fakename: A glowing Valia hovers over a schoolgirl with sword (awe)
[personal profile] fakename
I was surprised to find out that the Wild ARMs series was a low budget one. While, yes, the graphics were never outstanding, the ways the game tried to be ambitious was. Let me try to list some hallmarks that I've seen in the series.

The 'feel' of the games to me, particularly after the first one is an attempt to make an animated series that you play. All games after the first have progressively changing intros that play when you load a save, and Wild ARMs 2 adds to that feeling by having a typical anime style 'outro' animation when you quit. The plot, too, has episodic elements akin to seasons in an anime. Since the game is trying to be Western esque, the music helps that feel and is frequently quite nice.

Since the series is set in a post apocalyptic Western wasteland, there's usually game play elements trying to show the sheer size of the countryside. In WA2, you have to know where a town is to find it via searching. In WA3, you spend a good portion of the game on horseback. In WA5, you again can use searching and you have transportation options.

Almost all of the games have a blend of comedy and serious elements. You may win, but that doesn't mean that all your characters have a perfect ending. A lot of games with dark elements are unrelentingly dark. A lot of games with comedic elements are pure comedy. Since the game's world is different from game to game, this requires a bit more plotting than just returning back to the same world. Dark elements include a community that sacrifices certain mages, a chronically ill sword's woman, and your hero's beliefs being very near the villian's.

Many of the games treat the dungeons like puzzles. Wild ARMs 2, for example, has several puzzle elements, with each character being able to interact with different objects. One guy can kick blocks, a woman can set fire to things, and so on. Wild ARMs 5 has your hero using different types of bullets to trigger things. While there's not a huge change from game to game in the battle system, each one does have tweaks and changes to it. There's also, usually, a secret very difficult boss. Often, there's things freed up by replaying the game. Like Suikoden, game files can unlock things in later games.
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fakename: A red winged blackbird with the text "A fake name, Rav." (Default)

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