Wild ARMs 3
The Wild ARMS series before this game seemed like a rather half-hearted attempt at making a "Western" RPG. This didnt make them bad games, I rather enjoyed the first two, but third times the charm with this series.
Filgia is a dying world inhabited by a hopeless people. Many have given up the hope that Filgia will ever recover from its decay. Even the oceans have turned to sand. Most people stay in villages, safe from the monsters that roam the wastelands, but a few brave souls venture out into the desert, each with different motives; some for adventure, some for freedom, most for money.
You control a group of four of these drifters. The heroine of the story is Virginia, a young woman searching for her father. Shes inexperience, but is somehow elected to be the groups "leader." Next in line is Jet, the anti-hero. He fights for money, period. He also suffers from a rather severe case of amnesia; he doesnt even know how old he is. Then comes Gallows, a Baskar tribesman who is born into priesthood. However, this isnt what he wants, and he becomes a drifter to escape this destiny. Next is Clive, the oldest of the crew. He also fights for money, but unlike Jet, he wont take dirty jobs. By a twist of fate, these four meet one day, and begin their quest together.
The game has enough innovation to make it stand out, but not so much that is doesnt feel like an RPG anymore. The battle avoidance system is perfect. This balances the games rather high encounter rate flawlessly by letting you spend points to avoid battles. Once youre out of points, you have to fight. However, you can reduce the amount of points taken for each battle, and you get one back after a fight. Also, guns are well incorporated into battles. Everyone uses one type of gun or another, and after firing X shots, you have to skip a turn in order to reload. Sandship and airship battles add a bit of spice as well, but are in essence very similar.
The game also breaks some long standing character stereotypes. You know how the big guy is always the powerhouse and the girl is always the best mage? Not happening here! Gallows, by far the biggest character, is the best mage. Clive, a medium build guy, holds the powerhouse title. However, Virginia, the only female playable character, is by far the least damaging character. She compensates with her high evasion though.
And now, scores:
Gameplay: 7.8, its a bit too easy for my tastes. While there are a few difficult bosses, for the most part its lacking in challenge. However, the game featured some great puzzles. Figuring out the puzzles was fun. The battle systems seems a bit repetitive, since characters only have one unique ability each.
Story: 9.0, great story. Virginia and Jet get a bit more spotlight than the other two, but everyone gets their share of center stage, and characters are developed really well. There are a few holes when the characters get together (like Jet deciding to stay without any immediate payment) but overall the plot is pretty good.
Graphics: 8.5, cell shading is cool. The anime intro is really good too.
Replay value: 5.0, the only reason I could see for replaying is getting all the EX File Keys. Not enough for me to go through again.
Music: 9.2, YES! The western style music fits this game like a glove. The introduction track ("Advanced Wind," I believe.) is great. Im still looking for an MP3 of it.
Pros: Well done western feel, great story, and plenty of unique features. However, not so many changes to upset old-school RPG fans. Also, the Zelda-esqe puzzles were fun to figure out.
Cons: Kinda easy, and at the beginning, aspects of the plot seem a little bit forced.
Overall: 8.7, great game overall. Id defiantly recommend giving this one a play through.
Wild ARMs 3 Reviews
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