With all the foul spirited hype of the Xbox 360 stealing PS3 exclusives, it seems rather amusing to see the PS3 unexpectedly doing the same right back with Japanese RPG Enchanted Arms.
It may not be the license everyone’s waiting for, but it certainly does seem an interesting title cited to have over 50 hours of gameplay and a pretty unique battle system. The title puts you in the role of Hotsuma; the usual young, hot headed hero who inadvertently triggers a catastrophe which he must put right.
A hello to arms
The world he strives to save has the interesting setting of a neo-fantasy fusion between a sci-fi future and feudal Japan. There’s an accompanying cast of a cutesy princess, an annoying kid, a female samurai, the mysterious loner and a ladies man: as close as you’ll come to a who’s who of RPG cliches.
Pretty much everything about this game screams traditional RPG, which will do little to innovate. But with its decent voice acting, high cinematic graphics quality and good soundtrack, Enchanted Arms should very much appeal to fans of the genre.
Where this game does become more interesting to a wider audience is the battle system. For starters, the above mentioned story characters come and go from your band of heroes, and the 360 version boasted the ability to substitute them with over 100 Golem monsters in battle. The PS3 gets an extra 30 new exclusives for your deployment.
The turn-based combat also features an intriguing twist. The battle field is a grid split into two halves the player and opponent are restricted to. Movement and action phases take place. Your party members each have ‘vitality points’ which basically counts as a turn limit. At the end of battle, even characters retired to the side lines earn experience, but active party members also gain money, skill points for gaining custom stat boosts and extra skill points for learning a number of typical elemental spells and abilities.
This fusion between traditional turn based and traditional strategy-RPG systems, has certainly grabbed our attention. It starts off simple but becomes increasingly rich and complex as you explore the system, especially when tailoring your characters as you want them.
This traditional but fresh RPG also boasts all-new English language voice acting and 10 minutes of extra anime cut scenes for the PS3 version. Enchanted Arms is a launch title for Europe (23rd March), with the U.S. wrapping their arms around it from 27th March.