Review by blackravenrakka

Reviewed: 05/19/08

Generic game but it is a nice introduction into the series...

The Wild Arms series has been a series that never really caught my full attention and yet there was something about it that intrigued me. Wild Arms V didn't provided anything new to the genre but there is hope starting with this game.

The story takes place in the world of Filgaia, where it has become a wasteland due to the misuse of technology . Humanity is trying to survive in this cruel environment while being oppressed by a "superior" race known as the Veruni. Two childhood friends witness an event which will led them into an adventure and discovers the history of Filgaia and it's people and will decided the path that Filgaia will take.

There is one aspect that makes the Wild Arms stand out compared to other games is the fact it is based on a wild west theme Although the wild west element is not my favorite, the way that the story was told is done in an interesting way by mixing with sci-fi element without overpowering it. However, the overall plot felt rather average and predictable filled with clinched lines and themes. The character personality felt somewhat flat due to the fact that there isn't much depth other than a central motivation that drives each of the character in the game. The script doesn't help when you have characters repeated the same tired clinched lines at the end of each battle. It is still an enjoyable story when one can look past it's flaws and doesn't expect much from the plot.

The designs for this game is probably some of the most solid designs using the wild west as a a base. The graphics and models are a bit lackluster where it could have use a bit more textures. The colors are a bit drab although the whole point of utilizing that kind of color palette was to depict a wasteland. The voices for each character works for the game but I still think they still could have chosen more appropriated voices that isn't so annoying. I believed the music is what makes the game shine because it truly captured the essence of the game.

Just like any rpg series, Wild Arms started out as your traditional turn based game until the fourth installment in the series. Wild Arms IV introduced the hex system which they have kept in the fifth installment.. The hex system consisted of seven hexagons which is laid out in a pattern depending the type of battle. Your characters or enemies can move onto each hexagon in order to attack each other. There are certain hexagon that has elemental effects where you can utilize it depending on the situation. You can also change the environment in order to match your needs in order to win the game. What's great about the hex system is the fact that it's gives a hint of fresh air into the traditional turn based battle system. It still utilize it but the hex system create a need for strategy because placement of the character is also important. Although many of the boss battles uses different hex patterns in order to created some interest, your basic random encounters could use that feature so it doesn't feel the same.

Exploration in this game consisted of going to town to town finding information and traveling through different dungeons. There are platforming elements in each of the dungeons where you would have to solve different puzzles in order to move on. The problem with these dungeons is the fact that the random encounters are very inconsistent. Depending where you are, solving puzzles in some of these dungeons can be very tedious. However, in order to relief some of the random encounters, you can cleanse an object called a Sol Niger in order to turn off the random encounters.

There isn't much customization for your character other than equipping different parts and armor. You are able to modify your Arms when you find Dragon Fossils. Each character can learn different skills by equipping items known as Mediums. Depending on your experience, you are able to learn a variety of skills. You can also purchase points in order to learn new skills faster but it comes with a price of lowering you hit points. During the course of the battle, you are able to acquire Force points. Certain skills uses these force points and you are also able to perform team attacks.

Although Wild Arms V does try to introduced new elements into the series, it still lacks innovation because it still stays within the typical Japanese turn based rpg. However, I still have hope for the Wild Arms series due to the hex system which makes me interested in future installment. Hopefully, Wild Arms can slowly move in a direction where more people can enjoy this game but for now, Wild Arms V is a nice introduction into the series if they are not familiar with it.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Product Release: Wild ARMs 5 (10th Anniversary Edition) (US, 08/28/07)

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