Developer:SonyComputerEntertainment (SCE) Wild ARMS REVIEW
Publisher:Same as above
Wild ARMs was the game that held me over in the long summer drought. While I was waiting for FF7 to come out in Sept., I had no new RPG to play. I had already played the crap out of Suikoden, now I hungered for something new....... And that game was Wild ARMS (if you couldnt guess).
In case you're wondering about the somewhat odd title, ARM stands for Ancient Relic Machines, I guess the Wild is just to make it sound cool.
Even today, this game still has some pretty tight graphics. The 2D overworld is like a very hi-res SNES game, and the 3D battles actually seem to have a slightly higher resolution and frame rate than FF7s battles.
The special effects in the overworld are pretty nice, with tricks I hadn't yet seen at the time like wet footprints disappearing on the ground. This is STILL the only game with the great dissolving effect I loved so much. Whenever you enter a house, shop, etc. the screen does not go black and then reappear to show you where you are. The roof of the building actually dissolves, then shows you where you are from the rooftop perspective! Its pretty cool! The special effects in the 3D battles, however, are nice but unspectacular. The spells look pretty enough, but the Summons...just don't do the word "Summon" justice.
The battle system is an excellent combination of the battle systems of RPGs before it. There are summons from the FF series and a "Force" gauge very similar to Lufia 2s IP meter. The Force gauge is a 4 level gauge that goes up whenever you take damage from the enemy. You use your force to perform special skills, the more powerful the skill, the more Force that is used. There are many different attacks for the characters...That is, the three characters. Yes, only 3 characters throughout the game. This may sound pretty lame(ok REALLY lame) but because of there only being 3 characters, SCE made them have VERY many different attacks. Cecilia, (the magic user in your group) can learn up to 64 spells!!!! Overall,the battle system is very well done.
The story is quite good, with the plot moving at a good pace. The character development is *excellent*(mainly because there are only 3 characters to develop!) As you play the game, you find out more and more about the characters past.The main characters are as follows: Rudy: A lost boy, who has the gunners gift that many fear( that is where the ARM part comes in),Cecilia,a princess empowered by magic and an enchanted Tear Drop, and Jack, a Treasure Hunter who knows the special sword technique "Fast Draw", but are his motives pure?
I wont get into who the main enemy is, but I will say it is possibly the most creative enemy I've seen. Finding more about the enemies past is cool, and the story includes the single "freakiest" act in any RPG I've yet to play.....Lets just say it involves eating.....Finding out about Rudy is very cool too, wait till you find out what! OOPS! Cant tell you! Go play the game hehehehehehehe! Music is always a very(very) important part to me, and the Wild ARMS soundtrack more than fits the bill. The music is fast paced, well suited to the atmosphere of where you currently are, and is different from other styles of RPG soundtracks I've heard before. Some very nice sound effects make the total sound on Wild ARMS very memorable, and makes me give the sound a 10!!! The presentation of Wild ARMS is flawless, and IS my personal favorite!!! It is an awe inspiring anime intro, with the only the sound of a lone acoustic guitar playing...It slowly builds up, the pressure increasing.....The orchestra-like soundtrack kicking in.....Then, right after its peak, it dies down again to a lone guitar playing....
By the time the intro was finished, I had goosebumps and.......there were tears in my eyes..... Yes, tears. Does this give you an idea of how awesome the intro is??? RESPECT!!!!!
Wild ARMS is a combination of all the old. Since there aren't really any original elements, I would have to give it a low innovation grade. But....Since combining a bunch of old elements in a new way IS kinda innovative in itself, it helps up the grade. This game is VERY long, but there is Zilch replay value. The only time I put it back in my PS is because I need to see the introduction.....! There aren't many extras as far as mini games and sidequests go, but there are more options than I have EVER seen. You can customize everything!!! There's even a screen saver!!! You can draw pretty pictures on your background! Need I say more?
Wild ARMs is one of those RPGs that will be remembered as a "One of
a Kind" RPG....Not because of its innovation, but because of its unique and
refreshing atmosphere. Its very linear, but it moves at such a good pace
and the story is so well laid out that you cant help but be addicted to this
game. Yes, there are puzzles, which you may love or hate,(I hate!) but they
don't get super hard until the end. If you don't own this game, and don't
care if it doesnt have amazing cinematics or pre-rendered back grounds,
just as long as it fits the bill in the other categories(and it does!!!)
then Wild ARMS comes highly recommended.
Ice Man Ash's Reviews
Wild ARMs Reviews
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