Wild Arms is a classic Japanese RPG — a PS1 release from when the console was at the height of its popularity. Unfortunately, at least here in the West, Wild Arms was overshadowed by a little game called Final Fantasy VII, and the property — which would go on to spawn four somewhat divisive sequels and a couple of spinoffs — never really took off in the way that Square Enix's blockbuster franchise did.
The original Wild Arms is still worth playing today, though, even if parts of it are tediously traditional. It tells the story of three main characters, who end up travelling together across an almost post-apocalyptic world. The game has a distinctly 90s anime tone, and its setting combines rather standard JRPG fantasy with some Wild West aesthetics. It's an intriguing blend of genres, even if the game's overall story leans heavily into the fantastical side of things.
Indeed, the plot won't win any awards for originality — not even back in 1996 — but it's told with the kind of directness and charm that's so intrinsic to the identity of old school JRPGs. Compared to modern titles, there's very little dialogue, but characters express their personalities through gameplay details and their actions during important story moments.
In classic JRPG fashion, you roam from town to town, dungeon to dungeon, in search of the next narrative beat. The structure is straightforward enough, but every now and then, actually working out where to go can be a tiresome process. You might have to speak to one very specific NPC, hidden away somewhere in a town that feels far too big. Or you may need to visit a different location first, before returning to the local pub and pursuing fresh dialogue with the bartender. It'll try your patience at times.
And of course, you'll be taking part in lots of random battles along the way. Fights are turn based affairs, rendered entirely in 3D — which was a big deal at the time. At first, combat is basic — perhaps too basic. Initially, you have access to a normal attack and just a couple of special abilities, and it stays this way for a good chunk of the game's 30-ish hour runtime.
Fortunately, combat finally comes into its own later on, when your heroic trio have unlocked a wider range of techniques. Strategy gradually becomes more important, as you utilise buffs, debuffs, and attacks that deal additional damage to certain enemy types. Some boss battles will have you committing to particularly tactical play, although most just require regular healing and frequent use of your most powerful abilities.
All told, the combat system is about as unspectacularly solid as they come, but battles can definitely drag. The pacing of these turn based encounters is slow — especially by today's standards — and when you're running into random battles every 30 seconds or so during an already lengthy dungeon crawl, the experience starts to grate. Thankfully, grinding isn't an out-and-out necessity, although it can certainly help towards the latter half of the game.
Presentation-wise, Wild Arms holds up quite nicely. The 2D overworld and sprite work still look enticing, and the music's full of understated earworms. Even the menus work well — simple in their design and therefore easy to navigate all these years later.
Wild Arms is like a dusty old book in video game form. It's a bit crusty by today's standards and its style of storytelling seems outdated, but there's an undeniable charm to how it's presented, and the creative spine of the experience still holds up. Despite some tedious gameplay elements and a battle system that doesn't truly click until hours into the adventure, Wild Arms remains a classic PS1 title. It's a memorable journey across a uniquely desolate fantasy world.
The Wild Arms Series kinda has a mixed quality but all of them have an awesome OST
Sony need to remake this instead of keep remaking the last of us.
Played through this for the first time last week and loved it. Definitely agree with the slow combat and vague objectives.
I absolutely love the opening intro for this game.
@4kgk2 They Did It Was Called Wild Arms Alter Code F It Came Out For The PS2 Unless You Meant For Them To Remake It Again.
Wild arms is my second rpg after suikoden (if I remember correctly), I really like the game. I'm glad ps5 gamers can play this on the console 😃
So awesome that this classic has trophy support. I’ll definitely get to it eventually.
I played this game back when it first released.
It's a great series that was lost to time.
I don't understand why Sony doesn't go all out with it. There is potencial here for a western JRPG. It would work better than back in the day.
@IonMagi I dunno about that. I think that only 4 was a bit weak. The rest was pretty good.
Hopefully Legend of Dragoon isn't too far away from been released. Wild Arms always looked interesting but Dragoon seems more appealing to me.
@AdamNovice Or Legend of Legaia
@pharos_haven Just had to do a quick search, never heard of it. The more the merrier though.
@AdamNovice Unfortunately, most haven't but the combat system is the first and only of its kind I can think of in a turn-based game.
I've never played the original game before, looking forward to trying it out!
If you use the Cheat on the Item menu the Cons will be nothing.well if it’s available to use on PS4 and PS5.
I actually loved this game back in the day, I much preferred it to FF7, and it was probably my favourite RPG until FF8. I also remember re-starting my game about 15-20 hours into the game because I had no idea where to go and I thought my game had glitched 😂😂
Also I got this game completely randomly, my father ordered it from a mail order site(this was before the internet was a big thing kids) and it just arrived at my door one day with no explanation and I had literally never heard of the game(I assume the mail order guy recommended it as “if your kid likes FF7 he’ll like this”)
Used to have it years ago, great game! I haven't played in over 20 years but I do recall the game being long as hell or it seemed like it was. I had a friend who was playing it too and he was lazy about saving( days before auto save) and he lost to a boss and lost hours of progress.
I have good memories of the game and will buy it soon.
This is an amazing game. This and Suikoden were my first PSOne games. I have the original disc and the ISO on my phone but I happily paid the $10 for this version. The duplicating of the apples still works and can help you speed through the story.
@Nem I'd like em to make a new game open world style. Lots of exploration and arms! I am the King of Wishfull Thinking.
I always struggled to get into this one. Will definitely revisit it on my Vita again at some point, though.
Wish Suikoden 1 & 2 would be a part of the ps1 classics coming over to ps4/5...though at this point we don't even know if they're extending the range given the only additional title since launch has been RE Director's Cut,& psp Super Stardust?🤔
There's so many jrpg's alone that'd be worthwhile additions much less other ps1/ps2 games. But again,Sony have been so uncommunicative we just don't know if their "classics" range will just remain ps3/now streaming titles not accessible to most countries!
First time I played this was on the PS3 and as a result I get it as a download now which is at least a good thing. Will probably get around to playing it again soon.
@Robocod suikoden was available on ps3, so they are on the network, which is where Sony seem to be sourcing the ps1 games from so there's a pretty good chance one day I think.
Edit : though much to my despair at the time, legend of dragoon was never released in that way in Europe.
@Balosi Would love to see Alundra make a return though it quietly delisted without warning off the EU/AU psn sometime ago ahead of the aborted closure of the legacy psn stores.
There's other in-house ps1 titles like Adventures of Lomax,& the Colony Wars,& Twisted Metal series you would think Sony could/should be able to add, but sadly they're just operating on radio silence rather than show a commitment to a true classics library.
I agree,I'd love to see Suikoden, but second guessing Konami is tricky at the best of times...they'd be more likely to release NFT's of them than the games!🙄
"Wild Arms was overshadowed by a little game called Final Fantasy VII" Lol there's nothing "little" about the critically acclaimed Final Fantasy VII which has sold more than 13.3 million copies worldwide and is regarded as one of the most influential and greatest video games that ever exist. If I were you, I'd be careful with my words and stop embarassing myself.
@WinterFanboy I refuse to believe this is a real comment.
"If I were you, I'd be careful with my words and stop embarassing myself."
Oh, the irony.
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