Enchanted Arms Reviews

  • Zonrith1Zonrith1625,433
    27 Dec 2009 19 Aug 2013
    34 1 4
    Description
    Enchanted Arms is a JRPG. Its plot adheres to the fairly typical motif for the genre (save the world from a vast, nigh unstoppable evil that you, as the main protagonist, and your merry band are the only ones fit to stop). The game is characterized by a large pool of party selection choices (thanks to golems, manufactured beings that are both a blessing and a curse throughout the game) and a turn-based grid-combat system.

    Let's look at the specifics:

    Graphics/Sound (6/10)
    Graphically, the game starts out quite impressive. Lush backgrounds and fairly detailed character work make this, like many JRPGs, a visual treat. The game is an earlier title for the 360, and some of that does show at this point. However, more notable than that is some of the later artwork. It's just... lacking. As if they were rushed or felt it wasn't as needed. Monotonous backgrounds and otherwise bland design plague the later points of the game, tarnishing its earlier impression.

    In terms of sound, the main issue comes down to the voice-acting. The quality of the English voice actors varies by actor, but chances are one will identify at least one or two as poorly done. To me, these were amusing and I didn't mind, but those more into a serious JRPG style (and, in my experience, most try to be serious) may resent the approach the English voices take. However, the Japanese voicing is available and can be activated if one wants to experience the original audio work. The golems were not re-dubbed and remain in Japanese regardless of selection.

    Controls (10/10)
    The controls are solid. I experienced no problems with moving my characters and controlling their actions (be it in combat or interacting in the towns). Menu manipulation was all intuitive, and I never felt like I was hampered by the controller during my playthrough.

    Story (6/10)
    As noted in my description, it's fairly typical. If you're hoping for a JRPG with a unique story, this is not the game you're looking for. However, I did rate it slightly above average for a couple reasons. First, it injects a lot more in-game humor than I've usually seen from console-based JRPGs. Second, the main character is far less moody/emo/weak/whatever than typical. Early on there is the typical JRPG "funk", where the protagonist is full of angst and self-doubt. Unlike most JRPGs I've played, however, he seems to overcome it in short order and adopts a more mature and progressive outlook. In short, this by-and-large skips out on being a coming-of-age tale.

    Replay Value (2/10)
    Sadly, there is hardly any value to replaying this. The game is extremely linear. There are, as near as I could tell, two side-quests (one I did, and one I started but did not finish). Everything else is involved in advancing the main plot. Achievements offer no replay incentive, as all but one come during completion (one requires an end-game choice, so if you choose wrong even a relatively late-game save will let you go back to get it). The main game isn't short, however. It weighs in at around 40 hours, plus or minus depending on if you do the side quests.

    The only real replay value (and I use the phrase loosely for this) would be the online component for golem fighting. I don't know if anyone even does this, but it does remain an option for those that really dig the golems and like to level them and duel with them all pokemon style.

    "Fun" Factor (7/10)
    I had more fun with this than I was expecting, especially given it has random encounters (a fight mechanic that I feel is dated now that it isn't a programming necessity). I attribute that to three causes:
    1) The story having more humor and less emo than my typical JRPG experience;
    2) The grid-based combat system. It actually requires a lot of strategic thought against harder enemies (and there is a speed-up option to lessen the pain of fighting low-level stuff);
    3) The vast party make-up selection. While this game is light on "main" party members, there are so many golems that can be used that one can quickly become overwhelmed. The level of customization it allows is quite impressive, and I was swapping around my party make-up constantly to best utilize my golems against a given area's opponents.

    In all, Enchanted Arms is both unoriginal and unique. It's failings are notable, but its strengths are well appreciated. In all, if you like the idea of the story and find the grid-system intriguing, you may want to try this out. If you want a stalwart JRPG full of serious characters, and are tired of random encounters, this game isn't for you.

