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Wild Arms, or WildEST Arms?

DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss.Registered User regular
edited September 2007 in Games and Technology
It got an 8.2 from GameTrailers, and I've always been a sucker for the Wild Arms series, even though the first one was really the only one worth a damn. I saw it at GameStop - 40 bucks and a free 80 page art book? Yes, please.

So I bought it, and what the hell, it's actually really good!

The story is the JRPG cliche boy-on-adventure, but what Wild ARMs 5 succeeds at is making the characters likeable. More than a few times the dialog has gotten an honest chuckle out of me. I can't stress it enough - while it may lack in originality, what it does, it does nearly flawlessly. The voice acting is top-notch - in particular, Greg's defense of certain accusations is very impassioned and believable.

Dean, the main character, is kinda immature, but it's an exuberant youthful immature, as opposed to "dumb as a box of rocks" characters like Lloyd from Tales of Symphonia. His excitement in some scenes is palpable. You can palp it. Avril's dialogue is a bit stilted, but I can't tell if it's intentional or not - her sketchy background makes it possible she's not quite human. Rebecca serves as the perky female lead, and somehow manages not to completely grate on the ears. Maybe it's because her dialog is so believable, or that her reactions have some real emotion behind them.

The battle system is a lot of fun, too. You start every battle with full HP on a grid made of 7 hexes. You can occupy the same space as any ally, and every attack or spell hits anything on the targeted hex. Also, some of the hexes have elements which turn normally non-elemental spells like "Blast" into elemental spells, making spell casting a bit more interactive than selecting a command - in order to maximize your damage, you'll want to find a hex with an opposite element from your opponent - but keep in mind that you'll take double damage, too. And since each battle refills your HP, you can expect enemies to hit HARD. So far it seems pretty well balanced, nothing as cheap as one-shots, but with about 1200 hp, I can expect a decent attack to lop off 3-400 if it hits me, and opposite elemental spells are hitting for 800 or so when I don't watch where I'm standing.

Like I said, all the characters are likeable, and maybe more importantly, they're all useful. Often I have a hard time deciding who to put in my party because everyone is exceptional at something, and no one really has any glaring weaknesses in the name of "balance".

My only gripe is probably related to my PS2 taking one too many hits, but the transition into battle always has a half-second pause, and the transition out of battle is a fade-to-black that takes about 2 seconds longer than it should. It's especially noticeable if you have the Accelerator turned on in the options, which allows you to move from hex to hex at double speed, execute commands immediately and auto-skip almost all attack animations.

I'm about 10 hours in, and I'm glad that Wild ARMs finally has a decent entry that manages to do the name justice.

Humor: (no spoilers)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCZ40Rgxbug

Delzhand on

Posts

  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I dunno... Dean's voice was rather annoying. But I've always been a sucker for the Wild ARM games as well. I just... couldn't talk myself into buying the 5th one.

    urahonky on
  • B:LB:L I've done worse. Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I see what you did there.

    B:L on
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  • SilpheedSilpheed Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Is this the game where the main character uses a pair of big guns as tonfas?

    Silpheed on
  • BlackjackBlackjack Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I actually like Wild ARMs 5 the least out of all of them.

    Everything you said, I pretty much feel the EXACT OPPOSITE. I hate all of the characters, the only time I chuckled was at how laughably bad the writing is (Well, okay, the part you linked a video too was pretty good). The battle system's good, but it was better in four since not everyone could move and attack at the same time, etc)

    Blackjack on
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  • Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I enjoyed WA3 and 4. 4 was mind numbingly easy, but I still enjoyed it.

    (WA4 is easy because they include an enemy that's called like.. Super Apple or some shit that gives you EXP equal to how much damage you do it. I don't remember the entire thing, but suffice to say you can max out levels early and fast.)

    Magus` on
  • BlackjackBlackjack Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Actually, Wild ARMs 4 is easy because Raquel is horribly, horribly broken.

    Blackjack on
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  • Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Which is ironic, considering her story.

    Magus` on
  • BlackjackBlackjack Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    She has a debilitating disease that causes her to rape everything with her spearsword.

    Blackjack on
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  • ClevingerClevinger Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    What was the general consensus of Wild Arms 3?

    Clevinger on
  • Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I enjoyed it.

    Magus` on
  • BlackjackBlackjack Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Me, too. It's my favorite in the series, although 2 is a close second.

    Blackjack on
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  • Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    It also has an awesome tune that plays when you fight one of 3 characters. I forget what they're called, or the name of the tune, but it is awesome.

    Magus` on
  • BlackjackBlackjack Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    The prophets. The song is called Black As Sin, Red As Blood.

    Blackjack on
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  • Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I want it. :(

    Magus` on
  • etoychestetoychest Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Yea, it's imperfect, but it was a good entry in the series, and miles above the 4th game. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It's the 'lil RPG series that could.

    etoychest on
  • AJRAJR Some guy who wrestles NorwichRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I thought Wild Arms 3 was pretty boring myself. It was pretty good for the first half, but after a while it kept dragging on, and it lasted far longer than it needed to. The battle system really got tedious towards the end too, even with the somewhat interesting way of avoiding enemies.

    AJR on
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  • etoychestetoychest Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I think the camps were pretty divided on WA3. I was talking to one of the other writers at Gamasutra and he was bored to tears by it, and actually liked part 4, so really there is not any concensus on this franchise it seems.

    etoychest on
  • hideohideo Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    It was ok. But the nude bits were a bit too realistc, they're kids for god's sake... And what's the deal with Ross' hair?

    hideo on
  • Martin Lawrence OliverMartin Lawrence Oliver Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I dislike the Wild Arms series, with the exception of WA5.

    Martin Lawrence Oliver on
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