Enchanted Arms 360 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.2
Graphics 8.5
Sound 8.1
Value 8.0
Distributor: UbiSoft
Review Date:
September 2006
Andrew B


buy now from www.aussiegamer.com.au

Enchanted Arms

Take on the role of Atsuma, Enchanter in-Training and transform from a naive student into the most powerful savior in a war 1,000 years in the making. Immerse yourself in a deep storyline as you face increasingly difficult challenges and learn to master Atsuma's special fighting and magical abilities.

Enchanted Arms is a Japanese RPG exclusive on the XBox 360 that is probably a first for Microsoft and will hopefully open the flood gates to similar games of the same genre. And here it is... Enchanted Arms, a SquareSoft style of Final Fantasy that features a turn-based combat system, hundreds of hours of dialogue and some amazing creatures to help turn the tides of battle. 


  • Stunning, cinematic-quality HD graphics:
    Over 100 fully animated and highly detailed 3D characters with distinct faces and unique personalities. Rich, colorful environments will immerse you in a world of fantasy and magic.

  • Fast-action battle system:
    Easy-to-navigate interface, the ability to move characters in-battle, and distance-dependent attacks create fast-paced, hands-on gameplay.

  • Deep storyline with over 50 hours of epic gameplay:
    Delve deeper as you meet new characters and explore their stories. In-game, players choose how and in what order they want to attack levels with multiple objectives and branching missions.

  • Unlockable creatures:
    Find and unlock over 75 special creatures that you can control and use in battle as part of your team. Each creature is as unique visually as they are in terms of special abilities.

  • Head-to-head Xbox Live battle:
    Log onto the Xbox Live online gaming system and challenge others to Versus battles. Choose your best character, because how well you do will affect your online ranking.

Enchanted Arms revolves around Atsuma, a young student at an enchanters college whose life is thrown into turmoil when a earthquake strikes the festival of Yokohoma. Headstrong Atsuma decides to investigate the problem and fortunately for him, is joined by his "friends", Toya and Makoto. Together, the trio embark on a hero journey of epic proportions that will take the average gamer around 40 to 50 hours to successfully complete. 

Although the tale is not the most original story to ever come out of Japan, it is well crafted and features way too much cliched dialogue to be healthy but fortunately it all comes together in true Japanese style RPG. Ironically, the annoying hero of the story actually changes as the story progresses and what started out as an extremely cliched and annoying character, soon becomes the hero he is destined to become.

The gameplay revolves around several subquests and exploring of the world with the main point being, combat. Whether gamers wish to strategise while they fight their enemies or allow the XBox 360 to pick the most relevant choices, it's definitely an exciting time with fighting, spells and summonings. Each character in your party (or golem) has the stock standard RPG stats that include hit points, energy points (magic) and also a series of statistics such as attacks and defense that goes hand in hand with combat. By winning battles, your characters are awarded points that can then be used to upgrade your powers and abilities in order to be ready for the final battle.

I must confess that the boss battles can be extremely difficult that will virtually take almost hours to complete, depending on what skills, equipment and health is available. Fortunately your four main characters also have the ability to execute super moves that are dictated by their rage that really unleashes the hounds of hell upon your victims. Needless to say, it's also quite an impressive sight to see Atsuma dish out several rounds of melee attacks. Even though the battles may take a long time, the player also has the option of fast forwarding these battles by just the push of one button which is great for those annoying little battles.

Once you have enough skill points from your battles, you can purchase a plethora of abilities for your characters or their golems. Apart from adding to your abilities, you can also increase your main statistics. Apart from innate abilities your characters also have access to a variety of weapons or make new golems by finding special crystals that are littered through the gaming world.

The developers have also added several mini-quests and mini-games to keep the gameplay varied and interesting that is extremely reminiscent of Final Fantasy such as visiting the Casino which is a nice way of having some down time. Another interesting aspect of Enchanted Arms is that you can versus your Golems against other Golems from around the world which is rather nifty in the grand scheme of things.

Graphically Enchanted Arms is extremely impressive on the XBox 360 that contains some amazing background environments that are filled with wonder and imagination. Just by strolling through the cities, you really get a sense that you are on some strange world with magic and monsters. Unfortunately the battles are a little rough when compared to the exploring of the game but fortunately, the special effects and lighting of the battles makes up for the lack of battle detail because in its essence, the battle is just a board game. Once again I must advice that all XBox 360 owners purchase a high definition plasma or LCD because if you're playing this on a standard definition TV, you're really missing out on some fantastic graphics.

The musical score of Enchanted Arms features your stock standard Japanese sounding RPG soundtrack that although not as powerful as the Final Fantasy series will still draw your into the gaming environment. What is probably the most annoying thing about Enchanted Arms, sound wise is Atsuma's friend who really sounds like he is a reject from a bad British sitcom. There is some professional voice acting in the game but unfortunately most of it is extremely cliched and sounds like it has been taken straight out of a SEGA game. The game also features all the sounds and clicks from the world you're playing in to the extremely huge battles tot he subtle background sounds of towns and forests... nicely done.

In conclusion, Enchanted Arms is a rather strong Japanese RPG on the XBox 360 that I'm sure will spawn dozens of others and hopefully a sequel to those that enjoyed the current incarnation. With great graphics, sturdy gameplay and traditional RPG elements, this game has it all for those wanting to get their Final Fantasy fix on the XBox 360. Check it out!



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