Sony recently held another 0.99 sale on PlayStation Network and this time around they had some interesting titles up for sale. Among them was both Wild Arms 1 and 2. I had heard good things about the series and seen some gameplay of later titles so I decided to go ahead and grab them.
Wild Arms is a JRPG based in a wild west setting but with a more fantasy theme. You start off with the choice to play as one of three characters and follow their initial storyline. After that, you’re re-given the choice and not knowing that I needed to do the other two, I stuck with the one I had chosen – the girl’s story. Well, I quickly got stuck and was trying to talk with anyone and everyone I could to try and advance the story. Eventually I was told yeah, you need to do the other two. This lead to a search of “Okay, how do I switch?” Yeah… Just talk with the bird that saves my game, silly me.
After completing the other two storylines – one featuring a treasure hunting guy in search of “power” and the other featuring a mute protagonist who gets exiled because they believe he caused the earthquakes that happen – I get to the first city (for real). Well, soon after arriving it seems there’s an ‘accident’ at an excavation site. We’re of course recruited for the job and this is the first time the three characters join up. Turns out they are excavating ancient weapons, and once you find it it’s brought back to town for a festival.
While I’m not going to go into much more storyline detail here, I’ve so far had mixed emotions with Wild Arms. On one hand it’s an interesting take on some concepts. On the other hand, some particular gameplay things have annoyed me. Perhaps I’ve just become too used to recent titles, but the lack of any explanation as to what some things are or do was annoying. Also, Wild Arms thus far has contained some of my pet peeves in games – stealth sections and timed sections. I got around the timed section by just using Escape (though it turns out I missed a boss, oh well), but the stealth section was quite irritating. Not to mention how you ended the stealth section completely threw me off and I would have never figured it out without looking up a walkthrough.
It’s almost kind of funny to me how similar this game feels to Final Fantasy VII at times. While Wild Arms was actually released first, it’s the closest big JRPG release I can think of for comparison. One of your plot points is to “resurrect Mother.” Sound familiar? Sure did to me!
I definitely enjoy both the battle and world map sprites, they have a nice charm to them. Though in battle, there seems to occasionally be this weird slowdown that happens when I cast spells. The game just seems to drop to something like 5 FPS for a short while, even after the animation is done. Perhaps this is just due to the PSN version, because I’m playing it on my Vita with the emulated Fast Disc Speed enabled, or some combination of the two, I’m not sure. The constantly changing camera angle on attacks is a bit off-putting as well. The biggest thing on the world map I could do without is how stiff the dash feels – I very much dislike being unable to turn while dashing.
In the end, I’m looking forward to seeing what Wild Arms has to offer, even if I keep having money issues when trying to buy equipment. I’ve been slightly intrigued by the story, despite some of the major similarities I’m seeing to Final Fantasy VII with the whole “Mother” thing.
Be sure to stay tuned for my full review when I complete Wild Arms!
Initial Thoughts on Wild Arms
About Wild Arms