Wild Arms 3
Wild Arms 3 is a turn based RPG that was developed by Media Vision, published by Sony Computer Entertainment, and was released for the Sony Playstation 2 on October 15, 2002.
|Developer: Media Vision
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: October 15, 2002
Platforms: PS2, PS4
JustRPG Score: 85%
+Cool wild west theme.
+Engaging story line.
+Tactical turn based combat.
-Random battles are too frequent.
-Weird world map searching mechanics.
-Mediocre voice acting.
Wild Arms 3 Overview
Wild Arms 3 is a turn based Japanese role playing game that was developed by Media Vision and was released on the Sony Playstation 2 in late 2002. This game brought the Wild Arms series back to its original wild west theme, and had beautiful cel-shaded graphics. The story in Wild Arms 4 is also very well done and holds the player’s attention while they are progressing through the game. While these aspects of the game are great there is a weird map mechanic that holds it back just a little. This mechanic has the player obtain information from NPC characters in the game, which then reveal locations on a purchasable map. While this map system is a chore, overall the game is fun and worth a play for any series RPG fan.
Wild Arms 3 Screenshots
Wild Arms 3 Featured Video
Wild Arms 3 Review
This fall has seen a bit of a boom in console RPGs, and one of the recent releases has been Wild Arms 3. The game has some tough competition against other greats, but Wild Arms 3 is one of the PS2’s best RPGs.
The story takes place in the dying world of Filgaia, where devastated settlements are spread across the globe, and the people struggle to survive. Those brave enough to seek adventure and riches become drifters, and journey across Filgaia in hopes of making a name for themselves. Your party, after a series of events, manages to meet each other on a train carrying a valuable treasure. The group runs into some rival drifters, and after a battle, decide to work as a team until they can get some leads into what’s going on. Each drifter in the group, Virginia, Gallows, Clive and Jet, all come to posses a Guardian, which they can summon, and that grants them magic powers. Those same rival drifters from the train are also after the guardians, but why? You’ll have to play to find out! As the game progresses the plot unfolds nicely and you end up with a story that’s a bit deeper than it appears to be at first. Most of the game has an upbeat and enjoyable tempo, and the plot is interesting enough that once you start, you’ll want to keep going. I also really enjoyed the western-fantasy theme. Although I’m not at all tired of the classic fantasy themes, the whole western thing was something different for a change!
The characters in Wild Arms 3 are really interesting, although they don’t seem that way early on. As the game progresses you’ll find out a lot about the cast and they’ll become MUCH more developed. Both the heroes and villains are cool, and by far my favorite was Clive (if you’ve ever played Xenogears, he reminds me a lot of Citan…). You start the game with a prologue for each character. These prologues help you to get to know your characters before the game even begins, and were a great addition for character development (plus, when they all meet up on the train…it’s really cool!).
Combat is pretty similar to most console RPGs, but with guns in place of swords. You’re equipped with an encounter gauge, and as long as you keep it full, you can run from most random battles. You can pick up gems to refill the gauge, or you can refill it slowly by fighting battles. Wild Arms 3 seems to have a lot of encounters though, so it’s tough to keep the encounter gauge full. Once you get into a battle you can attack with your gun, use arcana (magic), use force abilities, use items, or guard (which also restores your ammo!). You’ll pick up several guardians throughout the game, and you can equip them to a character to teach abilities and increase stats. This reminded me a lot of Final Fantasy VIII, but not nearly as confusing, so in the end, better. Each guardian gives its controller the ability to cast magic (arcana) spells that coincide with the guardians element. Each guardian also carries along with it skills that you can equip your character with, such as resistance to poison or fire ward. Depending on how many skill points your character has, you can power up these skills, and some items can be attached to guardians to teach them new skills. You also have force abilities, which include summoning your guardian, using gatling, which is a chain of attacks, or using their individual character ability. Each character has a single ability distinct to them, such as Virginia’s useful mystic ability, which allows her to use a single item on numerous targets. Each character has a different gun type, and these guns can be upgraded at weapons shops. You can upgrade various aspects of the weapon, such as it’s critical hit percentage and the number of bullets it can hold. After a while, your bullets will run out, so you have to reload on occasions (you do this by defending, but you auto reload after battles).
Probably the most annoying feature of the game is the world map. To find the next town or dungeon you have to wander around the map scanning. If you don’t scan near the location of an area, you can’t find it! What gets really annoying is when you’re not sure where to go and have to wander halfway across the map scanning every square inch just so you can continue with the game. Fortunately you are normally given good clues as to where the next key area is, but I spent several hours aimlessly wandering the map hoping to find somewhere to go. The fact that you run into a good amount of battles while searching the map doesn’t help much either, but you can ride horses and increase your speed across the map so you can get where you’re going (if you can find it) without too many battles. Once you get into a dungeon things aren’t so bad. There are some difficult puzzles on occasion, but nothing impossible. Each character has tools, such as Jet’s boomerang, which are often the key to solving the puzzles. When you need to cross a continent you ride in a sand cruiser, which isn’t all that fun. The battles in the sand cruiser are really dull, but you won’t likely run into that many. You can upgrade your cruiser just like your weapons, and when it gets damaged you go to weapons shops for repairs. This reminded me a lot of the Gummi Ship in Kingdom Hearts…both were boring and annoying, but at least the Sand Cruiser in Wild Arms 3 looked decent. One last thing that bothered me (well, at least it bothered me at first) was the fact that you can’t buy healing items. After a while you can grow them, and you go from a severe shortage of healing items, to more than you could ever use. It’s not that big of a deal, but if you run out before you start growing the stuff you could be in some trouble because there are some pretty tough bosses! Throughout the game you’ll collect Gimel coins, which will allow you to save almost ANYWHERE (I loved that!). They’ll come in handy for those hard parts.
Although I’m not a big fan of cell shading, I thoroughly enjoyed the graphics. This was probably the BEST cell shading I’ve ever seen. Characters were highly detailed and moved convincingly, and the spells had excellent lighting effects. The game features a fully rotatable map, and nice, detailed environments with a lot of variety.
I really liked the games soundtrack, and found myself whistling along pretty often. The western style music is very fitting for the game, and helps to solidify the theme. Not to mention it’s so damn catchy! Other than that, the sound isn’t anything special. I was a little disappointed by the complete lack of voice acting, but, like I’ve said before, that may just be because Final Fantasy X spoiled me.
Wild Arms 3 stands out as one of the best PS2 RPGs to date. Fans of the Wild Arms series are sure to love it, and RPG fans in general will appreciate it as a fine game. If you’re looking for a new game to play, then DEFINITELY consider Wild Arms 3!
|Final Grade: 85%|
Wild Arms 3 Videos
Wild Arms 3 Trailer