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LONG BLOG

Awesomely Underrated #3: Wild Arms

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(awesome wallpaper is awesome)

(Naia apologizes for the lack of Awesomely Underrated last week. She spent all last
week getting ready to and finally move to a bigger apartment. She's still living in
boxes.)

I make it no secret that I love RPG's, particularly the ones hailing from Japan. My choices
in console always reflect where the JRPG's are, like clockwork, and so when the majority of
JRPG's jumped ship from Nintendo's consoles, I too jumped ship. One of the first RPG's I
recall owning was a lesser known Sony first party title called Wild Arms. Eclipsed by Final
Fantasy VII, Wild Arms has garnered Awesomely Underrated status (or AU for short) in my
book.

Like most JRPG's Wild Arms is turn based, has random battles and characters who have HP
and MP. Unlike a lot of JRPG's at the time (and even now) Wild Arms takes place in a wild-
west style universe. This is a nice change from the medieval and sci-fi ilk in the RPG world.
People in the universe of Filgaia seek these weapons called ARMS, which may look like
normal guns, but become more of an extension of the person who uses it. They are relics
of ancient technology from an age of war in Filgaia, and are connected to other fantasy and
mythical artifacts of ancient times. Most of the game involves discovering these artifacts
are three characters find themselves battling the invasion of demons. The plot itself is
pretty archaic like many JRPG's but it is nice to see the western theme so present in the
Wild Arms (and its sequels).

Another addition to Wild Arms which made it so unique is the tool system used in the game.
Each of the three characters you play as in Wild Arms acquire tools which can be used as
items in dungeons, almost like in the Legend of Zelda. Unlike Zelda the uses are unlimited
and needed to solve puzzles to help the player advance in a dungeon. It was the first RPG
I had played since the Lufia series on the SNES that really picked my brain to find solutions.
For example, one of the characters Rudy had bombs which would blow up boxes, walls, or
activate switches, whereas Jack had a pet that could scurry in small holes and pick up
treasures from far distances. The tools made things a little more interesting and helped the
focus in the gameplay to be more than just random battles.

One aspect of battle that was (and has been) unique to the Wild Arms series is the force
meter. As your characters get hit, they build up strength in the force meter, which allows
for the character to use more powerful attacks. These attacks in turn consume force
points. Imagine the limit breaks in FF7 having their own consumable meter. This was how
the force meter worked. When it reached 100% the character became "condition green"
which automatically healed all status ailments, something that helped me get out of jams
many times. Each character learned only a few force skills in the game but were very
powerful skills that summoned golems to attack for you, increase the effectiveness of items
and boosted stats among other things.

While Wild Arms is not groundbreaking in story telling or graphics, it provided another JRPG
that was light-hearted and entertaining. Its western theme was a nice change of pace and
it had a few interesting battle and puzzle mechanics that kept it interesting. Besides, it also
had the most awesome intro for a video game EVAR.



If you haven't played Wild Arms, and like RPG's I would try to find this one. Its only $6.00
on PSN or if you can find it I would get Wild Arms Alter Code F, a PS2 remake of the first
game. In its own way, the series itself is horribly underrated being swept aside for flashier
titles. If you can't find Wild Arms I would even recommend trying out the other titles in the
series; they don't sway too much from the formula that already works well in the Wild Arms
universe.
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About naia-the-gamerone of us since 1:51 PM on 09.13.2007

My name is Naia (pronounced either Nay-a or Neye-a, like yay or like eye). I've been poking around here for a while, although I don't comment as much as I used to. I do the music and the sound stuff. Teach and do scholarly research too! I do mostly freelance work and I'm always looking for people (even on DToid) to do fun projects with in entertainment. That can be either in theater, film, TV, or video games. I want to be like Kermit the Frog and be part of a group that entertains and makes people happy. I also love blue slimes, puppies and Sprinkles Cupcakes.

I've been playing computer and video games all my life. My dad was a programmer so we got an IBM 5150 PC very early on in the 80's. For Christmas in 1989 my parents surprised me with a Nintendo and it's been downhill ever since. I have/had most consoles over the years, mainly from Sony or Nintendo. I've had some Sega consoles and an Xbox 360 too.

I'm a big fan of the JRPG trinity of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Fire Emblem (more DQ and FE lately, but I didn't hate FFXV). I was a finalist in Nintendo's DQ6 trivia contest back in 2011. I play RPGs, Action/Adventure, Platformers, Puzzles, and Point-n-Click Adventure games. I will play fighters and shooters, but they have to be the right kind of game.

Also, Rydia is my hero.

I'm such a nerd, I like to keep track of all the games I've completed in an excel file (it's over 400). Now that my backlog is out of control I have a word document for that too. My goal is to for once and for all eliminate the backlog, or at least keep it to a number in the single digits.

I have a lot of things to say about the game industry, it's something I care deeply about and love giving my opinions. I like to rant about shit. I'm here just to share what I have to say, in hopes someone is willing to listen.

Also for the record, my Top 5 Games of All Time
1. Chrono Trigger
2. Final Fantasy 4
3. Super Mario 3
4. Dragon Quest 11
5. Phantasy Star 4

Yes, I love my retro games (and DQ 11)


Thanks to The GHost for this awesome card!
Xbox LIVE:naia28
PSN ID:naia28
Steam ID:naia28
BattleNET:naia28
Mii code:7309 4775 1557 9362
3DS Code:4167-4502-0418


 

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