    Overall score average: 6.2

    Score-to-Star Translation Guide:
    5 stars: 9.01 to 10 (out of 10)
    4.5 stars: 8.01 to 9
    4 stars: 7.01 to 8
    3.5 stars: 6.01 to 7
    3 stars: 5.01 to 6
    2.5 stars: 4.01 to 5
    2 stars: 3.01 to 4
    1.5 stars: 2.01 to 3
    1 star: 1.01 to 2
    0.5 stars: 0 to 1
    3.5
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    GremUKNice review. Think I will pick this up cheap sometime soon
    Posted by GremUK on 05 Mar 10 at 15:52
    Baxterstopmana 6.2 score deserves 4 stars?
    Posted by Baxterstopman on 08 Jun 10 at 18:20
    Zonrith1It does under the distribution I chose, which was an attempt to equitably assign the ranges (2 points per star). Here are the specifics:
    5 stars: 8.01 to 10 (out of 10)
    4 stars: 6.01 to 8
    3 stars: 4.01 to 6
    2 stars: 2.01 to 4
    1 star: 0 to 2

    It'd be less of course if I factored in a "0 star" score, but this site requires a minimum score of 1 star, so that's the range I constructed to match my 10-point system to the TA star system. So, a 6.2 is barely a 4 star, but still in the range I adhere to for all my reviews here.
    Posted by Zonrith1 on 08 Jun 10 at 20:32
  • CyphateCyphate384,252
    24 Apr 2009 29 Apr 2009
    24 7 3
    Enchanted Arms: A typical surreal Japanese alternate reality with living-robot-esque creatures called Golems roam the world and are used by humans in numerous different ways, from pets to war-machines. 3 friends from Yokohama University are unwittingly caught up in an epic and world-destroying battle between good and evil, where the going is far from easy.

    Having missed the boat on Final Fantasy, Enchanted Arms seemed like a nice alternative to get into japanimation gaming, with a simple turn-based battle RPG. What I discovered was all that, and so much more. The gameplay isn't really great in all fairness. The pattern consists of Atsuma(You - the Main Character) running around by himself, and getting hit with randomly occurrring battles which then turn into a grid-based turn-based combat screen.

    The combat is very simple, each side has a 4x4 grid to position 4 characters, and their attacks to according damage to certain grid spaces depending on their position, its smooth, flowing, and if you're a fan of taking turns, there's really nothing to complain about.

    The graphics are epic. There's really no other way to describe them, they're awesome, some of the views you see are totally mind-blowing, comparable with leaving the sewers in Oblivion, or the Washington Monument in Fallout 3. The cityscapes are incredible, and the first view on return to frozen Yokohama was worth buying the game in itself. the characters are near flawless, complimenting the stereotypical Japanese anime look, with wide eyes, strange hair and eccentric clothing.

    The story was very good, with the character relationships and development interesting to watch, and the plot line was reasonably simple, but effective, and although reasonably direct, allowed for breaks in thinking with some side quests, and other incentives to aid you in fighting through the 35-55 hours of gameplay the story will take to complete, depending on how much you do. The Golem idea is not particularly original, with lots of previous similarities to genres in the way of Pokemon. Again, it's a tried and tested idea, the diversity of the Golems is impressive, and the designs are good.

    There's 1000 achievement points on offer with 1 completion if you choose the longer, and much more difficult ending, as opposed to the short one. And naturally, there is no multiplayer.

    In summary, if you like JRPGs, you will like this game, if you don't, you probably won't. It's very black and white. I personally, loved it, and I want to rate it as highly as I can, but I think that I have to take into account the small target market this game has, and the fact that although the game is beautiful to view, fun to play and brought together very well, there's not much originality. 9/10


    Footnote: I would appreciate people taking the time to add their opinions and/or constructive critisism on this review. If you want to put a negative score at least take the time to tell me why. Thanks.
    5.0
  • Darktom77Darktom77209,680
    28 Jan 2011 28 Jan 2011
    11 0 1
    (Possible Spoilers)

    Enchanted arms is your very typical JRPG, your group of characters is on a mission to the save the world from the big bad guy, now it may sound the same as all the other RPG games out there but Enchanted arms does something different.

