Return To Home Page
Click Here To Purchase Item from Games Warehouse
Sept. 12 2006
Wild Arms 4 - PS2 Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
26/10/2006505Media Vision1$79.95
Click To Enlarge Image
Cut scenes are quite nice.
Click To Enlarge Image
There's plenty of text to read.
Click To Enlarge Image
The new Hex Battle system.

Click To Enlarge Image
Graphics are solid enough.
Well another day and another preview for a rather niche product. This time it's Wild Arms 4 the, ermm, fourth game in the very successful RPG series. In fact the series has shipped an impressive 2.5 million copies worldwide to date. This new game introduces a new cast of characters, an original storyline and all new battle system. The game is, however, still set in the familiar Wild Arms world of Filgaia. This game has been out for a considerable time in Japan having been released in February 2005, and in America on January 10, 2006. I guess we can be fortunate that the game is still coming out in PAL territories.

Jude Maverick has grown up in an isolated town called Ciel, which is completely enclosed in a large sphere floating thousands of feet above the surface of Filgaia. His sheltered world changes forever when he sees the sky "tear" and ships enter his homeland. Upon inspecting the campsite set up by the intruders, he sees something else that he has never seen before: a girl.

Click To Enlarge Image
Some side-scrolling action.
The girl's name is Yulie and she is being held captive by the intruders after being captured by a "Drifter" for hire, Arnaud G. Vasquez. After the invading army attacks Ciel and brings the sphere crashing down, Jude, Yulie and Arnaud join forces to find the army's true intention behind Yulie's abduction. With the help of another Drifter, Raquel, these four idealistic teens travel the war-torn land of Filgaia in search of truth, their own identities, and their separate paths to adulthood.

While Wild Arms 4 is a RPG there's also a touch of platform styled action. Much of the game takes place from a side-on viewpoint with the main characters having to negotiate jumps (and yes, they have double jumps) as well as an "Accelerator" ability to manipulate time. Naturally you can equip your party with a variety of items to solve puzzles maintains the excitment between battles.

One of the new features in this fourth game is the HEX battle system. The HEX Battle system is composed of 7 hexagons on a battle field, with random beginnning placement for all characters and enemies. What makes the HEX Battle so unique that it is area based instead of character based. This means that any attacks or spells to a given hexagon, or HEX, will affect all enemies or characters in that area. Multiple enemies or allies can be present on a single HEX, but not both in the same location.

Click To Enlarge Image
One of many cut-scenes.
By grouping more then one member onto a single square you then have the ability to heal party members either one at a time, or as a large group using a spell. It's also possible to perform combo attacks from the single HEX. Keep in mind that if an enemy attacks, all your allies will suffer from the attack.

One interesting thing about this game is that the developers have opted for a more modern setting then the rather barren wild west theme/look of the previous titles. There's a fair amount of text to read in the game but there will be places where voiceovers have also been used - especially in some of the cut scenes. Speaking of which the cut scenes are presented as a series of still images which give the game a comic book presentation - and a very high qualtiy one at that.

It's somewhat fitting that Wild Arms 4 will be released almost 10 years to the day since the first game, Wild Arms, was released on the PSOne in Japan on December 20, 1996. Let's hope that the developers fix up a bug created when two monsters were removed from the American release, but not from the Monster Encyclopedia, which made the 100% completion rate impossible. At any rate this is a game which RPG fans should keep an eye out for later this year.