Wild Arms User Review
The game begins with the selection of one of three characters; Rudy, a blue haired boy with a mysterious ARM weapon; Jack, a cocky treasure hunter (isn’t that always the case?); and Cecilia, a young princess with talents in the magical arts. After a brief introductory section with each character they soon find themselves together battling evil forces in order to save the world.
Set in the world of Filgaia, a medieval fantasy setting mixed slightly with the American Wild West, the three adventurers find themselves under attack during a festival (reminiscent of Chrono Trigger) by an army of demons who steal Cecilia’s “Tear Drop,” a magical pendant the demons hope will free “Mother.” Aside from a few great moments and reveals, nothing about the story is terribly interesting.
Combat is turn-based (you take turns choosing which attacks to use and on what enemies to use them) with random battles. Rudy, Jack and Cecilia make up your party, each using their own set of special skills (guns, swords, magic) to deal with foes. While exploring the environment you can also switch between them at any time and use their unique abilities to solve puzzles on the fly. For example, Rudy has the ability to place bombs anywhere which comes in handy with uncovering hidden paths.
One of the more interesting choices is the difference in the visual presentation between combat and normal gameplay. In combat everything’s rendered in 3D while normal gameplay is 2D. Nothing about the visuals in either is particularly great, but I found the 2D style to be more appealing and wish the game had been more consistent and stayed completely 2D.
Despite the very heavily influenced opening anime movie, the Western theme really isn’t that prevalent throughout the adventure. The game is much more standard fantasy than you might think. You will however see things like wagons representing shops and meet a gal named Calamity Jane. The real standout is the musical score, utilizing stringed instruments and whistling that help give the feeling of the Old West to great effect.
Developed by Media Vision (Rapid Reload), Wild Arms was not only their first attempt at an RPG but also one of the first RPGs to arrive on the Playstation. The game’s at its best when everything moves at a good clip, the gameplay feels intuitive, and the world slowly opens up more and more. I thought the puzzles were too obscure at times, effectively halting progression, and that the story was a bit underwhelming, but I still enjoyed Wild Arms for its sense of discovery and unique ideas.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.