Review by AlucardX

"Well, it's better than Contrail's last disaster, but nowhere near the competition"

In the world of console RPG's, Squaresoft rules all. There is no question. Enix, Atlus, and Konami are the only companies who have ever created RPG's that match up to Square's level. No one else comes close. So, Sony hired a company called Contrail to create an RPG. Sony tried to match up with these monster companies by creating a game of their own, Wild Arms. It was an average game, that was later smothered by the hype of FF7. A few years later, Sony asked Contrail to create another game, this one was Legend of Legaia. This game was a disaster. Everything went wrong. So, after the abomonation of Legaia, Sony asked Contrail to make a sequal to Wild Arms. This game came out shortly before another Sony made disaster, Legend of Dragoon. Wild Arms 2 promised to improve on the first one, while creating a good RPG experiance. Chrono Cross came out a few months later, guess what happened next........

Wild Arms 2 was basically forgotten, Contrail's creation was smothered once again by a superior RPG. The game went down in price, put into clearance sections, because no one wanted to play it anymore, everyone ran out to get the superior game, myself included. So, one day as I was looking through the walls of PSX games at best buy, I saw Wild Arms 2 for 9.50, clearance price. Since I've only watched one of my friends play bits and peices of the first game, I've been wanting to play a Wild Arms game all the way through. So, I took the chance, and I bought it.

Well, the game is a mixed bag. Some elements I really like, while others I just despise.

I like the fact that not all of the battles are random. Each time a battle occurs, your character gets an exclamation point over his head. If the exclamation point is white, and you hit the circle button fast enough, you can escape the battle completely, but, if the exclamation point is red, then you can't escape at all.

I also like the puzzle/tool set up. Each character in your party has an ability to use a ''tool''. For example, A character in the game named Ashley has an ability to use a tool which lets him use a projectile knife. This is often used to hit a switch that you can't access from where you are. Another character in the game named Brad has the ability to use a kick. This breaks down doors that can't be opened regularly. Another pretty cool additon.

Now, for the things I despise

One, Is the way your character runs. Your action button is the same button as your dash button. This is extremely annoying. Each time you want to talk to someone, you have to tap the button quickly, or else, you dash away. Also, you can only dash in one direction, so every time you need to turn, you have to wait untill your character slows down, and is able to go in the opposite direction, extremely annoying.

Another thing is the new ''search system''. On the world map, you must explore around using it to find a place where you need to go. This adds some exploration to the game, but the real system is dull, and tedious. You hit the square button to use it, and you shoot out a cirlce that goes from your character, to a small ratio of space which it covers. This is very very annoying. It often takes countless minutes to find the destination you need to go to.

Ok, i'll admit it, the storyline is pretty well done. Predictable, but well done. It centers around 3 characters, Ashley, Brad, and Lilka. Each of them have been chosen to act as a team who have to stop a terrorist group, known as Odessa, from taking control. Ashley was a soldier in another ressistance group, when his original group falls victim to a terrorist attack, he is the sole survivor. Brad is an ex Odessa member, and is bent on getting revenge. Lilka is the sister of a powerful magic user, when she perished in an accident, her spirit guided Lilka to become as powerful as she was. The three now band together as a team, to take on the powerful Odessa.

Now, the battle system. Anyone remember the games Lufia and the Fortress of Doom and Lufia 2 for Super Nintendo? Wild Arms 2 completely rips off that battle system. It's not even so small that you can't even notice it, the game's battle system is completely copied from the Lufia games. The battle system has 5 icons, with your cursor starting on the middle one. In order to access another icon, you must hold down the directional button of which direction the icon is in, or else the cursor will stay on the middle icon. For example, if i want to access the item icon, I have to hold down the left directional button in order to access it. Pretty dumb if you ask me, but this is the direct battle system from the Lufia games. However, the battle system is playable, and more represents a standard turned based engine.

The music is plesant, but nothing spectacular, and the font sucks. Anyone with slightly irritated vision will not be able to read this game's font. It took me about an hour to finally adjust to it. Next time, use a clear, easy to read font Contrail!!!!

Well, that about sums it up. Wild Arms 2 is a pretty average game. The story is pretty good, but it takes at least the first few hours before something finally picks up. Also, the characters are pretty cardboard, and just standard RPG heroes. There are plenty of other better games out there, only pick this up if you find it less than 20 bucks. It may keep your attention for a little while, but almost everyone will lose interest way before reaching the second disc.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 07/01/01, Updated 07/01/01

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