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Why Wild ARMs Is the JRPG Treasure You Can’t Miss

Wild ARM

Wild Arms is Media.Vision’s debut RPG for the Sony PlayStation, garnering significant attention from RPG fans upon its release in the US due to the scarcity of RPGs on the console at the time. Set in the world of Filgaia, once a prosperous land now in decline, the game follows the story of humans and Elw who unite against metal demons that threaten to take over. Despite some flaws in the storyline, Wild Arms is praised for its exceptional execution, standing out among its peers in the genre.

 

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After a costly victory that left the planet decimated and the Guardians drained of their power, along with the disappearance of the Elw due to disillusionment with humans, a new human civilization has emerged on Filgaia 1000 years later. However, the effects of the war still linger, as demons are on the verge of invading once again. The game follows three playable characters: Rudy Roughnight, a mysterious youth with the ability to use ancient relic weapons known as ARMs; Jack Van Burace, a treasure hunter accompanied by a rat-like creature named Hanpan whose past is shrouded in secrecy; and Cecilia Lynne Adlehyde, the princess of Adlehyde who has honed her magic skills at Curan Abbey. Despite their disparate backgrounds, the trio shares a common goal of defeating the metal demons and restoring Filgaia to its former glory.

 

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Wild Arms’ standout feature is its gameplay, which borrows familiar elements from other RPGs such as turn-based battles, magic skills, and summon attacks. What sets Wild Arms apart is its smooth execution and well-balanced difficulty, making it stand out from other RPGs. The game also introduces new gameplay elements like the force attack, where characters can unleash special attacks as their meter fills up. The option to choose between different levels of force attacks adds depth to the gameplay, with reaching “condition green” providing additional benefits such as curing status effects. Overall, Wild Arms brings a fresh take on traditional RPG elements with its execution and unique gameplay mechanics.

In Wild Arms, each character has their own unique set of tools which are used in area maps to access new areas or solve puzzles. These tools are obtained throughout the quest, with each character starting off with one tool. Examples of these tools include bombs for Rudy, a grappling hook for Jack, and a pocket watch for Cecilia. While the gameplay is strong overall, there are some weaknesses to consider. The abundance of puzzles in the game may not be appealing to all players, especially when they are not closely tied to the plot and are overly difficult. Additionally, battles can sometimes drag on due to enemies using incapacitating status attacks too frequently. Despite these flaws, the battles are well executed overall in Wild Arms.

 

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The game features excellent gameplay mechanics with near-impeccable control. Characters can move in 8 directions and utilize a dash button for faster movement, with a realistic touch that mimics actual running. The field menus are well-organized, while the battle menus offer a unique cross-based layout for efficient command selection. The game’s visual appeal is highlighted by a beautifully drawn anime cut scene at the start, with impressive character designs and art, making it a visually pleasing experience for players.

The in-game graphics of Wild Arms are impressive, with detailed area maps and vivid colors. The character art, though not prominent, adds to the overall visual appeal. The battles, while in 3D, may not be as visually stunning as other parts of the game, but the animations are fluid. The sound department shines with excellent sound effects and a well-composed soundtrack that conveys emotion and matches the game’s frontier spirit. Overall, Wild Arms is considered one of the best RPGs in the US, with a clean battle engine and strong execution, making it a must-play for any RPG fan.

 

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9.0 TOTAL SCORE

Wild Arms

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Features Rate 9
PROS
  • Engages players with a unique mix of traditional RPG elements and innovative puzzle-solving mechanics.
  • Features a captivating soundtrack that enriches the gaming experience.
  • Provides a nostalgic appeal for fans of classic 90s JRPGs with its retro graphics and storytelling.
CONS
  • Limited character development and a straightforward plot might not satisfy players seeking deep, complex storylines
  • Some gameplay mechanics may feel outdated for newcomers or those accustomed to more contemporary RPGs.
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