It's hard to explain why the story is not great without giving away spoilers but I'll say the story begins in a village which gets invaded by an army whom are searching for a person whom they believe can power a weapon of great power.After a series of events,a group of 4 characters including the main character named Jude,as well as a couple of cute female characters named Yulie and Raquel and another male character named Arnaud must travel the world to find a way to stop the army and to discover secrets about the world and to keep the character whom the army are chasing safe and Jude also needs to rescue his mother.
Believe me when I say the world has some big and shocking secrets to reveal.But what I like most about the story is how it makes you care about the characters and it can be due to them having an emotional backstory and you want to help them or even something such as how Jude had never seen a girl before he met Yulie even though he had seen women before then(and you'll discover why)and it made me think were his personality traits/behavours caused by this? and the story has potential for romances to develop.The story can be heartbreaking and heartwarming and kind of depressing but when it's depressing it suits the particular character/story situation.I also like how the story is enjoyable and kept my interest without being complex.
The environments often have a nice wild west feel to them,such as having the types of towns that look like the type you'd see in cowboy movies but there's also some lush grassy areas,tropical areas,snowy mountains(when you travel through them you'll feel like you're surrounded by steep mountainous terrain) and Sci Fi environments too.I like the artistic effects such as seeing beautiful sunsets or other touches such as environments engulfed by a sandstorm or how you'll see smoke from the chimneys on the buildings in the little western style towns(which is charming)and aurora effects when you're in snowy areas and you'll see bright-colored energy created from machines in Sci Fi environments.You'll see people traveling by trains and push bikes in the western style towns but you'll also see airships flying around too.
As for the battle system,it's turn-based and battles take place on 7 hexagons(hexes).When you perform an attack or spell against an enemy on a certain colored hex it will affect all enemies whom are on the same colored hex.Some hexes have elemental properties that reduce the damage your party members will receive from spells of that property.Another reason you need to be careful when maneuvering your party members around the hexes it's easy to leave your party members vulnerable to the attacks of multiple enemies if they're standing on a hex that is that same color that another party member is standing on.The battle system makes you think tactically and was unique for it's time.
It's annoying how only the character whom defeats an enemy gets XP,which can cause your party members to level up unevenly.
When you're not in battle you can explore towns and you'll need to travel through dungeons and the dungeons have lots of puzzles and the puzzles are kinda boring and annoying.
The game is not a long game,it should take a little over 30 hours to beat.
The graphics on a technical level look quite good for a PS2 game and like I've said there's great anime scenes and cutscenes to see.
The music can be beautiful at times.
Overall,Wild Arms 4 is very unique and a worthy experience for any JRPG fan and is one of the best games I've played from the 6th gen(and I've played hundreds of 6th gen titles including most of the big name titles including all the best JRPGs from the 6th gen and Wild Arms 4 is up there with them).