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Arc the Lad
Earlier released in Japan in 1995, Arc the Lad was translated and released along with Arc the Lad 2, Arc the Lad 3, and Monster Tournament for the US on April 16th 2002 by Working Designs. One problem was waiting for what seemed like an eternity in delays, which it seemed that way if you were waiting for it's release. This review however is only 1/3 of the entire collection, and is for a more in depth review of each game.
The story starts off at Arc's house where he sets off to find his father, and is later endowed with the power of the spirits, where he finds many allies on his quest who join him for the cause of bringing back light to the world. And yes, the storyline is your basic hero goes off fighting armies of monsters to bring piece to the land, and while that is the games base storyline, it has a little more background to the story which actually sets up the story for Arc the Lad 2.
It's like most earlier tactical RPG's, your characters move by the amount of speed they have, and can use items, and abilities. As you progress through the game you gain more abilities, as well as the abilities you have already acquired earlier in the game raising levels up to 3, which in turn has them take off more damage, as well as larger area of attack. When characters level up you get your strength, defense, and speed, but the characters will also be able to throw items farther, catch items, and jump across obstacles, and in time over other characters and enemies. Characters are also allowed to equip four accessories, which lets your characters gain extra stats, resistance to status effects, higher item rate, more exp, lower mp cost, however, you don't get many of these items until very late in the game, and even though they help(most alot), they're not really needed. The battle system only has one real flaw, which is that every enemy attacks the characters from the front if possible instead of moving behind them or to the side of them, but overall, the battle system uses alot of strategy until later in the game and is decent for how long ago it was released.
The music for the game was great, especially the opening theme, preformed by a live orchestra. There is some bad music in the game, but most of it was great, and seeing how the game is pretty short, the music didn't have enough time to annoy you, unless you complete the game to the fullest, in which one sidequest is extremely long, meaning you will hear two tracks for the 7 - 10 hours in which it takes to complete the it.
Seeing how most of the game is nothing but battles, the graphics tend to be best on that area alone. There is a world map in the game, but it's only there to take you from one point to the next, which uses a solid pictured map with different colors. In battles however, each character is anime like, and has multiple attack animations, depending on how accurate the attack was.
Finally, although Arc the Lad is not that great of a game, it is decent, and sets the stage for one of the best RPG's ever created.
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