|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: FromSoftware||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: April 3, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by D'Marcus Beatty
The PlayStation 3 is having a difficult time right now. Most of its big titles are going multiplatform, and a lot of the games coming to the system currently are just ports of games that have been available on other systems for months now. Enchanted Arms is the latest in these, a port of one of the first RPGs available on the Xbox 360. While it was a fairly mediocre RPG when it was released for the X360 nearly a year ago, and it loses some of its luster with time and the dropping of a few features, so it's less appealing on the PlayStation 3. However, it is a decent game and a good fix for anyone waiting desperately for some RPG action on their PS3.
Enchanted Arms is the story of Atsuma, a student at the unimaginatively named Enchant Academy. Atsuma is a simple-minded underachiever who sleeps through his classes and lives in the shadow of friend and classmate Toya. Atsuma does, however, have one distinct and important element about him: He has a mysterious arm that disrupts magic. His arm's abilities come in handy too, as soon after the game begins, things degenerate pretty quickly and Atsuma and pals are the only thing standing in the way of pure chaos.
In the world of Enchanted Arms, Golems once existed to serve mankind as robot-like servants. However, one day the Golems revolted against their human masters, which caused a mythical war between the two factions. The details of the war were lost to time and many people doubt the truth of the story and the existence of Golems. Predictably enough, Golems resurface and it is up to Atsuma and his friends to save the world from the threat of the Devil Golems and unravel the mystery behind their emergence and malice.
Enchanted Arms is a fairly nice looking game. The character models and environments are all well-done, although the still models used during dialogue as well as some of the open areas are plain looking and uninspired. Also, the camera angle during the battles seemed oddly positioned, giving a skewed view of the battlefield that usually obscures smaller foes.
Speaking of the battles, Enchanted Arms uses a traditional turn based battle approach. The battles are fought on a grid that is divided down the center, with foes on one side and allies on the other. The player has to maneuver around their side of the grid to get the best position, as different attacks have different ranges. There's more than the typical degree of strategy involved here, as the player will have to choose attacks and worry about positioning to battle effectively, although it is far from an RTS game. For the most part the battle system is traditional and simple, although it seems odd to have the line of demarcation between foes and friends on a battle grid.
Even with its mediocre story and gameplay, Enchanted Arms worst element is its atrocious voice acting and script by far. The script isn't laughably bad or "so bad it's good", it's just annoyingly bad. There are points in the dialogue that will make most players wince or grimace. Since the story is standard fantasy fare and lacks innovation, most people will want to zip through the dialogue to save them some pain.
One of the game's biggest draws is the ability to collect and create Golems later in the game. When the player encounters and defeats certain creatures in battle, they'll be able to use the creature's core to create one of numerous Golems in the game. The Golems can fight for the player, in effect becoming a reserve party member. The Golems are all unique and useful, which makes the hunt for them more fulfilling. The PlayStation 3 version adds 30 new Golems with a total of over one hundred potential Golems to catch and create a la Pokemon.
Two big changes have been made to the game for its port to the PlayStation 3. The first is the obligatory use of Sixaxis tilting mechanics in some mini-games and attack moves. Shaking the controller at certain points in the game will fill Atsuma's attack meter, increase some special attacks' power, and use Atsuma's grappling hook. Although it feels unnecessary, the Sixaxis support is implemented better than a lot of other PlayStation 3 games. The other change is the lack of the ability to play against others online. The Xbox 360 version allowed players to create a team and battle others online, but that option is missing on the PlayStation 3, and its lack is glaring.
Overall, Enchanted Arms is a decent RPG experience, especially for those gamers looking for their role-playing fix on the PlayStation 3. If you've already played the game on the Xbox 360, there isn't much more here for you. The thirty new Golems and the Sixaxis support don't really offset the loss of online play. However, if you're just looking for an RPG to pass the time, you could do worse than Enchanted Arms.
CCC Co-Site Director