Enchanted Arms was a mess, but the sidequests kept me going.
Enchanted Arms was..eeh.. ok I guess. The graphics are really bad. The voice acting annoying. The story was crap. However, I did like dungeon crawling in the game. I loved finding all the Golems (I got most of them). There was plenty of fun sidequests. I loved building up my characters skills. While the battle system was a little slow, you can set your battles to Auto, so you can create really fast battles if you wanted. This is an AWESOME idea for a game with random encounters. Not only that, but you can put your characters attacks in Fast Forward aswell, speeding up the battle system even more!
While I hated alot of things about Enchanted Arms, there was still quite a bit of things I enjoy about it too.
Enchanted Arms is a turn-based RPG. All turns are round based. If your team starts first (which is 99% of the time), then you have to set all your moves, then watch them all unfold. After your team has moved then you watch the enemy retaliate with their attack. This goes back and forth until one side is dead.
Enchanted Arms is a grid based game. So when you get into a random encounter, your team is on one side, while the enemies are on another. You can have up to four playable characters for a team. The team is randomly placed on the grid, then you can move them around in any order and select your moves.
You can use items, skills or EX attacks. Items are self explanatory. You learn skills over time, buy them or find them. When you want to learn a skill, you first need Sp, which you gain when you defeat an enemy. Once you obtained the skill, then learned it, you can then equip up to 5 skills per character for each two skill sets. The first skill set is Battle skills. These skills you can use in battle. Each battle skill is unique to each of the main playable characters. Each battle skill have pre-determined ranges and powers, similar to turn-based strategy games like Final Fantasy Tactics. Your battle skills can reach various grids sizes. The other skill set is Support skills. These skills can be equipped by everyone. These skills boost your stats or protect you from status effect magics.
EX attacks are special attacks, kinda like Limit breaks. Your party as an EX meter bar on the battle grid. When you kill an enemy, you gain a little percentage of EX points. When you have enough, you can use one of the powerful EX attacks against your enemy. Another bar you might watch out for is a Combo bar, this grows during each move. If you attack in unison with one of your characters, then you might use a combo attack that can unleash a powerful attack.
You can get Golems to join your party as well. You can find them or buy them. Similar to Dragon Quest 8, which also had random encounters, you'll find Golems wondering around on the world map. You can challenge them to a fight, and if you win, you get to keep them. You can use these Golems in battle anytime you want, actually you don't even need to use any of your main characters, excluding Astuma. You can primarily use Golems if you wanted. You can hold up to 8 Golems at a time for reserve.
After you win a battle, you gain TB (money), Experience and SP (skill points). Along with this you also gain three item types as well, Power Gem, Mind Gem and Speed Gem. You need these items for item synthesis. You can build weapons and golems with these items. The Skill Points are also a major factor into the game because you can build up any character's stats with them.
Each character also have a VP meter, which I think means Vitality Points, but I'm not 100% sure on that. Either way, these VP restore everyone's HP and EP after a battle, kinda like Wild Arms games. If you run out of VP, then you'll need to swap that character out because you'll be seriously gimped in battle.
----------Characters / Story----------
You play as Astuma, a dimwitted moron student with a weird Enchanted arm. His arm has the ability to absorb mass amounts of ether. Astuma and his two buddies accidentally unleash a powerful Devil Golem from her slumber. The Devil Golem is the most powerful Golem on Earth and plans to conquer the world on city at a time. Astuma makes it his goal to save the world with his unique abilities.
Ok, the characters are fairly annoying, I think I hated just about all the main characters, especially Karin, who was a shrill, annoying and bossy. She is probably the least likable female lead in a game I've ever encountered. The story is predictable stuff. The dialog is really bad at times, and they don't know when it's a bad comedy game or a bad serious rpg.
Ehhh.. the graphics suck. There's a few moments in the game that makes me realize it's a 360 game, otherwise this could of easily been slapped on the original Xbox just fine. The only good parts was the big environments, and uh... nice lighting effects. I liked the wide variety of Golems.
The bad parts are just about everything else. The character models suck. The battle animations are PS2 quality. The battle grid is ugly. The character animations, including cutscenes, dialog scenes, and everything is are poor. The character mouths barely move or sometimes don't even move during dialog scenes. The water effects are N64 quality. Overall, the game doesn't have much personality. The environments from the castle walls to the grassy fields are generic and boring.
Where do I begin with this? While the music is ok at best, it can be repetitive. I can remember a few tunes here and there, so I guess it's slightly rememberable stuff, but nothing on a Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest or even Baten Kaitos level of quality here.
The voice work is my biggest grief here. They're freaking AWFUL. Not only are most of the characters just play annoying but they're poorly acted as well. I haven't heard such poor voice acting in a long long time.
The world map is just a open area of connecting towns, fields and dungeons, much like a Zelda game, Fable or Dragon Quest 8. The game feels linear because you're often limited to where you can travel at first. Near the middle of the game you'll find a warp device that can take you back to the first real town in the game. Then towards the very end of the game you'll find a town full of warp devices that will take you to 4 major sections of the world. Because of this, you won't feel like you have much freedom in the game until the very end.
----------Time to Complete Game----------
The game saves after the credits, as far as I know it doesn't open anything new up. The final boss fight was frustrating because it had 7 or 8 forms, this was nearly as bad as Legend of Dragoon.