Enchanted Arms is the first traditional Japanese style RPG for the Xbox 360 and Im happy to say it is actually pretty good. It doesnt really try to change the JRPG formula, but it does everything it is supposed to just fine so it is pretty enjoyable overall. It looks nice, tells an interesting story, and introduces a few new gameplay aids that make the whole experience more addictive and fun than you might think at first glance. RPG fans, Enchanted Arms is well worth checking out.
- Title: Enchanted Arms
- Platform: Xbox 360
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Developer: From Software
- ESRB: T for Teen
- Genre: Japanese turn based RPG
- Pros: decent story, save anywhere, fast forward; autobattle; Golem and upgrade systems are interesting
- Cons: inconsistent graphics; includes every single JRPG cliché ever; a little too easy at times
In the world of Enchanted Arms, humans have created creatures known as golems to help them in their everyday lives. They do everything from clean your house to make pizza to serve in the army as soldiers. A thousand years ago, the golems went crazy and started attacking humans as well as each other. The most powerful creatures were known as devil golems, and in order to stop the fighting these devil golems were sealed away and peace returned to the world and the good golems got back to work. In present day, the powerful magic that created the golems is all but forgotten and a weaker magic known as enchanting is studied.
You play as Atsuma, a young enchanter with a special right arm that may hold the power to save, or destroy, the world. In typical JRPG fashion, his power is locked deep inside until tragic events cause that power to reveal itself and the devil golems to run amok once again. The story and character clichés are kind of mind numbingly predictable, but it is still just interesting enough to keep you playing.
For the most part, Enchanted Arms plays just like any other JRPG. You wander around the world in a fairly linear fashion and fight any golems or humans that get in your way. There are quite a few things that set it apart, though. First off, the battle screen is sort of like a strategy RPG where you can position your characters so you can cast healing/defensive spells or get into attack range. Also, you can hold the Y button to fast forward through all of the battle animations which makes fights go by much quicker than in other games. My favorite feature is that you can have the AI auto-battle for you. When you come up against enemies you know you can beat, you can just autobattle to an easy win. If you do happen to lose a battle, you can either return to your last save or simply restart the battle, another great feature. You can also save anywhere and everywhere, which is definitely nice. There are a lot of really nice features in Enchanted Arms that make the game move a lot more quickly and make the tediousness of some things disappear completely. I can only hope more RPGs use some of these ideas in the future.
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