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Arc Rise Fantasia - Tokyo Game Show Impression

Arc Rise Fantasia
Developer: imageepoch
Publisher: Marvelous/XSEED
JP Release: 2009
NA Release: 2009

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A Wii RPG? Imagine that. For a console dominated by Nintendo's mainstay of first party titles and other quirky but noteworthy games, RPGs have been neglected on the console. Until now. Arc Rise Fantasia is a welcome contribution to a console sorely lacking in RPG titles. This fact alone makes it worth mentioning, but while the game itself is solid, it isn't the most original.

"If you're a Wii owner dying for an RPG on your system, here's your ticket."

That criticism largely comes after playing with its battle system, and in the playable demo there were many chances to do just that. The game's battle system is turn-based, and players are able to see the order of battle on the bottom of the screen. The party of three characters also relies on Ability Points, which can be saved for later turns to perform more powerful attacks. Characters can attack by themselves or in tandem to defeat enemies on the field.

Where the game does shine is in its graphics. This game is drawn in a beautiful anime style and there is little to no lag in loading time between screens. The controls are also fairly easy to get used to. Most players (myself included) used the standard Wii controller; it is uncertain whether using the Wii Remote will have any other effects on gameplay. As for the plot of the game, it is fairly standard fantasy fare, though it does share a huge resemblance to the Luminous Arc series in more than just name: most of the design team from that series has helped produce it.

If you're a Wii owner dying for an RPG on your system, here's your ticket. Overall it's a pretty fun game to play, if not the most original title. If you're not in this category, it might not be a bad idea to pass on the game for now. Still, Marvelous and imageepoch deserves credit for helping place an RPG on the system, even when compared to other companies who have far more experience making such game. Final verdict? A nice start to Wii's RPG library. Take it, if this fits your bill!

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