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Back to Filgaia a third time. Yay!!
The third title in a series that was first released on the PSX, Wild ARMs 3 comes to the PS2, along with the same western/technological theme that was in the first two.
The story plays along the lines of four characters you will use who eventually meet up together while either protecting or attempting to steal an item that they received information that it was to be found on a train. After finding out about the item and meeting the chief of Baskar Village, they decide to stay together and work as a team, where the story unfolds with much character background about many of the characters, as well as enemies throughout the game, and ultimately ends in the party saving the world of Filgaia.
Unlike the earlier titles, each of the characters use a gun, and that every character can't change the gun they have equipped where, they can only upgrade their weaponry at an ARMs shop, allowing them to raise the levels of their weapons how they choose, from extra attack power, to the amount of ammo the gun can fire before a reload. Twelve mediums are found throughout the game as well, which are stone tablets that allow the characters to cast spells or summon powerful guardians, as well as use personal points to raise stats, defenses and offenses. Characters will also gain FP, which allow characters to cast their spells, summon guardians, or use skills. Other than fighting with characters, you will participate in dragon and hovercraft battles as well. Where as dragon battles are fought in the air (of course), allowing each character to use one of the dragons abilities and that each ability takes off damage depending on the characters stats. Where battles on the hovercraft set characters to command one of four areas of the hovercraft, where each character specializes in a certain area, it is also the only battle portion of the game that characters and enemies receive more turns depending on their speed.
The music composition is excellent, and fits in nicely with the games western themed background, but the quality of a most of the tracks sound like they're from a PSX title, so ends up making the tracks sound worse. The same goes for some of the sound effects, as their are some that are excellent, like the galloping of horses, or when walking or running on a wood floor. But others, such as when firing weapons, don't reach the standards of the PS2, and like some music tracks, sound as if they belong more at home on the PSX.
Save Filgaia? Same theme as the other Wild ARMs series? Yes, but this game is different from both of the original Wild Arms titles, and brings a completely original, yet well thought out storyline. It also brings the migrant system, which allows players to completely avoid random encounters as long as the player has enough points to dodge the battle, where points can be restored by collecting white crystals, as well as restoring the maximum amount of points by resting at an inn, but while having a depleted gauge will result in the characters having to fight through random battles. The game is also the only game where time stops during storyline and boss battles, which allows players to take the time to read the storyline, as well as allowing the player to think of strategies to use against bosses.
The localization to Wild ARMs 3 is perfect/near perfect, as it being the only game I have yet to spot an error in the grammar.
During the game you will eventually talk to someone who tells you about the Millennium Puzzles, as well as another who will tell you of the Telepath Towers, which are secret areas that have nothing to do with the games storyline, where completing the puzzles and towers end up getting you secret items, as well as a chance to fight a secret boss. Also, a 100 floor dungeon called the Abyss can be attempted although you have to go through at least ten floors during the course of the game. There are also multiple secret bosses throughout the game, except for that they can't be fought until you get a tool half way through the game. Other sidequests are included, and completing these sidequests will get you unique items that seem unusable, but once you beat the game, the items allow you to open different options, like the New Game +, or the anime cut scenes throughout the game.
The first game to be released in the US with the 2d/3d style cel-shaded graphics, creating the game to look like an anime tone while still being 3d. The graphics in the game are beautiful, with both characters and enemies done with cel-shading, while towns are done in non cel-shaded 3d. Needless to say, the entire game will leave the player looking in awe, especially when in the story sequences throughout the game.
So in all, Wild ARMs 3 is an excellent game, with a great story, and a lot of secrets, perfect for any RPGamer and fan of the Wild ARMs series.
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