Wild Arms: Alter Code F

I’ve had a chance to play this some (through Lolithia’s Tomb), and my roomate’s been playing it in the background, too. Here’s a quick review.

First off, it feels a lot like Wild Arms 3. This is both a good and bad thing. I was very worried at first about the whole lack of Heal Berry availability at the shops, as that wrecked a good part of WA3 for me (I had absolutely no desire to explore because I was always under the gun). What makes this not matter as much in Alter Code F is that Cecilia still has MP, so you have a renewable way to heal outside of battle. Sure, MP is finite, but it can be restored at inns and (slowly, so far) by having Cecilia physically attack. The encounter cancel system, vitality, and such work the same. No complaints there, except that when you cancel a battle it seems to make the likelihood of getting into another one go up.

The story seems intact. The Elw are still unpronouncable. The three main characters are what you remember, and the only side character I’ve come across so far is Emma. When you have more than three characters in your party, one remains in the “back row,” which is basically to say that they don’t take part in the battle. They do get experience, but an unmodified amount. For example, they don’t get the benefit of a Lucky Card used in battle. Many things give you an extra .1 experience - attacking, getting hit, landing a critical hit, and killing the last enemy, from what I remember.

Overall I’m pleased so far, even if the price tag ($49.99) is the most I’ve ever had to pay for a new Wild Arms game. There seem to be a lot of additions - a lot of them have to do with the battle system, which is the biggest change (other than the graphics, of course). There are Ex Keys to be collected, new characters to use, and so on. Alhazard looks pretty damn cool in the new graphics, I must say.

I’ve played through Rudy’s prologue. I’m putting it off until after DQ8.

I’ve seen the intro but I put it aside while I finish Disgaea’s story. Let’s see how it goes.

I do think that it’s funny that it comes with the first episode of that terrible anime series. “HOSHIZORI JET!!!”

I loved the original game…I have to get this game…hopefully it holds true to the original and than some.