- The wholly new battle system is a good idea
- Adding platforming and puzzle solving add something
- Story starts in a good way
- Battles are not intense or exciting enough
- Lots of dialogues and voice acting could be better
Wild Arms 4 introduces a whole new battle system, but is that enough to cover an otherwise uninteresting game? No doubt that this game has some enjoyable moments but in the end, it's severely disappointing.
This RPG follows a young boy called Jude whom is a normal boy until he discovers that he can hold a thing called ARM, a type of gun. After a while, he with his 2 partners had to evacuate his homeland because it was falling apart and ending on Filgaia. It was said that this was a cold land.
4 players are in the party and you'll have them by the beginning of the game. Jude who is a red haired ambitious boy who's ready to explore the world, Arnaud, Yulie and Raquel. The battle system supports up to 4 players which you will have after some time you end up on Filgaia. Fortunately they will learn some moves which differs them from each other. When it comes to EXP, Wild Arms 4 works a little in a good way. Those characters who participate most in battles earn a little more EXP, while does inactive earn less.
The hex-based battle system seems a pretty good idea from the traditional line ally vs. line enemy. But it still needs work 'cos the battles aren't intense enough, and it feels sort of chess. If you move your round ends. If you can't reach an enemy you have to move and then hit the next round. At the bottom of the screen, the game shows you whose round is next. In combat you can use normal attacks, skill like blast, heal and special attack when you have. But somehow the battles feel weak, why? There isn't that blast that a powerful battle system has. Staying on a special colored hex, like water and using blast, you hit the enemy with that particular element, if they are weak, the better.
Some neat platforming and puzzles are found here. You will use Jude for roaming and exploring the area. You can carry and throw boxes, hitting switches to open locked doors. Use the R1 to slow time while crossing disappearing bridges. That's all part of Wild Arms 4. In towns you can talk to people, buy, and the usual. Traveling is pretty easy since you don't have to walk, just select your destination and the game teleports you.
Usually in other RPGs you press the /_\ button to open menu. Wild Arms 4 tries to be a little special and changes some things, by jumping using the triangle button and to dash. It's pretty strange and rare (don't know if it's the same in Alter Code F). Camera is overhead and sometimes far away but shouldn't create problems. But there is a lot of running and backtracking. Random encounters make reappearance in Wild Arms 4 but somehow the rate isn't frustrating, it's more focused on platforming.
Graphically Wild Arms 4 is good. Environments look how they should be. Music gets repetitive but doesn't give headaches. Voice acting is passable but nothing great. There are a bit too many dialogues and if there is a special occasion a cutscene appears. Pace is a bit slow sometimes.
Platforming and new battle system add something to this game which with a new more power could have been more enjoyable. If you played Wild Arms 5, don't play this since it will feel like a waste, since what this game is lacking is dynamic energy to the weak combat system. Still Wild Arms 4 is a worthwhile for RPG fans and fans of the series, while it's not the best RPG of 2006, it's a unique role-playing experience that maybe it's checking out if you're not looking for a great story and gameplay.
Graphics = 8.2
WA4 looks a bit dated when it comes to environments, but the models look solid. There are lots of colors.
Music = 7.3
There are too many dialogues and less voice acting which is decent, but nothing to be getting excited about. Soundtrack get repetitive but it's not gonna give you a headache.
Presentation = 7.5
Cutscenes appear a bit rarely but they look good. Load times aren't a bother at all; it saves quicker than other games. Production values are gooood.
Gameplay = 7.0
Not very dynamic or powerful, but some solid platforming and the fact that the battle system is new and unique helps it. 4 playable characters which you will get from the beginning isn't quite a great idea. Random encounter rate isn't frustrating or anything, balanced enough. The EXP earning is strange but it works well.
Camera = 6.7
A bit high and sometimes far away and you can't change it except zooming in. Shouldn't create problems when it comes to puzzles or battles.
Story = 7.5
The story starts well enough but there is a bit too much backtracking makes it feel a bit slow moving. It should be long even though I haven't completing it 'cos it's an RPG.
OVERALL SCORE = 7.4 / 10
What the game is lacking is energy and power to the battle system but otherwise this game is worth checking out if you don't mind some backtracking. Must have for fans and must rent for true RPG fans, those out of those 2 world, Wild Arms 4 is nothing special and there are other RPGs better than this.