really tell who's who. Combine this with the fact that the characters all speak very quickly in succession and with short, non-descript sentences, and it can make for a bit of a headache to understand.

Aesthetics (Graphics and Music)

(pictured: oh my gosh beautiful)

This is where Resonate shines, as the above image no doubt shows. Anybody that knows Jo should know that he's a fantastic pixel artist and digital painter, so this is no surprise. The entire game uses painted backdrops reminiscent of Legend of Mana and the Squaresoft PS1 RPGs of yore, and by doing so it establishes an atmosphere and identity completely unique in the RPG Maker field.

The music, although I don't know what the source is, is really nice- I found myself humming some of the tunes in my everyday life every now and then, which I don't think has ever happened with an RM title before. If nothing else, Resonate is worth playing simply for the audio-visual trip that it takes you on.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, Resonate is a nice, solid experience with fantastic art and music that's unfortunately brought down by weak and often confusing writing. I'd still recommend it however, and give it a totally average score.