Conventional Doesn't Always Mean Bad
As far as the gameplay goes, ‘Arc Rise Fantasia’ is very conventional. This means leveling up characters, doing side-quests, managing a party, all while you explore and fight your way through a land filled with evil. As always combat plays a major role, and in 'Arc' three members of a total of six can be put into your active slot with the typical [magic, attack, item] usage in combat. An (AP) action-point system governs the battles, which can be divided among the characters at your liking. This means, each character doesn’t have to take a round in battle, substantially this makes battles quicker as your main warrior can do most of the leg work, while the healer can sit back and wait until they are needed. This isn’t a huge innovation, but it is pleasant to see and ads a little bit of divergence to the game.

The battles themselves never become overwhelming, and the tactics you use on “most” of the adversaries can be applied to take down anyone. 'Arc' has a bit of strategy involved in its battles, but not too much that it strays away from its RPG roots. This makes the game very approachable for younger gamers and for those who don’t care much for grids and over analyzing. The only real depth comes into focus with its magic/arm force customization. This is basically a gem system that can turn so-so weapons into powerful cleavers of death.

In addition, the enemies leave a lot to be desired. For the most part they are more "generic" throwaways from other J-RPGs, but occasionally you will come along a surprising fellow that helps build a little more character into the world. This carries over to the rest of the world that is filled with many towns, dungeons, and NPC's. It's very run of the mill, however, a few distractions are kicking around like guild quests and casino games that are fun. During these runs you can unlock new equipment for your characters, which makes side-questing a notable distraction. This all depending on how far you want to absorb yourself in the world, ‘Arc Rise Fantasia’ will let you go as deep as you want. I didn’t explore all the options, but for what its worth it’s plentiful and worth the investment of time.

The decision to purchase ‘Arc Rise Fantasia’ should be purely based on how much you enjoy J-RPG's. ‘Arc Rise Fantasia’ is as typical as you can find, generic to the point of being too generic. Although, what 'Arc' lacks in inventiveness, it makes for it with an overly perfected version of nostalgic role-playing. If it's your thing, then you will love it. With all due respect, the Wii seems like the perfect fit for 'Arc Rise Fantasia,' its dated gameplay, dated look, and over dramatized philosophies. Given the lack of creditable RPGs on the Wii, ‘Arc Rise Fantasia’ is worth a look, just don’t get your expectations up too high. This is not your A grade ‘Tales’ or ‘Final Fantasy,’ but it will do.

Gameplay:6.6, Graphics:5.0, Sound:6.0, Innovation:5.8, Mojo:6.5  Final: 6.0 / 10

Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 08.05.10

  • J-RPG tried and true
  • AP can be distributed at your will
  • Good amount of “distractions”
  • Enough depth in the combat/customization options
  • Even if its not perfect, Wii'll take it!
  • Blurry graphics
  • Design lacks originality
  • Bland story with questionable localization
  • Too many random battles!
  • Be prepared to grind

Similar Games: Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of a New World (6.4)


Arc Rise Fantasia

Marvelous Ent.

July '10