quite a classic revisitation, but Alter Code F will
put a smile on your face if you're a fan. by
30, 2005 - Wild
ARMs: Alter Code: F is an updated version of the classic
RPG Wild ARMs. With new graphics, characters, puzzles
and a re-translated storyline there is some distance
between this version and the original. It's just that
the update only puts a few years on the 1997 title
and doesn't manage to bring all the way to the middle
of this decade.
Wild ARMs: Alter Code: F is up against a lot of fierce
competition as far as RPGs are concerned. The focus
on games as of late is on more action-oriented combat
systems and lots of dungeon crawling. After all, everyone
likes to collect tons of goodies. Alter Code: F approaches
the RPG gameplay with a more balanced format, I guess
you could say a more traditional format but with some
liberties taken regarding omitting the purchasing
and maintaining of armor or weapons. While it does
include plenty of dungeon crawling and battles, there
is a definite focus on puzzles that get you into the
dungeons and help you to access locked chests and
open new paths.
is also well represented even though the game is very
linear. The blend of all these elements may be refreshing
to some but it could be the very reason that some
gamers prefer the new approach.
and new characters abound. The three main characters
include Rudy Roughnight, Cecilia Lynne Adlehyde and
Jack Van Burace. Additional characters include Emma
Hetfield, Jane Maxwell and Magdalen Harts. The characters
don't share any of the same skills which makes them
all useful at different times for different purposes.
This manages to reinforce the party element where
all characters have something to offer and are not
just there to take up space following the leader.
Roughnight is the leader of pack in this Western-themed
adventure which is nice diversion from the fantasylands
of elves, trolls and fairies. His background is shrouded
in mystery. He wields the power of a weapon called
the ARM which in German stands for Alte Ratselhaft
Machine. He has the ability to scope out treasures
with his radar powers and also possess Mighty Gloves
that give him super strength to lift, push and punch
but also grants him the enchanted ability to open
is a warrior whose main weapon is the sword. He's
determined to collect his fortune in treasures. He
also carries around a talking mouse that he can send
into areas that are inaccessible to him. All of these
characters, collectively known as the Dream Team are
bound by fate to protect Filgaia from its prophesized
destruction at the hands of the metal demons.
story touches on past segments of the series but it's
much more expansive without resorting to a lot of
filler. The game doesn't artificially inflate the
gameplay with backtracking, continuous leveling-up
and grinding battles. Battles can be avoided thanks
to the Migrant System which allows you to move you
and your party out of the way of an impending battle.
But you can only use this sparingly as the system
will eventually start taking points away if avoid
too many battles.
is played on a grid where you have your usual attack
and defend commands. Using the proper character in
battle is the key to winning since characters don't
share specific traits. Each has different special
abilities that must be exploited. The battle system
is not very deep and the fact that you can't purchase
new weapons or armor assures that it doesn't get much
deeper later in the game.
have four main powers available that are upgraded
through successful progression. There isn't a lot
of freedom in point distribution but neither is there
much freedom in the game which is linked so close
to the storyline that it couldn't possibly be free
roaming. You will be allowed to explore many regions
for various items but ultimately you will be forced
down the linear path to your next quest.
colored treasure chests as well as some blue ones
just require some good old-fashioned searching to
find and unlock. You can use Rudy's search powers
to uncover hidden chests. Other chests will require
some puzzle-solving to unlock. The dungeons are quite
interactive as you can use stealth to sneak past some
enemies and climb walls to avoid traps. The dungeon
crawling portions of the game are the highlights in
Cecilia is the heiress to the kingdom of Adlehyde.
She has various staffs that can project flames or
create a tornado. Her psychic abilities allow her
to communicate with the Guardians that direct the
events of the planet.
the characters themselves that will really determine
the success of this game. While we all can agree there
are no Earth-shattering features, the characters generate
a level of depth and warmth that is typically glossed
over in many RPGs. If you're more interested in action
than you might want to pass on this but at the same
time so much more could have been done with the production
to bring the characters to life. Although the soundtrack
is great there is virtually nothing in the way of
voiceovers. It's all text-based and there are some
translation problems. There are some portions of the
game that are very quiet and even though you may be
with a party you will certainly feel lonesome.
is not a pretty looking game. There are some blocky
textures and even the character models have kind of
a bulky presence to them. Some of the camera angles
are positioned too far away which may give you a good
look of the overall surroundings but when the action
begins you'll be at a disadvantage. I can see the
look that they're going for which is less anime and
more realistic but while it's cohesive throughout
the game it could have used a lot more polishing.
Code: F may not be the best of the bunch but it's
got enough substance and style to make fans of the
series happy for a few weeks. It's a good mid-entry
level RPG for those weaned on Zelda that want to experience
a little more of the hardcore RPG elements.
Story by the Original Wild Arms Staff.
Filgaia with Classic Heroes and New Allies in Full
Combat System Introduces New Melee Tactics and Dynamic
2 Hours of Emotionally Inspired Movie Quality Anime