    Story – 6/10

    For most people the story is what separates a good RPG from an amazing RPG, unfortunately Enchanted arms’ story is not the best, don’t get me wrong it is good just not amazing. This is a world filled with things called golems which as far as I can tell are very similar to machines made with magic, I say this because the game never really explains what they are, all it tells you is that about 1000 years ago there was a golem war which almost destroyed the entire world.

    The whole story revolves around your main character Atsuma who after accidently reviving a devil golem has to go on a journey to save the world, it’s nothing new but what is new is the way the characters are portrayed, all the characters are willing to have a joke and none of them take anything to seriously until the last moment when they have to, it is refreshing to have characters that are actually enjoying the journey as well instead of your usual moody don’t talk much bunch.
    Unfortunately some characters talk too much, you will soon realise which characters these are and might get really annoyed with them unless you have a high tolerance.

    Gameplay
    – 10/10

    When you are running around in the Enchanted arms world the controls will fit perfectly, the left stick moves you and the right stick moves the camera. It is also very easy to do everything as anything you can interact with is done using the A button and this is made very apparent as the game likes to keep telling you how to use it, I’m not joking when I say this but for the first hour or so of the game you will keep getting stopped every 5 minutes as the game tells you that to climb a ladder you need to press A on it, or to open this door press A on it. (You have been warned!)

    Anyway, what really makes Enchanted arms shine is the battle system, when you go into battle with the enemy your party of four will be placed randomly on a 4X3 grid and you opponents will be placed on a similar one in front of you, every attack targets a certain amount of squares so it is your job to move the characters around the grid an pick the right attacks to hit your opponents. The combat in Enchanted arms is what makes it original and is what keeps the game going.

    Another thing of note is the sheer amount of characters you can have in your party whereas normally in an RPG game you may get 6 or 7 characters in this there are only 4 main characters relevant to the story but because all the monsters in the game are golems you can create almost all of them to fight for you with just the exception of a few bosses. This creates, literally, hundreds of possible party members.

    Graphics and Sound
    – 5/10

    Enchanted arms is now several years old and on occasion this shows with a few bland textures or a glitchy background but for the majority of the game the graphics are of a high standard and surpass some games that are coming out now.

    On the other hand the sound lets the game down. Now the music in the areas you are travelling in is usually good and suits the feel nicely with only a few exceptions and all the menu sounds and combat sounds are good as well, it’s the voice acting that lets this game down. There are some good voices like Raigar, Toya, and even the Queen of Ice but you don’t seem to notice them when you have to listen to some of the other characters like Karin who always seems to be squealing really loudly, sometimes it is hard to even listen to a cutscene when she is talking.

    Extras

    Enchanted arms does have Xbox live capabilities which is surprising for an RPG game, When you are on Xbox live you are allowed to have golem battles, which is where you and the other person choose up to 4 golems from all the ones you have in your single player game and battle them against each other. Unfortunately Xbox live on this game is now dead, no matter when you search for a game nobody seems to be on it but if you really want to try out the online then just send me a friend request and ill have a few games because I believe that Enchanted arms’ online had potential but not enough people played it to keep it going.

    Now for the achievements. Enchanted arms is an easy 1000G. As long as you are half decent at RPG games then you will easily be able to 100% this game, that is because all of the achievements are story based. There are only a few that could be considered hard and that’s only because the boss in the game is difficult but as long as you put enough time in or just look at the solution you should have no trouble.

    Conclusion

    Enchanted arms is a very average RPG that throws everything an RPG game should have at you but doesn’t do much of it differently from anything else, with the only exception being the battle system which is very unique. It will take you around 40 hours to complete the game but because of the lack of side quests, the linearity of the main story and the dead Xbox live servers most people will do one play through and never touch it again. Despite all this there is something about this game that draws me to it and I am currently playing it again just for fun, maybe it’s just a guilty pleasure.

