カレーまみれ勇者の冒険 Curry Chronicles

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Wild Arms 4 Review

Well, since my game decided to die on me after I finally beat the freaking last boss on my 7th or so attempt, I just decided to Youtube the ending. I don’t feel like going through the hell that I went through today anymore, since it’s probably gonna take a bunch of attempts again. I’m too lazy to grind so that I actually have a better chance of beating the boss (currently lvl 42 for Jude, Yulie and Arnaud, lvl 46 Raquel) since I’ve got a huge backlog of games to finish.

Wild Arms 4 is developed by Media.Vision and published by XSeed. I haven’t played any previous Wild Arms game before, although I do have a recently bought copy of WA3 that looks very new and shiny despite being used. Anyway, the game stars a shota named Jude who lives in his doomed hometown Ciel. He lives with his mom and his dad isn’t here. Pretty typical-sounding beginning. So one day, Jude sees the sky literall crack open and some military ships come in through the crack. They set up a campsite there so Jude decides to investigate further. He goes inside, sees Yulie (the main heroine of the game), and is surprised because he has never seen a girl before. Wat. So like the traditional hero he is, he promises to get her out of her cell upon seeing her. Then he wanders around, finds a dude in another cell and frees him. His name is Arnaud, and he joins your party. So some more stuff happen, you break Yulie out, and the people basically take the villagers hostage. It turns out they’re looking for an ARM, which is really just a magical gun sort of thing that doesn’t have unlimited bullets, even during gameplay. So they dig out the ARM and Jude grabs it and is able to use it. So he’s like “Lol I haz a gun nao” and it goes out of control. Yulie has the power to control ARMs (reason why them army soldiers are after a loli) and calms Jude down. Then the villagers all escape Ciel using escape pods that bring them to the main continent of Filgaia. It turns out that Ciel is some kid of floating city thing in the shape of a sphere with its own sky. Jude, Yulie, and Arnaud land in the sea and they float to the shore. One dungeon later, they arrive at Port Rosalia and meets their fourth party member, Raquel. Together, they decide to travel because Jude wants to meet up with the other villagers and wants to figure out what the hell is going on, Yulie has army dudes after her, Arnaud is bored and has nothing better to do, and Raquel wants to see the beautiful things in the world.

Gameplay:
This game is very fun, yet extremely irritating at the same time. Battle takes place in the HEX system, which is basically a field of 7 hexagons and the enemies and your party members are spread randomly (unless it’s a boss battle). You can move around in the 7 hexes, but only to an adjascent hex with no enemy characters in it. You can also attack an adjascent hex, or use skills which have varying areas of effects. This system is strangely addicting and incredibly fun. The battle difficulty isn’t very consistent though–I found the first few boss fights decently challenging and they seemed to increase in difficulty, but then afterwards they started getting easier and easier. Most of the fights that you expect to be hard are very easy. I usually had more trouble with the random encounter battles than most of the boss fights.

As much as I want to have babies with the HEX system, there also many, many frustrating things about this game that made me want to throw down my controller in traditional ragequit style. First of all, those puzzles and platforming elements. The puzzles themselves aren’t so bad and I can tolerate them, but the platforming parts are what almost broke the game for me. Some of the platforms you can’t even jump onto unless you’re at a VERY specific angle/position. The annoying camera angle just keeps changing so the jumping distance becomes difficult to tolerate, and sometimes you can’t even se what up next because the camera’s view is from the front and Jude is essentially running towards the viewer. You cannot change camera angles, and they’re stuck at pretty annoying angles for a lot of maps. The most tolerable view is certainly side view. If it weren’t for the platforming, I would have enjoyed the game much more.

On another rage worthy note, for a game that’s incredibly easy up until the second last boss, the final boss is a complete bitch. And the final dungeon is really slow for grinding, so even if it’s completely my fault for taking it on 10 levels before when most people did it, there’s no way for me to get to the right level without grinding like crazy. Other than that, this game really does require zero grinding. If my game didn’t go and die on me right after I beat the last boss, I would’ve beaten it at around 29-30 hours.

Story:
Despite all the cliches in the story, I actually throughly enjoyed it. The plot is quick-paced, direct, and never slows down. It kept my interest all the way through, despite being able to predict most of the twists. The dialogue is irritating at times since no one ever shuts up about the differences between a kid and an adult, but I let it go. The story is clearly on the idealistic side of the spectrum, but the rather realistic ending for such a happy game focusing on the bonds of friendship sure surprised me.

All in all, the story is well paced, and I felt that it was nicely executed. Don’t expect some sort of masterpiece that can make a grown man cry, or a truly shocking plot.

Characters:
Over the course of the game, I actually got attatched to the characters. They’re nothing out of the ordinary and seem like a typical modern RPG party (courageous hero + healer girl + tall, smart dude + sword girl), but they do have their charms. Again, don’t expect anything revolutionary and you’ll be fine. I liked Raquel the most for her high damage output and overall awesomeness. Arnaud also comes out high on my list for his extremely useful support and a certain cutscene in the game where he killed the boss who seemed to never be able to die by sending several airplanes at him =D

Graphics/art:
I wish the game had cutscenes animated like the opening sequence. The 3D models are lazily done and have SQUARE FINGERS. An emotional scene can turn to Narm due to the models. Sometime they look right, and other times they don’t. The backgrounds are nothing special, although I did find the cave facing the sunset at Port Rosalia quite beautiful. At least the dungeons aren’t copypasta environments for the most part. The grachics aren’t the best, but they’re certainly tolerable. Most of the dungeons look grim and dark, but justified since there was a longass 78 year war that went on in Filgaia.

