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.
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.