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whatshot Enchanted Arms PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.3
Graphics 8.6
Sound 8.2
Value 8.1
Distributor: UbiSoft
Classification:
M15+
Review Date:
May 2007
Reviewer:
Tyrone Williams

8.1


Enchanted Arms

Originally an XBox 360 exclusive, Enchanted Arms filled the Japanese RPG void on the next generation of consoles in this SquareSoft style of Final Fantasy games that features a brilliant turn-based combat system, hundreds of hours of dialogue and an in-depth combat system. The PS3 version also supports the SIXAXIS wireless controller to allow for motion-sensitive gameplay while battling over 500 different foes.  

The story of 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 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 clichéd 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 clichéd and annoying character, soon becomes the hero he is destined to become.

Features:

  • SIXAXIS Wireless Controller Integration Provides an Immersive Experience: Use the motion-sensitive controller to harness weapons, recover your EX power meter, unlock more powerful attacks and solve puzzles.
  • Master the SpeedTactics Battle System: Easy-to-navigate interface, the ability to move characters in-battle and distance-dependent attacks combine to create fast-paced, hands-on gameplay.
  • More Than 500 Characters, Including 130 Unlockable Creatures You Control: Find and unlock 130 controllable creatures to use in battle as part of your team. Customize your party and learn to harness their unique abilities. Includes 30 all new creatures exclusive to the PLAYSTATION 3 system.
  • Includes Both the Original Japanese and an All-New English Language Track: Choose to play the game with either Japanese or English dialogue.
  • More Than 50 Hours of Epic Gameplay: Delve deeper as you meet new characters and explore over 75 environments with multiple objectives and branching missions.
  • Includes More Than an Hour of Anime Cinematics and Video: Including ten minutes of all-new exclusive video.
     

The gameplay revolves around several subquests and exploring of the world with the main point being, combat. Whether gamers wish to strategies while they fight their enemies or allow the PlayStation 3 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 PS3 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. The PS3 version also offers ten minutes of exclusive new content with its amazing videos that are cinematic quality. 

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 clichéd 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.

Enchanted Arms is a rather sturdy RPG title on the PS3 with its interesting storyline that features great gameplay and graphics. Definitely the first Japanese RPG titles on the console, I'm sure the developers will spawn a few sequels from this original tale. XBox 360 versus the PS3? Definitely the PS3 version! Great stuff!





 

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10/10

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