If you can find a copy of this game at a decent price I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

User Rating: 7.8 | Arc: Twilight of the Spirits PS2
Arc the Lad: TOS was one of those games that I heard very little about during discussions of RPGs, so it was never on my "must buy" list. One day when I was in Gamespot I saw a used copy for $6 and I knew that GS gave it a decent review so I picked it up, figuring that I didn't have much to lose. When I got around to playing it I ended up having a fairly good time!

GAMEPLAY- Here's an area where the game tried to use some innovations, and for the most part they worked. First is combat, which is turn-based but does offer some strategy. Your character's turn starts with a full view of the battlefield, and a highlighted area that shows how far he can move that turn. Basically it is move, then action. If a monster is out of your movement area you won't be able to attack it unless you either have a projectile weapon or can cast a spell. Using the movement wisely is important in that this makes it possible for multiple characters to attack a monster, and if you can get behind a monster they are less likely to block. It can also be used to set up situations where you can attack multiple monsters in one strike if they are close enough to each other. Another innovation is that when monsters die they leave their treasure at the spot where they died, and if you don't take the time to go and pick it up before the battle is over it's gone forever. As the game went on this was less of a problem because of having many people in your party, and there was almost always at least one person who could grab the treasure. Last is the Spell Stones. This is an item that is used in order to cast magic, with the more powerful spells using more stones. Stones can be found when monsters are defeated and can also be bought at stores. Some people have complained about not wanting to use spells because of using up the stones too quickly but personally I never really found that to be a problem, and almost always had more than enough stones.

GRAPHICS - These graphics are pleasant, and backgrounds can occasionally be nicely detailed. Other than that this is nothing that will really impress you. Magic spells are pretty subdued, and a lot of the monsters you fight will be repeated. To be fair this game did come out a few years ago so I wouldn't say they were bad, just not on a Final Fantasy level.

SOUND - Probably the weakest area of the game. The music is like the graphics, pleasant but not memorable. You'll be unlikely to want to go out and buy this soundtrack. Some of the voices were interesting but unfortunately there was very little of it. During a rare cutscene you will hear speech but other than that it is all text, except for battles when you will hear the characters utter the same battle cries over and over.

VALUE - This game took approximately 40 hours, which is decent for a RPG. It did not offer the multiple sidequests that so many other RPGs have, and there is not too much incentive to replay it. Still, cosidering that you should be able to get this for a low price I'd say that it is a good value.

SUMMARy - This game does offer a good story in which you switch back and forth between two different protagonists, which keeps things interesting. It is a bit linear but the combat is enjoyable, which I think is very important in a RPG. Overall I would recommend this to anyone that's just looking for a decent game with some interesting battles.