    Story – 6/10
    Gameplay – 10/10
    Graphics and Sound – 5/10

    Average – 7/10
    3.5
  • Vermillion HazeVermillion Haze183,336
    15 Jun 2013
    8 1 6
    Enchanted Arms is the generations first traditional JRPG. So traditional in fact it often turns away more people then it attracts. Armed with good graphics, a highly addictive battle system and a Final Fantasy meets Pokemon premise this game had a lot of potential. Unfortunately poor writing and art direction derailed this potential franchise before it got off the ground.

    You play as the rebellious "Atsuma" your typical teen delinquent attending the revered Enchant University. The game centers around Atsuma's right arm which has the mysterious power to absorb enchantments and resonate with godlike creatures known as "Devil Golems". While the game has some decent plot twists that make him interesting, the writers seemed to be content to keep him as the bumbling idiot and comic relief throughout the story. Constantly being thwarted by the protagonist's inability to comprehend even the simplest of concepts can wear thin on anyone's patience. The supporting cast has no problem with explaining how to "Press the A" button to him countless times to accomplish menial tasks however.


    Much like it's main character the remaining cast and plot are extremely played out and prototypical of the genre. Raigar being the sole exception to this as he has numerous portions of the game solely dedicated to fleshing out his complicated past. The plot as a whole is highly predictable but I enjoyed it for what it was. What separates this from the normal JRPG is the sheer number of party options. You can enlist/capture creatures known as "Golems" to aid you in battle. Some are jokingly inept while others can almost break the entire game. Using them is somewhat optional as the main characters can get you through the main story without any help.

    Even with the stale writing and laughable characters this game is not without it's ace in the hole. The battle system is extremely well done and adds it's own spin on the usual turn based action. Your characters and enemies operate on separate 4x4 grid's that allow for some tactical maneuvering as every attack and buff has a limited range to it. Furthermore some Golems (Namely the boss variety) take up valuable grid space and prevents you from abusing their superior stats to a degree. Defeating bosses and adding them to your arsenal is one of many features that keep this game from getting boring after the 30 hour mark. You can also take your squad online and battle your friends but it's nearly impossible to find a random match solo.

    In conclusion Enchanted Arms is a good (although somewhat generic) JRPG that provides hours and hours of great combat. Just don't go looking for a unique story or inspirational writing. It also should be noted you can get the full 1000gs just by completing the campaign.

    The breaks...


    Graphics: 8/10 - While it has not aged particularly well (As a early 360 title) the graphics were a true highlight when it was released. It does have some noticeable texture problems but nothing major. I was also not a fan of the character models.

    Sound: 6/10 - Calling the voice acting bad is a understatement. The music is passable but lack of variety is a big issue.

    Gameplay: 9/10 - The controls are polished and the battle system is unique and fun. Not much more you can ask for.

    Replayability: 6.5/10 - Not many reasons to replay other then trying out countless Golem combination's and switching up your team. Everything can be done in a single play-through.

    Overall: 7/10
    3.5
  • cc99999cc99999322,546
    17 Oct 2009
    10 5 0
    In a Minute Review - Enchanted Arms

    Three stackable versions of Enchanted Arms await (if you are into exporting games) that's 2,700 available gamerscore for playing this game three times. The Asian version is glitched with only 700 points being available- but it is in English.

    As the first Xbox 360 RPG, er JRPG, Enchanted Arms probably was more succesful than it deserved to be. It follows the journey of a mysterious college student and his friends as they battle bad guys threatening to destroy the....

    You probably know that already, and I'm not going to waste too much time talking about the details. The highlight of this game to me was the transvestite sidekick- who is truly very funny- and the centerpiece of many awkward moments, a diminutive cowboy hat wearing girl, and the game's grid like combat system (which really doesn't get old, in my opinion).

    The previous reviewer made a little mistake about their being no multi-player. There is an online battle mode- take or leave it- I never really got into it- but there are fanatics who like to create high level characters and test and demolish people. That's so l33t.

    Enchanted Arms is more approachable than the Square Enix RPGs and makes more sense than Trusty Bell, er, I mean Eternal Sonata. It should be available for cheap now making it easy to recommend.

    Completion time is roughly 30-40 hours with lots of grinding in later levels (unfortunately).
    3.0