Review by Jordash09

"One of the best RPGs of All Time."

In a time where graphics means everything, Wild ARMs 2 comes along and blows my mind with some of the best game play I have seen, a great story, and characters I actually care about.
Welcome to the world of Filgaia, a world much like our own which will soon face a drastic challenge. In Wild ARMs 2 we follow three main characters: Ashley, a lone gunman; Lilka, a young sorceress living in her sister's shadow and Brad, a war hero turned prisoner. Along with a colorful cast of playable and non-playable characters you are immersed into the world of Filgaia. Our heroes are all part of a tactical group who is fighting a terrorist group called Odessa. While this part of the story takes up a good part of the game, they throw in a twist and everything gets messed up… Now that I have covered the basics, I will talk about specific areas.

Where would an RPG be without good gameplay? I don't know. It'd probably be a Final Fantasy. (Burn.)… Well, gameplay is about as good as they come. You have the normal attack, defend, run, etc. that every RPG has, and that's ok. WA2 introduces a new concept called Force Points where a character gains more force points from attacking or being attacked and when he gains enough for points he can use spells an unlimited amount of times, OR he can use ARMs or personal skills which drain the FP from the character down to where they start. Bosses also have multiple body parts which allow you to net more EXP each battle. I've read that this has been used before, but I haven't played games with it so, I don't know. The game is on the easy side most of the time, so hardcore vets will be able to beat most battles with ease. But who said all games have to make your eyes bleed anyway? Good gameplay.

Graphics are a mixed pot… While I love the old school style (clunky characters, sprites, etc.) I really hate the spell effects. The game has what was popular for the time 2D characters on a 3D background. This looks nice and the backgrounds are actually nice and detailed. The characters as well are detailed in their sprite form and actually hand things to each other, make facial gestures, and move nicely. The battles are just as detailed but there are some jaggy edges and sometimes their bodies don't connect, but I still love it. The characters move nicely and animate decently. Although, I hate it that they all have the EXACT same battle pose. The worst part of the game graphically is the fact that the spell effects are like something you'd find in a SNES game. They are absolutely horrendous and dull. Summons are mixed too because the summon (monster) looks nice but the attack they do usually is mediocre. Oh well, such is life.

Easily the best part of the game. The soundtrack is amazing and features a harmonica, which easily makes it the coolest soundtrack ever. Most of the time you will find yourself humming along with the battle music, because I know I did. While the attack sound all sound identical and aren't really that great, the music and other sounds easily make up for it. Great music.

I don't want to spoil it (I know it's an old game, but I still know people haven't played it.) but it is a good story. It has decent plot twists and very emotional points. The characters develop nicely and the game gives good back-story for each of them. They all talk frequently and each of them actually have a part ALL of the time, a rarity in games even today. Overall a good story... And since translation is vital to the story, I will add it here! The translation is by far some of the worst I have seen in a game. Characters talk in third-person, different characters talk in the same dialogue box, it's insanity. While it is insanity alot, the rest of the game is really quite well done and very enjoyable. This can usually make or break a game, and if everything else in the game were not gold, I would deduct majorly for this.

You could definitely play WA2 many times after you beat it. With a huge monster list to complete, spells to collect, leveling up, secret pyramid bosses, attacks to master, items to get and six playable characters, you could easily replay this and never get bored.

While WA2 is a PS game, any hardcore RPGer will want a chance to play it. Because I can't say enough to praise this game. It is amazing and you really will want to play it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/28/06

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