Review by roadkill
"Best RPG since Final Fantasy Tactics"
Graphics - 10
If you've ever played the original Wild Arms, the battle graphics are the exact same. If you haven't, let me try my best to describe them. Total 3D with crisp textures, when you attack you're opponent; you're veiw pans over so that you can see you're attack from a different angle. The feild is a bit different then the original. These graphics may remind you of Xenogears were you can rotate your veiw at the press of a shoulder button. These graphics are perfectly done, a big hand goes out to the team at Contrail.
Sound - 7
Most areas of the game have excellent sound such as battles, towns, even the screen saver (yeah, you heard me, this game has a screen saver) which features the main theme song of Wild Arms in it. But, unfortunitly, there are just a few spots in this game were the music really annoys you. You see, most of the music in this game can be compared to a 30 second wav file repeated over and over again. Most of the time, the endings and beginnings of these wav files flow smoothly into each other, but there are just some songs that, well, miss that flowing smoothly part by a long shot.
Storyline - 10
First off, let me tell you, Wilds Arms series is the only series that you have to play all three characters to continue. What happens is, at the start of the game, you get a choice of whom to start with. Well, there comes to a point in the game where you can no longer continue with that character and have to start with another one. I'll describe this phenominon more in detail in the characters portion of this reveiw. Anyways, you're characters meet, you all get choosen to join this vigilanty party tring to stop these terrorists, and well, the story is alot cooler then that, just play the game.
Characters - 10
Like I stated earlier, I've never seen anything like this in any other RPG. You start with one character, do all that you can do with that character, start another caharacter, when it comes to the end of that characters little history, you get to your last character to play. Then the three of these charactors meet, you become friends and that's your team. But, unlike Wild Arms, Wild Arms 2 has more then three characters you can choose from in your party. I don't know why, but both Wild Arms feature the same three different types of characters, two teens (a guy and a girl) and an older guy.
Concept - 10
Ok, now this is cool. Of course your characters level up, but as you level up, you gain PS (Personal Skill) points, much like Star Ocean you can exchange these points towards abilities like full HP at level up, increse resistance against status effect and so on. The two guys, Ashley and Brad, use what are known as arms (this is not were the word arms in the title comes from). Ashley, a recent army recruit, uses a bayonette and Brad, a war hero turned war criminal, uses a handy-dandy bazooka. Anyway, as the game progresses, you can obtain new addon abilities for your arms, you can also level up your arms as well as upgrade your arms (upgrades like a higher hit percentage, more bullets or attack power). The girls in this series always have magical abilities, well, the same is true here. Lilka, a novice magician just starting out, can learn new magic spells as you progress (provided you pick up items called crests). Each character can also have guardeans equiped, these raise some of the stats of the character as well as give them as specifiac ability. Each character also has what's known as FP. You can think of FP as limit breaks. But rather, each character has four different limit breaks. This limit breaks become available at intervals of 25%. When you're FP bar is 25% full, you can access one, at 50%, you can get two, all the way to 100%. But, these limits are not all there automatically, they have to be learned as you progress in the game.
Control - 9
This game gives you the option of configuring your own perfect control style, though the default configuration is a little akward. Also, in this game, it is rather difficult to steer your vehicles when you do get them.
Overall - 10
This game wins my vote for best game since Final Fantasy Tactics. One thing you'll learn when playing through this game, it is rather confusing, but that's all right, I still love it. This game is a continuation of the first Wild Arms not meaning that the storyline is a continuation but this game makes many references to object, technologies and events from Wild Arms so try playing the original first, it's not imparitive though.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 07/27/00, Updated 07/27/00
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