" It's of the classic "The world is in danger" variety "
Title: Wild Arms 2 by Sony Entertainment
Format: Playstation RPG
Reviewing Monkey: Chimpan-A
The Hype: "It's about one world hanging in the balance... It's what legends are made of..." It's a fantasy RPG. It's also a sequel, but don't let that get you down, since it has almost no ties to the last game...
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: If you played the first Wild Arms and loved it, you're in for a treat. If you hated it well... The graphics mix a cartoonish 2D drawn look for your characters, with a polygonal 3D combat system and world environments. All in all the graphics are nicely done. The pixelation in the adventure screen isn't obvious unless it gets zoomed in, and the 3D combat is handled quite nicely, with no clipping issues. The few movie cut scenes are done in an anime style. The second disk opener flat out rules! 4 out of 5
Sound: There is no voice acting in the game and few sound effects (but the sound effects they have are well done and fitting). The music tends to grow on you, coming off a little midi at first. Still, it's well composed, and definitely conveys the feeling well. The style covers both the pseudo rock exciting to the simple whistling calm. I'm still a big fan of the whistling theme song from the first game (which can be found in the screensaver mode). 4 out of 5
Game Play: Here is where the game comes through. Fans of the first Wild Arms game will remember it as one of the most customizable RPGs out there. Second Ignition carries on that tradition. Not only do you decide the names of half the important people in the game, but you can also decide the names of most of the spells, screen placement, screen savers and half a dozen other handy little things. Other cool features include the best feature ever: Random battle cancellation! Ever get sick of the hordes of bad guys? Just hit the right button, and you can skip over eighty percent of the piddling battles! They even have experience doubling items so you don't miss out from skipping battles. A swiveling camera gives you the feel of full 360-degree motion (though it's actually only the eight primary directions). Of course all the cool features in the world won't save a bad game, but this game doesn't have to worry about that. It's a lot of fun to romp through this adventure. The game is fast paced enough to keep you going, but with sufficient length to keep you occupied for a while. 5 out of 5
Level and Environment Designs: The environments are nicely done in this game. With the hand drawn animated look, the towns are quite nice. The 3D landscapes are well done. Each environment is appropriate and seems to be well integrated. The levels are generally well executed, although I think this game has way more than its fair share of teleporter mazes. The puzzles, are somewhat arbitrary, but at least try to fit into whatever environment they're in. Most consist of the "Move this block to here" or "Hit object A with tool B" variety. Still the variations on the theme are implemented well enough as to not become stagnant. 4 out of 5
Multiplayer: Well, being a Playstation RPG there is no multiplayer, sorry end of story. N/A
Replayability: As is pretty much traditional in RPGs at this point, the game features a slew of bonus bosses and areas to encounter. This monkey would have had the review done a week earlier had he not been lured aside time and again. Still if you get them all the first time, you're not going to want to do it again. Plus, with save points that allow utter mobility (i.e. the ability to get where you were going or back from any save point), there's not much point in starting a new game. 1 out of 5
Story/Dramatics: I have to admit, the story is fresh. Without giving away too much, it's of the classic "The world is in danger" variety, but with enough twists and new ideas on it that it doesn't bore. The translation in this game is... iffy at best sometimes, but that's never held back a good story before. There does seem to be a tendency to over sap things with themes of "Friendship," and "Heroes". 4 out of 5
Instructions and Learning Curve: The instructions are quite nice; giving tips and hints as well as information about the gameplay. Just about everything you need to know is in the instructions, but the game is easy enough to learn that they are relatively unnecessary. A good read, but not required. The game is simply learned. 5 out of 5
Installation and Real System Requirements: The game isn't exactly pushing the boundaries of what the Playstation can handle. Still everything runs smoothly. I did experience a little slowdown on occasion towards the end of the game, but it was only occasionally, and not a major concern. 4 out of 5
Not only is the game a lot of fun, but it also sports a lot of great features. Certain ones (like battle canceling) I'd love to see elsewhere. This classic RPG action will definitely keep you entertained through the whole experience.
The Good: Excellent RPG with tons of cool stuff!
The Bad: There's no full-length anime video to go along with it!
The Overall Ugly: If you like RPGs, buy this game. If you don't like RPGs, well, give it a try anyway.
What it's Worth: Market