Friday, September 01, 2006

Enchanted Arms - the first hour

As I've been promsing myself, I picked up Enchanted Arms (and Xenosaga III) the other day, and "experienced" the former for the short bit I had time for. Unfortunately, I do not have many positive things to say about this game.

If you remember the "conversation scenes" of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, then you'll get an idea of how dialogue is handled in Enchanted Arms. Your location will be in the background, but the characters speaking are enlarged and put in the foreground. When an emotion changes, the character's pose changes.

I'm not really a fan. While this styling may be appropriate for the DS or even the PSP, I find it unacceptable for a console. Final Fantasy X trained us to enjoy changing camera angles of the characters in-game as opposed to some comic-book-like showing.

The dialogue, to my dismay, is drier than the Sahara Desert. I have gained no affinity for any the characters yet, although I'm curious as to what the professor has planned. Atsuma, who I believe is the main character, is annoyingly perky but bland at the same time. His buddies, although different, aren't much better. The level of cheese is phenomenal.

I also bet that homophobes that purchase this game will freak out when Makoto talks or fights. While some games have alluded to a possible gay character, Makoto makes no apologies and it's abundantly clear that he is in love with Toya (Atsuma's best friend).

The "grid" battle layout is a new thing for me. Each turn allows you to move your character on the grid, select an attack, and execute all the commands for your party. The setup reminds me of chess because attacks only affect a certain area on the enemy's half of the grid. During your turn, you have to reposition your characters to ensure their attacks will hit.

A little outside my first few battles, I had to stop and get to my other tasks for the day.

The graphics are good so far, but I'm hoping the story will pick up once I get a chance to play more.


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