by Rob Williams on November 3, 2006 in Gaming
It’s not very often we are treated to an RPG on the Xbox, but Ubisoft has come along and brought a popular Japanese hit to our shores. You are the enchanter Atsuma, who unwillingly has an arm filled with magical powers. Of course, it only makes sense that it’s his destiny to save the world.
Speaking of dialogue, the voice acting in the game should be touched upon. It’s some of the worst I’ve seen in any RPG. Lame, if you will. The voices don’t seem to fit the actual scheme of the game that well, and they are not exactly a joy to listen to either. Even the text itself is not that well written. This could be due to poor translation, I am unsure. Japanese games are not well known for their intriguing dialogue in games either way.
Some of this text is overused to the point of being annoying. Raiger, a Knight who protects Lady Karin with his life, says “As you say” at least one hundred times throughout the game. Yes, this is in his character, people in real life can also have such repetition. This just became annoying after so many times, though.
There are a total of 9 characters that you will either come in contact with, or party with. Each one has a unique style, in attitude and in fighting style. Yuki for instance, is a young girl with a whiny voice, who only cares about money. Then there’s Raigar as we mentioned, who is a true hard ass when it comes to enjoying anything. Toya is Atsumas best friend, and proves to be one of the smartest people in Yokohama. Then there’s Toyas homosexual friend Mokato who wants to marry him someday. Toya doesn’t “swing that way”, however. All of the characters are well done though, none are boring to learn about.
That aside though, the story is nothing really new. Atsuma is out to save the world from an evil being that wants nothing more than to wait for the opportune time to hand out her evil deed. Even still, I enjoyed the actual storyline quite a bit. Besides the poor voice and dialogue, the story was intriguing and things were kept fresh. Some aspects were predictable, but FromSoftware did a good job of keeping things interesting, and throwing the player for a loop.
Because the game is for the Xbox 360, you’d expect amazing graphics, right? Well Enchanted Arms does not deliver, and could almost be an Xbox or PS2 game. I should make clear though, the graphics as a whole are full of eye candy, and the EA world is a blast to explore. It’s a rich world that does not get boring quickly. This is primarily due to the fact that each area in the game tends to be completely different than another, and is small. So, there really is no time to get bored of anything.
The images in the review well represent what the game really looks like, but nothing is here that would earn the game high marks in the graphics department. In some parts, there are blatantly bad textures that are unavoidable. At one point you will reach a large set of stairs that are part of the gameplay… not a side quest. The buildings on each side of this stairset have such poor textures, it boggles my mind how it got through development without being noticed or touched upon. In some games, you can see buildings in the distance, and know that they don’t have crisp textures applied to them simply because as a character, you cannot reach them. Well here, it’s the same premise, except you are right beside them!
If you enjoy RPGs that are straightforward, then you will love Enchanted Arms. The gameplay is very linear, with little in way of side quests. There are a few exceptions, but I won’t touch on those in order to not spoil anything. As it stands, the game should take around 40 hours to beat. Myself, I took my time and leveled up my characters enough to get all of the possible skills. My final time was 51 hours, and that would be inflated even further if I had taken the time to play around with all of the Golems in my possession.
Enchanted Arms is not going to get a high rating from me, but even so, this was a great game that I do not regret playing through. As I mentioned in the intro, there are not that many Xbox 360 RPG games out there, so when one finally does see the light of day, you want to look into it deeper. If you don’t have a Playstation2, then this is one reason to pick up this game. Where it lacks in graphics and sound, it makes up for in gameplay and storyline.
I am awarding Enchanted Arms for the Xbox 360 a 78%.
Pros & Cons
+ One of the few RPG’s for the 360
+ 40+ hours of gameplay
+ Over 100 Golems to collect
+ Interesting storyline
+ Ability to save at any time and fast forward battles
– Graphics are not “next-gen”
– Voice and dialogue are poorly done
– Many points that will truly stop you in your tracks if not well prepared
– Very, very linear gameplay
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