Wild Arms and Wild Arms 2 are two of Sony's most respected PlayStation RPGs, and followers of the series have quite rightly been looking forward the third game, Wild Arms 3. And more importantly, it's the first for PlayStation 2.
During desolate times on the lands of home world Filgaia, drifters venture unknown lands in search of mystic relics told to possess supreme power. Many put such a story down to myth, but there are believers who would put their whole lives into searching for such power. But there is one relic that brings four unwitting adventurers together as they embark upon yet another epic tale of treachery, love and friendship. You play one of these characters.
Following a lengthy narrative, you'll trace the story of your chosen character in a game filled with tricky puzzles and hundreds, if not thousands of those now-infamous random battles. But the first and most intriguing things you'll notice about Wild Arms 3 are its cel-shaded visuals. Cartoon-style graphics and giant black outlines may sound hideous, but in practice they look gorgeous. Most environments are dungegon-esque in their appearance, littered with corridors, locked doors and a series of puzzles that must be solved to progress further. Such puzzles are simple in the beginning and may only involve a single task. Later challenges are more complex. These require greater thought and effort, and require the use of several tools.
Suffice to say, amidst the numerous puzzles, you'll be subjected to random battle after random battle with all kinds of goblins, ghost and dragon-type creatures. But thanks to a unique feature, players can avoid these random battles. In Wild Arms 3, players are given a one or two second warning that an encounter is about to occur, and by pressing the circle button rapidly, can escape the encounter.
Wild Arms 3 is largely a typical role-player, but there's a certain finesse that separates it from the pack. It has that X factor that makes it among the most playable of RPGs and will be relished not just by its hardcore followers, but by the RPG novice too.