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Wild Arms 2

video game review video game review Video Game Review: Wild Arms 2 Publisher: Sony
Category: Role-Playing
Platform: PS1
ESRB Rating: Everyone    Release Date: May 2000

Overall Rating: 1.5 Stars out of 4

Review by Tom Allen
1½ Stars out of 4

Wild Arms was one of the best games of 1997, nominated for Game of the Year in the annual Awards. The appealing 2-D graphics, unique battle customization design, fun Zelda-like puzzle action, and fantastic opening anime made the game unforgettable.

Virtually none of those elements exist in the sequel. The 3-D graphics are horrible and unnecessary. All of the charm is gone. While Breath of Fire managed to transfer its charm from 2-D to 3-D, Wild Arms fails miserably.

The dull color schemes and uninspired cinemas bring the series closer to Legend of Legaia than to the majesty of the original epic, which actually had an interesting storyline. Remember the sympathetic golem?

Only six (6) cinemas span the two-disc game. Two of the six are montages; one is simply a long zoom-out-from-Earth shot; one is a credit sequence with a mini-montage in a small window to the side; and the remaining two are barely cinemas at all. They are "pencil" drawing composites which look very nice but don't do much more than show a new character.

The dialogue is poorly written, with unrealistic exclamations of excitement and forced observations or events that lead to the next story beat. Even worse is the lack of analog control.

The best part of Wild Arms 2 is the avoidable encounters. Press the circle button and you can avoid almost all enemy attacks. This feature, or some variation of it, should be incorporated into most every game of this type.

I want to know who decided to turn this into a 3-D game. That person deserves either a spanking or a lesson in making more appealing 3-D graphics.

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