|System: X360 (XBLA)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Wanako Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sierra Online||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 12, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Arkadian Warriors is a very interesting title. On the one hand, it seems to do everything right. It has an easy to learn battle system, mysterious dungeon areas, different character classes, and a central hub area where you can pick up different missions. However, for everything it does right, this title fails at one central thing: innovation.
Arkadian warriors starts off pretty simply; it begins with you choosing a character class. The list here is a little thin, consisting of an archer, warrior, and sorceress. As you may expect, these character classes each have different strengths and weaknesses, with the archer and sorceress having ranged and high energy attacks, and the soldier class featuring close combat attacks. Each class has an independent attack roster, which cannot be combined or merged with others.
One thing that immediately irked me about this title was the lack of customization. For instance, if you want to be a magic-type character, you must play as a blue-haired female. You are not able to choose your gender or any other physical attributes, and unlike many other action/dungeon type games, you cannot customize your attack roster or level up certain abilities. With Arkadian Warriors, what you see is what you get, and that is definitely to this title's detriment.
After you choose your character, you are dropped into a central hub area with shops and people just itching to talk to you. You'll quickly learn that each person you speak with will have some sort of "destroy X number of Y monsters" quest that you will have to go on. Each time you accept a quest you will be transported to a dungeon-like setting, complete with monsters and treasure. Each one is set up with different rooms, and once you clear each floor of monsters, you can move on to the next.
Although there are a fair amount of missions in this game, one thing that never materializes is a coherent story. Although many modern games have formulaic and predictable stories, this title doesn't even try in this departments. Characters rarely say more than a few sentences, and they don't ever explain why you need to do a special mission or what their relationship is to you or anyone else for that matter. Although it is easy to knock a game for having a boring or over-used story, I think it is far worse that this game didn't even try to attempt having a coherent story.
The battle system is fairly simple; it consists of using one button for a general class-based attack, one button for a special attack, and the D-pad for items. Although this battle system is ridiculously easy to learn, I was really let down by the lack of depth. There are no special combos or ultimate attacks, and just mashing your attack button will suffice for most rooms.
In addition to regular attacks, each character has an alter-ego form that will give them increased powers for a certain amount of time. This alter-ego form can be triggered after filling up an attack meter with combos. Once you initiate your alter-ego transformation, you will have a few seconds with which to vanquish your enemies with a higher-power version of your standard attacks. Although this element does add a little bit of variety to the battles, the different attacks with the alter-egos are all the same as the attacks with the regular character, and there's no real strategic advantage or cinematic benefit to using the alter-egos.