Music:
I don’t really remember most of the tracks; they just weren’t very memorable. And even if the voice acting is laughable for the most part, the vocals sound really nice (in English!). The last form of the final boss was wonderful since they played the extended version of the opening there instead of the usual boss-like themes. The English singer did a great job. Yulie also sings nicely in cutscenes.

Overall:
Wild Arms 4 was an entertaining game that didn’t drag out at all. It’s got a great battle system, but I would’ve preferred it with no platforming elements since they were badly done and not fun at all. Still, I kept going with the hopes of a fun and challenging boss fight. At the end, I finally got my long fight, although it came more as a slap to the face since everything was so easy before. The game could’ve done with steadily increasing difficulty rather than the increasingly easy bosses until the last. Oh yeah, and I think I learned my lesson of buying too many used games. Screw you, stupid disc that encounters errors at the worst moment possible.

Anyways, this is a quick RPG that can be played without absorbing 100+ hours of your life and requires almost no grinding except for maybe the final boss (unless you actually want to do what I did and jump in at level 42). The game is extremely linear and offers no world map exploration, so the main draw would be the battles and maybe story. It’s so linear you can’t go back to previous towns and areas until the end where you get an airplane. By the end, I mean right before the final dungeon. There’s not a lot of side quests, although I heard mentions of several extra bosses. Maybe one day when I feel nostalgic, I’ll go fight the final boss again and pray that the game doesn’t freeze or loop or whatever.


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Wild Arms 4 RAGE!!!!

Fucking retarded disc went into a loop AFTER I BEAT THE FINAL BOSS. Fuck, I now respect catridges with all my might because it doesn’t freeze or loop unless you yank the thing out of the system and it won’t go crazy because of a tiny scratch. Seriously, WHY RIGHT AFTER THE FINAL BOSS!? And for a game that was ridiculously easy 90% of the time, the final boss was sure a bitch. Took me like 3 tries to beat the second form, and like 5+ tries to beat the last one, 2 of which I died when I was supposed to gather everyone to use Arc Impulse for one last time. Granted I was under leveled and never upgraded my equips, but everything before it was freaking easy too. So when I finally beat the thing’s ass up, I was like “THANK FREAKING CHRIST LET’S WATCH THE ATTACK ANIMATION SINCE IT’S THE END” and boom…right after the thing got defeated, the game dropped me in a pit of blackness and looped it continuously. When I opened the status menu and closed it again, the thing didn’t disappear but you could still run and jump.

*sigh* I beat the boss due to luck anyways. I guess it’s time to grind to at least 50 and pray that the thing doesn’t die on me again.


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End of Winter Break *cry*

I’m in despair!! The shortness of Winter Break has left me in despair!!!

No, I’m not ready to hang myself yet. If I did that I wouldn’t be able to experience my precious Summer Break after all. But I really am sad about the break ending. I didn’t do anything productive at all, even though I had things planned out like finally CGing something or working on my visual novel or getting some of that Visual Basic summative project done. At the end, I spent the break playng eroge in my room like a lonely otaku…wait, was there something that pointed to me as not being a lonely otaku? If anything, I should be surprised at how little games I beat this break. Then again, the PS2 is located in my mom’s room so it’s not a surprise that I got kicked off constantly. Especially now that the TV actually gets channels…

Tomorrow is school, but I don’t want to go at all. After a long-ish break or something a kid would usually be excited to see his friends at school again and stuff, right? Only if I turned out like a healthy, positive kid will actually end up benefitting society rather than giving teenagers a even worse image. Like, Jude from Wild Arms 4 or something. Yeah, he’s enough of a positive boy who never gives up like traditional RPG heroes.

Speaking of WA4, I’m almost done with that game. I swear the bosses themselves get weaker and the game gets easier as you progress. I remember getting owned at boss fights constantly at the beginning, and yet when I got to Port Rosalia a second time and fought Jeremy, he got 2 hit KO’ed by Raquel. I’ve got more trouble with normal enemy encounters than boss fights, and that’s saying a lot about the difficulty of the bosses. The battle system is fun at least, although it would help if we had longer boss fights to fully enjoy it.

I’m playing through G-Senjou no Maoh, which is really awesome. Haru is awesome. I haven’t liked a main heroine so much since…actually, I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve seen as awesome a heroine as Haru, because usually the awesome ones are the side characters in manga. The protagonist is full of win, especially when it comes to someone damaging his precious classical CDs. Akabeesoft2 has some really great staff. Not only the story, but the feel and look of the eroge are high quality too. The character portraits and backgrounds are just so rich with color (something I really missed while playing the very pale-looking Cross Channel), and the music is great.

Even if the Winter break ends, I’ll have exam week! After that, I’ll have March Break! Then I’ve only got 3 months to endure before summer! I’ll survive! I won’t let 3D matters get the better of me! Fight, me!