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
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
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.
Easy-to-navigate interface, the ability to move characters
in-battle, and distance-dependent attacks create fast-paced,
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.
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.
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.
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
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!