Arc Rise Fantasia Review

If there is one genre that the Wii lacks is JRPG's. Enters "Arc Rise Fantasia" to save the day, or to make gamers ears bleed. How does the RPG hold up on the Wii? Is this game an instant classic? Or a game that needs to return to the blueprints?

Story - The game takes place in a world called "Fulheim." The people of the world have a problem, with a group of monsters named "Feld Dragons."The Feld Dragons are causing havoc across the land. When the dragons horde is a discover a fight begins. Enters our protagonist L'Arc. L'Arc fights in this battle and is injured. However his life is saved by a traveler named Ryfia. Ryfia is a diva who travels to Fulheim to search for the "Child Of Eesa." The Child Of Eesa is a child of a God, who can change the Imaginal's law. Thus begins our adventure.

The story can be confusing and complex at times. However it does provide a little twist and turns to see you to the end. The characters are interesting enough, but they are not memorable. I felt the story was all over the place in the beginning. However when it reaches the middle it comes together.

Gameplay - The gameplay is a turn based RPG. This turn based has a few different things about it. You control three characters, usually L'Arc, Ryfia and Prince Alf. All members of the team will share the AP gauge. Depending on what attack you use, you might find yourself waiting for the next round to attack. For instance, let's say Ryfia cure takes all the space for your AP gauge. Since her attack takes all the AP, you will be unable to use L'Arc or Alf until the next turn. This game makes you really think twice about using the powerful attacks. If you want your gauge higher you will have to grind. Even though this gameplay was design to bring strategy. I found it annoying and very frustrating at times. I would've enjoyed it better if each character had their own gauge. The A.I. ranges from easy to hard. The boss battles can be very difficult, expect to grind a lot in order to barely survive. You will die a lot in this game. Players are able to summon beast which is called the Rogress system. The summons are very, very helpful in this game. Finally players are able to upgrade their weapons and magic. Upgrades can be found in stores and items enemies leave on the battlefield. The gameplay will take some getting used to it, but once you master it you will enjoy it.

Gameplay Video

Graphics - The graphics is not terrible. However the graphics won't blow you away. It's nothing really special and some parts look outdated. For Wii standards it's a disappointment. The CGI cutscenes are great to look at though. The land sometimes are hideous to look at and there are some texture issues. Overall it's okay but not special.

Sound -
The music is good to listen too. It brings the Merdian Empire to life. It plays right with the tone and theme of the game. However it's not something I will be rushing to buy. We do get to new songs from Japanese singers Nami Tamaki and Yui Makino though. The english voice acting is horrible. I would go as far as to say the worst so far this year. The actors sound bored and uninspired. Don't take my word for it. Here is a sample of the voice acting. Press play below.

Arc Rise Fantasia Voice Acting

Replay Value - Unless you want to take the journey again, I don't see no replay value.

Final Grade C- Arc Rise Fantasia gets a C-. The game is challenging and has a unique story. The music is decent but the english voice acting is horrible. The graphics are average, however if you want to experience a Rpg that's out of the box. Then go ahead and give this game a shot.