Review by Sabatathedark
"What cult classics are made of."
Title: Wild ARMs 2
Console: Play Station 1
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Today I'll be reviewing wild arms 2 for the Play Station. This is my first review so stick with me
This being an RPG, story plays a major part in making this a good game. The story in this game is very good.
The story is about the planet of Filgaia, which is dying due to partially to the blaze of disaster which struck the planet thousands of years ago, and due to the increasing number of monsters appearing throughout the land. The main character Ashley Winchester has been invited to join A.R.M.S. a Special Forces squad formed to protect Filgaia. However at the first meeting of ARMS they are attacked by a terrorist group called Odessa, who performs a demon summoning and all of the members of arms are possessed by demons, Ashley is the only survivor of the attack. Soon after a nobleman named Irving buys the rights to ARMS and uses it as a force owned by no nation. Soon after ARMS must take on Odessa, and that's all I'll say with out being to spoilerific.
Although much like the original Wild ARMs the story is a tad bit cliche the characters are what make this game truly worthwhile. The game does a wonderful job on characterization, much better than many RPGs I've played (including many from Square-Enix)
The main kink in the story however is the poor translation. While there is no all your base are belong to us. Lines, several points in the game I had to reread lines several time to understand what was just said. Also a lot of puzzle hints where translated poorly so a FAQ may be needed to understand how to solve the puzzle.
The game play in this of WA2 is beautiful. Its turn-based formula allows for quite a bit of flexibility in battle. You get six characters (five are mandatory while one is optional.) each of which learn their techs in a different manner. Ashley and Brad receive their ARMs (not the organization but ARMs as in fire ARMs) from treasure chests, while Lilka must place crests on a chart to determine what spells are going to be in her arsenal, Tim must kill a certain amount of enemy while equipped with a specific medium (two techs can be earned from the earlier mediums while only one from the later mediums), Kanon learns hers at random when using lower level tech (example: using drive cut may lead to leaning phalanx) and your secret character who learns her techs by stealing them from other enemies.
Also I highly recommend getting this secret character, or else you can only fight one secret boss
Aside from their techs each character also have 4 force abilities that may do numerous things from summon a guardian (depending on the medium which is equipped) to make a spell or item's effect spread to the entire group instead of just on person. Also equipping a character with a medium will give them a custom command such as Raftina's invincible or Fengallon's Pickpocket, which may come in handy in desperate situations.
As for the difficulty, the early fights are piss easy; somewhere near the end of the first disk you'll find some hard fights, and the second disk is jam-packed with some difficult fights.
Unlike many RPGs, characters do not start a battle with their Force Points (similar to MP in many RPGs) at max, instead they start with a small amount and it build as they attack, dodge, or take damage. A character's techs don't consume FP but their force abilities do. I especially liked not being able to pound on the enemy with my most powerful attacks right of the bat.
Outside of battle the game I just as fun. When exploring on the world map you must search for locations. They won't be there until you search the area, no need to worry though, you can usual find them due to discolored ground or directions given to you by NPCs.
Dungeons are very fun, but the puzzle-weary be warned, almost every room in the dungeons is a puzzle, most range from easy to moderate in difficulty but as mentioned above, the game gives some god-awful hints sometimes, so an FAQ may be handy.
Ugh the graphics, bad, just bad. Adequate, yes, they do their job. Of course graphics like these where doing their job 4-5 years earlier. Then again you shouldn't be playing a game for just beautiful graphics.
Ahh yes, the music. Quite possibly some of the best Video game music is in this game. There's rarely a moment when the music doesn't fit the mood. Having a western themed game, not just any music would fit, and Michiko Naruke seems to understand that very well, as she's done the music for the first four games in the series (and roughly 24 out of 80 tracks on the fifth) with rarely a song that completely sucks.
So in short I highly recommend this to anyone looking for some good RPG action, or just something that's just a lot of fun. While it's not for everyone (Graphic snobs and self proclaimed RPG fans' who only play square titles) I think most can find something to like.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/06/06
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