For those who don’t have too short of a memory, you may remember that Microsoft’s first console played home to some extremely good sports and action titles, but their RPG library was what I would consider paper thin. This was a missing piece to the puzzle, and it looks like Microsoft is at least trying to bring in more RPG’s to their new console the Xbox 360. Today we are checking out the second (after The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion) RPG to hit the new console entitled Enchanted Arms from Ubi Soft. So how does this RPG manage to use the new technology? Read our full review to find out!
I am sure there are many out there who really excited to see a full on Japanese style RPG come to the next generation consoles, as it has been a long time in waiting. Enchanted Arms is a game that really goes with a typical Japanese style that many people have become pretty accustomed to over the years. But the big question with Enchanted Arms is how do they do in taking it to the next generation console?
So let’s talk about Enchanted Arms, which starts with the story, which to me is probably the most important aspect of any RPG, as this is really what helps keep a game of this length and styles have some reason for its play. The story for Enchanted Arms is one that seems a bit overused for these styles RPG’s, but nevertheless you play as a young guy who wakes up not knowing anything about anything except that he has this magic power that is extremely powerful. You find out that there were some people many years ago that created these golems that acted as servants. Well these things got out of control and they trapped them so they wouldn’t have to worry about them, but of course that didn’t work. So anyways it is your job to take out these evil creatures and save the world.
This is one RPG that actually manages to really go after its story and you will see this with a lot of cut scenes and a lot of plot development. To me however Enchanted Arms doesn’t make for an overly interesting story, mostly because everything either feels a) predictable or b) we have seen this story done a few times before. So moving along past the story, we see that Enchanted Arms is a game that follows a pretty linear path, one that really doesn’t leave a lot of room to wander around and explore. For the most part you know where you’re going at all times and things seem to be pretty self explanatory.
One of the big differences that Enchanted Arms has against other RPG’s out on the market is that this is a game that uses a 6x4 grid, which may not sound like much but makes this game a lot more challenging than you might expect. Using this size grid for this game really does manage to offer up a lot more challenge as half the battle is positioning.
The single player experience is what I would consider just a good solid RPG flow that doesn’t go too far off course with what we have seen over the years. However the game surprisingly does offer online play, which allows you to battle online. Now although this sounds just absolutely thrilling, the end result feels paper thin and rather disappointing. The battles just don’t seem to offer up any sort new or interesting experiences, and unfortunately it just isn’t as enjoyable as you might expect.
Although a lot of this review has had a negative tone to it, I should mention that this is a game that isn’t bad by any means, but instead just is disappointing. This game has all of the right tools at its disposal and for the most part plays well, but the overall appeal of the game just isn’t all that exciting. And that is really what hurts this game the most is that it really doesn’t have anything to excite us RPG fans.
Visually I have to say that Enchanted Arms gets the same sort of appeal that it got in the gameplay department. There is nothing overly wrong with the graphics, but there isn’t a whole lot to be excited about it either. In fact, I have to say that the environments in the game don’t really manage to bring in a very "next generation" feel to it. The character models are a bit better with some good detail and a great deal of variety. The best visual aspect of the game has to be the cut scenes, which look good and help the game move at a good pace.
I know that Enchanted Arms came in to the market with a lot of pressure; being the first real Japanese/turn based RPG into the next generation market. Enchanted Arms definitely makes a good first go at it with some typical RPG elements and just a very good well rounded experience that I think fans of the genre will enjoy. The only real downside that Enchanted Arms doesn’t manage to bring anything new to the table, so instead of getting a new feel, you have a typical RPG with a bit of a facelift.
Enchanted Arms is a game that manages to really bring the Japanese RPG to the 360, and this first outing is good. However for those who are expecting a totally new and next generation experience, unfortunately Enchanted Arms doesn’t bring that. This is a good RPG that is enjoyable to play and has all of the elements of a good game, just nothing that is all that new or exciting.
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.