Overview

RPG’s on the PS2 have really been few and far between. The release of the excellent Final Fantasy X filled that void to a certain extend, but we gamers always crave for more. In the period leading to the winter holidays, we’re flooded with the release of originals like Dual Hearts and Kingdom Hearts, and also sequels to PlayStation’s cult favorites, such as Legaia 2: Duel Saga, Grandia Xtreme, Suikoden III and finally Wild Arms 3.

Gameplay

If you haven’t played one of the first two Wild Arms games then I will give you the ten cent tour. It’s a western RPG that plays a lot like normal Japanese RPG’s. Where you play in a western setting but Wild Arms 3 is really not a full-on RPG but has some elements of a adventure/action game.

In Wild Arms 3 you are able to play as four different characters who are: the Sniper Clive, the Shotgun wielding Gallows, the Machine Gunner Jet, and then there’s the stubborn Virginia. One of the strongest points of Wild Arms 3 is the characters’ personalities, and how each of them have there own look, style, and feel to them.

Like I said earlier this is a RPG but it does a lot of things like an adventure game. This is said because you will be doing a lot of running around and finding new areas. The RPG portion of the game really comes with the fighting. This does have the normal RPG fighting system, which is the you hit me then I get to hit you system. In which I usually don’t mind when done correctly, but Wild Arms 3 really just looks like what it did back in 1998 when the first version game out. The fighting system is actually pretty raw and boring.

I really don’t feel that the fighting system would have been so bad if it wasn’t for all of the random battles, which just become a big annoyance. There are some times in which you can exit the battlefield, but for the most part you are stuck having to fight these worthless long battles.

Another major gripe is that you don’t get much experience points from those random battles. As leveling up is an essential task in the game, this becomes a frustrating endeavor for gamers. You only get sizeable experience points from using items in boss battles, which are pretty hard if your characters aren’t strong enough. A novel approach by the developers, which unfortunately fails terribly.

The game does follow a pretty basic Wild Arms Storyline that is shown through cut scenes that are pretty nicely done and do a nice job of trying to keep you interested in the game.

Controlling in Wild Arms 3 can be done with a breeze. Walking around the different areas is very simple and to be honest you will definitely be able to learn the controls in less then ten to twenty minutes.

One of the biggest problems with the cuts scenes was that the Wild Arms series still doesn’t have any voice acting. I really do not understand why they haven’t put this in. I truly believe this hurts the game because it really becomes a chore to have to read all of the subtitles.

With there being no voice acting you would hope that the in game sound would be excellent. Well, for the most part it’s not bad. Again you can see that this game’s pretty average as none of the tunes are memorable compositions. You get the feeling that they’re just there for the sake of being there.

Graphics

When Media Vision created Wild Arms 3, they didn’t go for the realistic-looking characters like in Final Fantasy X, favoring a more anime look. With this being said, the graphics of Wild Arms 3 were done excellently. Each character looks distinctive, and ties up with their respective personalities nicely. The same can be said of the backgrounds and various locations that you’ll travel to in the game. They all have a unique look, although not quite up to the high standards set by Final Fantasy X.

The overall graphics of Wild Arms 3 were pretty impressive but there really wasn’t anything that really caught my eye as great. Maybe this was because of the style of graphics the game or it just wasn’t the best looking game. Either way I feel that the graphics could have been a little sharper.

Fun Factor

One thing that I have usually thought about the previous Wild Arms games it that for the most part they have been quite fun. This unfortunately just doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. I really think this is because of the absence of voice acting and the uninspired fighting system that just isn’t much fun.

Overall

This is one of the most disappointing RPG of the year. The fighting system is too simple and feels archaic compared what Final Fantasy X and even Legaia 2 has introduced. I personally have no problems with the developers going for the old-school approach, but I feel the end result could have been much better if they’ll just fine-tune the overall gameplay. Hardcore RPG lovers or fans of the series might want to check this one out, but we do recommend that you rent it first before parting with your hard-earned cash. Otherwise look elsewhere as they are other games that will be more worthy of your attention.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.