PDA

View Full Version : My Enchanted Arms Review


Zelda_fan
09-18-06, 05:30 PM
For those of you who don't know Enchanted Arms (From Software) is the first Japenese RPG to hit the XBOX360. A lot of pressure was being put on it, and quite frankly, most gaming sites tore it apart. Typically, anything below an "8" is considered not good, and both IGN and Gamespot gave this game low reviews.

I'll start by saying this. Enchanted Arms is a good (bordering great) game and is worth a play-through, especially if you are a fan of RPGs. This game isn't the next Final Fantasy, but you will find a good game with a good story.

GRAPHICS - 9/10

Simply put, Enchanted Arms has the best grpahics out of any JRPG in a technical sense. Now, this really isn't saying a whole lot because Enchanted Arms happens to be the ONLY JRPG on a next-gen platform, but either way, Enchanted Arms will not disappoint you from a graphical standpoint. The game has very high polycounts, good use of normal mapping, crisp textures, immaculate character detail, and great use of HDR.

However, in my opinion, you really shouldn't judge a game's graphics by the polygons or texture detail. Anyone who reads my forum posts will know that I'm a lot more concerned with the art direction of a game. I'm happy to say that the art direction is great too. The world has sort of a futureristic look too it, and a lot of the landscape views are georgous and stunning. It's the character art, however, that's really impressive. All of the characters and golems have a unique look to them, and to be frank, a good 20% of them are bad-ass looking.

Some of the cities are absolutly jaw-dropping. In particular pay attention to Kyoto city and Itawo Village.

Also something needs to be said about the "spell effects." They are top notch, and to be honest, I don't think I've seen better partical effects in ANY game thus far.

I took a point off because the environments could use some more moving parts. I don't know how many times I saw some futureistic looking machine and wished it would start moving like an engine.

SOUND - 9/10

Enchanted Arms has an incredible soundtrack. It's not Zelda or Chrono Trigger quality, but it's about one notch away. There is nothing more about the soundtrack I can say other than it is a great soundtrack.

The sound effects are allright. For the most part they were seamless (which is a good thing).

CHARACTERS AND DIALOGUE - 6/10
This is where the game starts to get bad. Now some of the characters are VERY WELL designed (Rygar and Toya), but some of them are literally painful to listen too (Karin and Yuki to be specfic). I'll just go over each character one by one and give you my thoughts on them.

Atsuma - the main character. Overall a decent character. He has a good heart, but is naive to the point of being an idiot. He's not upleasant to listen to, and does provide some comic relief. At the end of the game I did want to "help him in his struggle."

Rygar - Great character. Looks like a bad ass, fights like a bad ass, and is incredibly calm. It's very interesting as his past unfolds and you learn a little about what he's done and the places he's been too.

Toya - Great character. Similar to Rygar except a lot younger, and not nearly as badass. He's more into magic as opposed to smashing the hell out of things like Rygar does. He's intruguing, and towards the end of the game you really want to save him when he comes into trouble.

Makoto - flaming homo. This guy is about as gay as it gets, but to be honest, I find him hilarious. Not much more to say about him other than that.

Karin - Annoying as hell for the first 40% of the game. After that she'll "deal with something that's bugging her" and becomes a lot more pleasant and interesting. After playing the game, you'll understand "why" she was so annoying, but the acting and script could have been a lot better during that time.

Yuki - same deal as with Karin. Something's bugging her, and until she deals with it, she's incredibly irritating. After that though, she is ok, and moderatly interesting.

For the most part the dialogue is very unpolished so I'm giving it a 6/10. A real shame. Could have been a great game had the designers paid more attention to this detail.

STORY 9/10
Great storyline. To be honest this game had one of the best storylines I've every seen in a game, and it is a real shame they blew it with the unpolished character dialogue. It was unique, epic, engaging, and made you think.

GAMEPLAY - 7/10
Again, another real shame.

The actual combat system in this game is amazing. It is an 8x8 chessboard. You move your characters/golems around on the board and execute attacks that effect certain squares on the board. Potentially, this could have made for battles requiring more strategy than had ever been seen in an RPG. Unfourtantly, 80% of the battles require very little strategy and can be won in two rounds. Sometimes the battles get a little tedious, and fourtantly the "Y" button fastfowards things. In my opinion, the whole flow of battles should have been revamped, and they should last a LOT longer. Would have been way more fun and satisfying.

The sad thing is that the battles are still "fun" like this, so I can only imagine how great they would be if the average battle took 10-15 rounds and required some real strategy. Less, longer-lasting, battles would have been SO much better.

One good thing in this game is the variety of golems. Throughout the world their are various golems you can battle and capture for your own use. A lot of reviews have compared this to pokemon, and that the game has a "gotta catch em all" feel to it. I would say this is an accurate description, and golem collecting is sort of fun. The only thing that sucks is that most golems aren't as powerful as the characters, so for the most part you'll be useing 4 characters in your party and zero golems. There are a few goelms towards the end of the game that are obscenely powerful, but by the time you get them, you will be so close to the end of the game, that you won't be able to level them to where you need to to compete.

For the most part this game is extremely linear. There is one single sidequest, and it is basically a massive dungeon crawl. Now I will say that your reward at the end of this sidequest is awsome, but that still dosen't change the fact that the game could have used a lot more polished sidequests.


FINAL COMMENTS
Overall, a good game, but it's real sad becasue this game had the core foundations to be amazing.

In all fairness, this game was probably rushed by Microsoft. It was released on 360 launch day in Japan, and given 4 or 5 more months of developement, it probably would have been an amazing RPG. But it is still a good game nonetheless.

I give it an 8/10.

Badboy_12345
09-19-06, 04:43 AM
I preordered it 1 month before rls.. and didnt get my copy here in sweden
its already sold out in every store :eek:

It was easier getting the x360 at launch than this game

ralinn
09-19-06, 08:04 AM
I was playing this before my Xbox went bust... now I gotta wiat for that to be repaired to continue with it :(

I have to say, I was disappointed with the GFX. Although the ART is great, there is the odd point that just looks amazingly horrid. Some areas can be really bland and low res where as others can be just jaw dropping. The towns look just amazing most of the time.

Have I missed something with the battles btw? How do I raise my defence? I seem to either kill them all in one go, but if a character takes a hit, they're pretty much near death right away.

msxyz
09-19-06, 08:34 AM
I've just finished EM as well. It took me ~ 60 hrs (I don't sleep a lot during the night) to finish the game and unlock all the golems.

The game beginning is probably the worst part but it improves steadily after a few hours. Don't expect a ground braking videogame, though. I agree with Zeldafan that it has the distinctive feeling of a somewhat rushed job to meet the deadline.

What it really lacks is a name. Put the Final fantasy logo on it and you would have an instant blockbuster. As it stands, it's just another good J-RPG. Graphics aside it's the same soup we're still playing from the age of NES.