Radiant Historia — Atlus’ Time-Travelling Masterpiece Doesn’t Deserve To Be Buried

The 3DS is no more, but this gem can still be brought back.

Story Highlights

  • 3DS’ shutdown has locked away many splendid gems, including Atlus’ masterful IP, Radiant Historia. 
  • Radiant Historia’s perfectly executed time-travel plot makes it one of the best JRPGs on the DS/3DS.
  • The game is too good to be buried, a port or a remaster for modern platforms can rejuvenate it.

It goes without saying that the loss of the Nintendo 3DS was a very dear one. The console was home to some of the most legendary titles out there and provided easy access to not just 3DS, but the DS and even older consoles’ games. With peculiar hardware and a massive library, the 3DS was a force to be reckoned with, and killing it has to be one of the most cruel moves from Nintendo.

What about all the creative gems that are not available on any other platform? How will modern audiences ever get to access those? There are a lot of games on the list of being stuck on the 3DS, waiting to be rescued. One of the most prominent titles is, of course, Radiant Historia; one of if not the best JRPG on the platform.

YouTube video

Radiant Historia — Atlus’ Underappreciated Masterpiece

Did the name Atlus take you by surprise? That’s right, it’s a JRPG by the devs behind the massive SMT and Persona series. 

Radiant Historia has the honor of being one of the handful of non-SMT and Persona games that Atlus ever developed. It was a joint project between Staff members from the SMT series and one of Square’s most underrated JRPGs around, Radiata Stories. As such, Radiant Historia was created with an amalgam of very unique concepts, all mixing perfectly.

Radiata Stories is another highly underrated gem you shouldn't sleep on
Radiata Stories is another highly underrated gem you shouldn’t sleep on

Created for the DS, designing the gameplay for the unique hardware was a tall challenge, but the result was much better than expected. Radiant Historia is a third-person, top-down JRPG with tactical turn-based combat and a story that’ll have you falling in love with it.

Radiant Historia = Perfection. This game is hands down the best 3ds game I have played and #8 in my curated top 100 games. This sub is amazing for this recommendation. DS version will remain sealed. Thank you!
byu/engagekill86 in3DS

Take a look at the combat. It incorporates a grid-based system where the battlefield is a 3×3 board and you can play around with the enemies’ positions, knocking them around with the strategic turn-based mechanics. As for the overall system, Suikoden fans felt right at home, the Suikoden inspiration was very strong here.

Radiant Historia's grid-based combat is aprreciably intriguing
Radiant Historia’s grid-based combat is appreciably intriguing

The game was a masterpiece and one of the best titles on the DS, good enough to be greenlit for a 3DS remake (Perfect Chronology), incorporated with a ton of new content. I know what you must be thinking. If it was so good, why haven’t I heard of it? There’s no doubt Radiant Historia is a genuine masterpiece, but its release was plagued with problems that led to its anonymity.

For starters, the game was released both times at the very end of their respective consoles’ lifetime. The 3DS remake came out when the Switch was a year into its life. Couple that with a lack of marketing for a new IP not known before, and you get your answer.

A Time Travel Tale Done Right

Time Travel has always been a fascinating concept in gaming, and in general. The existence of alternate timelines, journeys through time, and disjointed yet connected plots. As exciting as it all sounds, executing this with perfection is easier said than done, especially in games. Can you name one where you felt the concept was done without any flaws or apparent logic problems?

I can, and that is none other than Chrono Trigger. If there’s a game with a time travel plot done right, it’s that game no questions asked. However, what if I were to tell you that there was another? That’s right, say hello to a beautiful and complex but meaningful time travel story, Radiant Historia.

Chrono Trigger, an unrivaled masterpiece
Chrono Trigger, an unrivaled masterpiece

There are many reasons why Radiant Historia is one of the best JRPGs on the DS/3DS, but probably the most significant of these is its time travel plot and the way it executes it with finesse. Although you don’t have much variation in the endings, the events that lead up to it are the fascinating part. In a way the unchanging ending is impressive in itself, it brilliantly connects the narrative and sums it up.

Radiant Historia doesn’t proceed in a simple linear fashion. You’re presented with a UI of branching stories and timelines accessed by the White Chronicle. You can dive into these separate sections and work towards weaving a complete tale from scraps, which when accomplished creates a most beautiful picture

Radiant Historia's time-hopping story is brilliantly done
Radiant Historia’s time-hopping story is brilliantly done

There aren’t many games that can present a time-related plot as brilliantly as this one. If you adored Chrono Trigger and are looking for a similar depiction of the concept, I implore you to give Radiant Historia a try.

Finished up Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology – That was and incredible game, easily on par with Chrono Trigger, if not better
byu/mougrim in3DS

Bring Back Radiant Historia, Atlus

We know for a fact now that Atlus can create exceptional games, but that has been true for a long time now. The developer has rarely strayed from its established franchises, but when it does go to an independent IP, you can be sure it’s a masterpiece. This is precisely why I have such high hopes for Metaphor ReFantazio. A new IP with elements from the old? Sign me up.

Why Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology Deserves a PC and Switch Port
byu/KnightShade078 inJRPG

However, that’s all the more reason to give Radiant Historia, a fellow new IP, another chance. It would be such a waste to let this irreplaceable gem just rot away, stuck on a platform no longer available. If a sequel or a new game is not possible, Atlus should at least consider a port of Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology for PC, or any other modern console.

Did you find this helpful? Leave feedback below.

Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡

How can we make this post better? Your help would be appreciated. ✍

Subscribe to our newsletter and get up-to-speed gaming updates delivered to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy.

Subscribe to our newsletter and get up-to-speed gaming updates delivered to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy.

Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming and has been an avid consumer of many different genres for over a decade. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces.

Experience: 8+ months || Education: Bachelors in Chemistry.

Related Articles

Join Our Community

Enjoyed this article? Discuss the latest gaming news, get expert help with guides and errors, and chat about all things gaming on eXputer Forums and Discord Server. Connect with fellow gamers who share your passion by becoming a part of eXputer's community.