Review by MeoTwister5

""We need not heroes...""

This may be the most underrated game I have ever played. Sequel to one of the best first RPG's in the PS that got lost in the mush after FFVII was released, the previous game didn't get all the credit it deserved. This time around, though I'm reviewing this kinda late, the sequel appeared in the calm between FF games, giving it the breather space it needed to really shine. And shine it did.

Graphics: 9/10

Okay.... it kind of looks old for its time, especially the battle graphics. The field graphics are actually pretty high-rez with 2D SD characters that have good detail for their size. The field graphics are never out of focus due to graphic problems. The battle graphics still could have needed some work and polish. The characters are a bit blocky and the spell effects won't get a wow out of you, but there is no slowdown of any kind to speak of that plagues battles of other games, and in the end they do their job well.

Gameplay: 9/10

This game uses the Force System. When you attack/get attacked or use items, the force bar goes up in value. Magic and other abilities can only be used when the bar gets to a certain point. The bar resets to a value equal to your current level after every battle, so you need to get it back to the values you need every battle. The problem here is that the bar doesn't decrease when you use certain abilities, only some decrease it. This makes it effectively possible to use special attacks endlessly in battle to your hearts content. This can make battles extremely easy at some points. Also, curative items cannot be bought until much, much later in the game, so balancing the items you get can get very difficult, especially if it's your first time through. There is also use of ARMs (hence the title), gun-based weapons that have a certain amount of ammo and power depending on the type. You can upgrade them in shops which increases its statistics like clip size, power, accuracy etc. As for the magic, you need to find crests where the spells are engraved for your magician to use. Each character has his own specialty, so learn to use their uniqueness well.

Control: 10/10

Solid and flawless, just like any RPG since it doesn't rely on reflexes anyway. Hold X to run in a certain direction, and release to stop. A part of the game involves manipulating the environment in puzzles and using specialized tools, which requires good character and camera control, and here the game doesn't fail.

Audio: 10/10

Excellent audio from a great composer. One of the finer aspects of the game. Though the game music and effects have a MIDI feel to them, the composition are varied and well done, with some tunes that will definitely get stuck in your head, especially if you like western-themed music.

One of the most underrated games ever made. I diamond in the rough, in sense. If you don't mind slightly dated graphics and a slightly flawed battle systems, give this game a chance. It won't let you down.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/07/02, Updated 10/07/02

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