Well, I bought the game last week. TO be honest, I really, really wasn;t sure I wanted to, after Wild ARMs 4. I won;t bother going into that, sicne I have made very vocal my feelings about that game. But anyway, I then noticed WA5 came with an 80-page art book, and that’s what convicned me to pick up the game.
After playing it for about four or five hours now, I havew to say… I really like this game. I like it a lot. But you haver to take it with a grain of salt. A pretty big one.
The story is pretty, well, cliche: teenaged boy from small town with dreams of becoming hero, mysterious girl falls from sky (in the left arm of a GOLEM, no less), and has amnesia, rememebring only ehr own name… and the mysterious phrase Johnny Appleseed. So you’re ona quest to help ehr restore ehr memory, and find out what Johnny Appleseed is.
But you know, despite the cliched plot and, umm, questionable myth to use (Look, I don;t care what people think, Johnny Apopleseed is NOT Wild West. He lived in the Ohio Region, fer christ’s sake!), it’s actually a pretty good game. At least some of the old feeling of the series is back. It’s the Wild West again. Although there’s a little Sci-fi thrown in, but it’s so blatant and hilarious, frankly, I just accepted it.
Characters are actually really fun. When iw atch Dean run around like a kid in a candy store whenever anyone mentions golems, I can;t help but laugh. And Greg, the older drifter type of this game, is really an amazing guy.
Gameplay… well, the HEX battle system is back, but somehow, I’ve made peace with it. I miss the old turn-based system, but it’s manageable. What is really important, though, is that tools are back. Only Dean uses them, but they’re all special cartridges for his guns, so you can shoot thigns with different effects. (I admit, I have way too much fun running around dungeons, guns a-blazing, shooting everythign in sight. I’m easily amused, you see.) Oh, and you can actually explore towns again, and go into buildings. Not MANY of them, but at least they got rid of that damn oregon Trail thing where you go into a house, someone pops up and says something, and you leave. Oh, and the Locke Cole principle is in effect.
Graphics, hoenstly, are impressive. Normally, I don;t stare too much in WA games,. which have never really been known for graphics, but… wow. Some times, I just have to stop the game, and look. THey really cleaned up. Especially with characters, their facial expressions are dead on.
Music’s pretty good. I was sad that Michiko Naruke wasn;t doing this game again, but the new guy has done a decent job of stepping up to the task. Definitely some great tracks on here.
Now, there are a million little thigns in this game that I want to discuss, like how Rebecca, your childhood friend and one of the lead heroines, is actually a surprisingly nice girl, or how hilarious it is to watch Dean try to defend himself with only a shovel… but there are two things I just have to mention, that to me, show how awesome this game is. First: one of the memory birds makes a fuckign Goonies reference. Yeah, the GOonies, that movie from the 80’s with One-Eyed Willy? It’s probably the last thign I ever expected to ever get referenced in a game, but it made me smile. But the msot important thign about this game, that makes it 92% better?
…Chuck Norris is in this game. I’m serious. THe character’s name is somethign called “Nightburn”, but the looks, the sound, even the general badass, over-the-top style, it’s all Chuck Norris. …THis game wins.