Reviewed by Jimmy | 09.16.06

We all should thank Ubisoft for picking up From Software's Japanese styled RPG, Enchanted Arms. Enchanted Arms fills the void of the much needed turn based RPG genre for the Xbox 360. After 30+ hours, I'm ready to share my views on Enchanted Arms.

Enchanted Arms isn't the most original game ever made, but it has its own moments of triumph and creativity. Carved out of a formula which has been overdone for the last ten years, Enchanted Arms adds enough to make it memorable for the time being. This is the first Japanese styled RPG for the Xbox 360, and hopefully it's a trend that continues. For a first run, Enchanted Arms delivers a more old school traditional RPG experience which you can't find with the Xbox 360 other big RPG dog, Oblivion. I'm sure Enchanted Arms will capture the old school harts and hopefully Enchanted Arms has enough presence to influence a batch of new fans as well.

A Boy and His Arm
The main story revolves around a teenage Enchant student named Atsuma who has a mysterious powerful right arm. Atsuma isn't sharpest tool in the shed, but he has drive and heart to make him a valued lead character. The adventure takes Atsuma and a side group of friends across a fantasy world made up of the typical strange anime influenced enemies and unveils a pretty interesting plot. So I don't add any spoilers in the review, I'll keep the details low about the story aspect of Enchanted Arms. What I can tell you is that you have the chance to create your own army of Golems, you'll travel to four different cities and watch as Atsuma dynamics along with his friend grow to form a strong bond against a common foe. If you get hooked, you will be following the story along until its end which is worth the investment of hours. Enchanted Arms reminds me most of the more recent Final Fantasy games, but uniquely can stand on its own.

Grids, Golems, and More Golems
The combat system in Enchanted Arms is based around a turned based grid system. Each character is restricted in movement and attacks based on their stats and each side battles until everyone one side is defeated. The gird system only takes a few runs to learn and adds an extra level of strategy that real time combat can't reproduce. I also like the fact that they included a Fast Forward button "Y" which speeds up battles if you don't want to watch the animations. They also added an "Auto Battle" feature, which I wouldn't recommend, but if you are worried about the constant repeating fights you can throw this feature during each battle.

Nothing else about the combat is really new. You will be using elemental powered characters so the rock, paper, scissors deal applies. The main feature to Enchanted Arms combat would be the large amount of Golems you can collect. They are your enemies and they can become your allies. A Golem is like a robot in ways and each one usually resembles a mystical creature like a Vampire, or an animal like a dog. Enchanted Arms even strays right into the weird early in the game with battles with evil pizza head Golems. The Golem collecting aspect is one reason why I could see gamers replaying Enchanted Arms. Create new ones and level them up through your journey. I guess if you even had a lot of time on your hands you could go through the game as Atsuma with three Pizza-headed Golems.

Follow the Path
Like your typical Final Fantasy styled RPG you can't really explore much. The environments are static and you just follow the story along. Sometimes you'll hit a random path, but they only lead to a dead end, a treasure chest, or a Golem fight. There is only one way to progress in through Enchanted Arms and your hand will be held the entire time which is another flavor of typical Japanese style of RPG. The loss of freedom isn't really a big deal giving the genre, but hopefully in the future we can get a merging of Oblivion and the more traditional RPG.

A little of this and that
A few areas where Enchanted Arms falls a little light are in the puzzles and the difficultly of the overall game. Puzzles are very simple and you're walked through them almost by holding hands with the clues. They honestly didn't even need to add them because it just seems like a lame attempt to break up the gameplay. The second area which is a little questionable is the difficulty. Enchanted Arms is fairly straight forward and you won't encounter too many battles that you can't run through. The added a few areas where the challenge is bumped up like the elemental shrines, but besides that it's a walk in the park. This is good and bad depending on your level of skill, but one good thing is that they really damped the tedious work of looking for random battles to level up. Good thing the game lasts a while, just because it's easy doesn't mean the end will come quick.

Xbox Live Enabled
In a surprising twist Enchanted Arms added a small, but interesting Xbox Live part of the game. In this multiplayer game you can fight in vs. battles pitting your team of Golems against another's. The interface isn't the most flattering, but in the end it's a nice little touch. Although, the multiple times I tried to find an opponent the server was empty, I think Enchanted Arms will need a few more weeks to increase its popularity. I see the Live portion of Enchanted Arms as a pure bonus which is a start, and a glimpse into the future of more turned based online features.

For the graphics and sound Enchanted Arms brings out some familiar sights we are used to seeing in translated RPGs. First, the graphics are great; the render cut-scenes are breathtaking. From Software also did a great job on the battle animations by adding all the latest lens flares and bight colours. It definitely helps the overall effect of the game and it might even catch a few onlookers. Although, Enchanted Arms is based in relatively static world it seems to be alive with its own unique flair and presence. The Golems are always interesting, even if they don't really make sense. You've seen characters like this before if you're used to this style of RPG, but if not I'm sure Enchanted Arms will seem even more fascinating.

The other part that is familiar is the unfortunately bad voice acting that usually comes along with translated Japanese developed RPGs. Oh; you're going to be surprised with this one. Enchanted arms does have the option to listen to the original Japanese voice over's which will please some, but whichever way you look at it, the job could have been a little better. Added to the low quality of talent, the overdubs are patchy and the translation isn't always the best. At first I thought the constant missed dialog was my Xbox messing up, until I checked the forums. Even if the quality isn't the greatest, I would of liked the voice work over the whole project. Certainly, it's passable, but not excusable. Besides that complaints about the voice overs, the soundtrack is done quite well. Although after all the time I spent with the game a little more variety would of bee nice.

When comparing Enchanted Arms to the only other place for J-RPGs, the PS2, Enchanted Looks amazing with is understandable. For a Xbox 360 title, Enchanted Arms looks good, but could be better. All the real complaints come down to the audio. For some a switch to the original language can work as a solution, for others they love that old fashion poor translation, acting deal. For me it's just a small announce that I can overlook because I was really interested in the story. In the end Enchanted Arms holds up its end, but doesn't pass any expectations.

Enchanted Arms makes a solid start for traditional Japanese styled RPGs on the Xbox 360. Even though Enchanted Arms has some small problems, the basic idea is clear enough for me to recommend this game for strategy, adventure, and RPG fans. They have some great ideas which hopefully planted seeds to grow future editions of Enchanted Arms.

Gameplay: 8, Graphics/Sound: 7, Innovation: 6.5, Mojo: 8.5. Final: 8 / 10


  • Fast action gameplay : Easy to navigate interface, the ability to move characters in-battle and distance-dependent attacks create fast paced action.
  • Over 50 hours of gameplay : Deep storyline with multiple objectives and branching missions.
  • Stunning cinematic-quality HD graphics: Over 100 fully animated and highly detailed 3D characters with distinct faces and unique personalities. Includes over one hour of anime style cinematic.
  • Online Versus battle: Go head-to-head in 1 versus 1 battle and challenge other gamers on Xbox Live

[em] Enchanted Arms


From Software


Aug 2006


Players 1
HDTV 720p

Xbox Live