Review by Evangelized
MediaVision has done it again!
I am a huge fan of many RPGS, ranging from Disgaea to Star Ocean. The Wild ARMS series has always had a special place in my heart, especially due to the fact that many of the characters have guns for weapons, and due to the fact that it has a "western" theme.
Does Wild ARMS 5 disappoint?
Not by a long shot.
Wild Arms 5 takes place in the world of Filgaia. The people of Filgaia are currently being ruled over by the Veruni, an alien race that landed on Filgaia more than 100 years ago. Dean Stark, the protagonist of the story, lives in a secluded village away from all the termoil. He dreams of one day leaving the village to pursue his dream of becoming a Golem Hunter, like his idol Nightburn. While in the mountains training, Dean and his childhood friend, Rebecca Streisand, spot a Golem's arm fall from the sky and land in a cave just in front of them. Upon entering the cave, they find a girl curled up within the Golem's hand. The girl only remembers two things, her name, Avril Vent Fleur, and the words Johnny Appleseed. After receiving the pair of ARMS she was holding, Dean, along with Avril and Rebecca, decide to embark on an adventure to find out what the words Johnny Appleseed really mean. Meanwhile, a revolt has begun within the Veruni population, where a group known as the Radicals overthrows the current rulers, known as the Moderates. Volsung, the leader of the Radicals and the wielder of the legendary Gran-Zamber, claims this coup to be in the best interest in the survival of the Veruni.
With a seemingly major improvement over Wild ARMS 4, the graphics in Wild ARMS 5 is nothing short of excellent. MediaVision has brought back the world map, (along with the "search" ability) and the topography and the atmosphere looks truly incredible.
Equipping random armor will actually change the appearance of the selected character, which is a welcome change to the Wild ARMS series.
Battle graphics have improved since the last installment as well. Magical attacks and the like look far superior than its predecessors, and the in-HEX status effects look really neat.
Puzzle-filled dungeons make a hefty return in Wild ARMS 5. Perhaps even more thought out than some of the puzzles from its predecessors, the puzzles in Wild ARMS 5 will make you scratch your head and actually think. The dungeon's have more appeal this time around, instead of just a tan floor with red or grey walls.
One thing that really saddened me about Wild ARMS 5, and the reason I gave this section a 7, would be the lack of an anime movie introduction. Some would argue that the theme song "Justice to Believe" is an anime introduction, but I would definitely disagree and argue back.
Wild ARMS 5 returns with the same-ol' "western" music, chock full of whistling and low instrumentals. This is definitely a trademark for the series, and the music (even the battle and boss music) does not disappoint.
The voice acting is excellent. Dean, played by seasoned veteran Yuri Lowenthal, Rebecca, played by Wendee Lee, and many others play their parts very well. (Especially Greg.) The voice actors actually attempt to be the character, rather than just speak the words. Then again, "you can do anything as long as you don't give up!"
Wild ARMS 4 brought forth a new aspect to the series, a little thing called "platforming." I am not a fan at all when it comes to platforming, and I felt that Wild ARMS 4 suffered because of that. Luckily, the platforming is non-existent (or used in very rare occasions) in Wild ARMS 5.
Another thing that returned is the "on-screen commands" instead of the extremely missed "tool system." Dean is able to duck, slide, jump, and do an earth-punch when jumping. An excellent addition to the series is that Dean is able to take out his ARMS (dual pistols) and shoot things on screen. He has different cartridges (Fire/Ice bullet, Detector, Grappling Hook) which aid in the solving of puzzles. In essence, the tool system did come back, but in such an odd way.
Controls are sharp and responsive. Move with the left analog stick, go through menus with X, etc. One thing that goofs up sometimes is the camera angle when going for chests in odd corners. (Don't worry, you can still manually move the camera with the right analog stick.) All in all, the controls are pretty good.
An excellent edition to the series. Fans will be surely pleased, and new-comers will not be disappointed. With new ideas, character cameos, great graphics, and a great western-feel, this game should be promptly placed upon a gamer's shelf in the highest regard possible. And, if you're lucky, you'll get a 10th Anniversary Art Book with your purchase!
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Wild ARMs 5 (10th Anniversary Edition) (US, 08/28/07)
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