Cidolfas's RPG Reviews: Wild ARMS 2 (PSX)
You Are: Ashley the Gun Soldier, Brad the Ex-Prisoner, Lilka the Magician, Tim the Zoa Priest, Kanon the female Bounty Hunter, and Marivel the Crimson Noble.
Your Goal Is: To defeat the terrorist organization Odessa, mainly, although as you'd expect saving the world comes into it a few times.
General System: Like its predecessor, each character can use tools in dungeons/towns which allow you to do a variety of things (with 18 tools, it's quite a big variety; unfortunately, that means each tool itself is less useful). Wandering around the world map is a bit more complicated this time, as locations and items must be "searched for" by pressing Square rather than just bumped into. (Luckily, halfway through you can see these things on your radar.) A nice touch is that enemy attacks can be avoided completely if your level is higher than theirs; just hit O when a ! bubble appears above your head.
Battle System: Each character has three kinds of moves in battle: Moves that require Force Points (but don't use it up); up to four moves that use up Force Points; and a single move donated by the equipped Medium. Force Points accumulate as characters take damage or do regular attacks (or use special carrots). Characters can be swapped in and out at the start of every round. The individual characters have vastly different abilities; Brad and Ashley use good old ARMs (which have to be reloaded after usage); Lilka uses spells attached to Crest Graphs; Tim's spells must be learned by defeating enemies while equipped with particular Mediums; Kanon's skills "spark" as she uses her current ones; and Marivel learns moves from specific enemies. It makes for a lot of variety, but sadly, very little challenge.
Graphics: The sprites are as nice as sprites can get, and the 3D battles are eons away from the ugly WA1 models. Very nice for a PS1 game.
Music: Not bad, but nothing to write home about. Both WA1 and WA3 provide better.
Story: Absolutely awful. The plot is tedious and uninspired; the characters are soulless; and this game is burdened by what is, without exaggeration, the worst translation I've ever seen in an RPG. And yes, that includes Final Fantasy Tactics. There are several sections in the game that make no sense whatsoever. That wouldn't be too bad in other games, but here even some of the puzzle hints are nonsensical, meaning you'll have to look at an FAQ to continue.
Challenge: Very Easy (except for some of the optional bosses, which are close to impossible)
Length: About 30 hours, possibly 40 including leveling up to beat the optional bosses.
My Thoughts: Ugh... this is the black sheep in the WA family. It lacks the charm of WA1 and the sheer variety of gameplay of WA3. The puzzles, as always, are fun (when the hints make sense). There are a few fun sidequests too. But both battles and story are simply boring. Regular battles are just too easy; there are almost no monsters that won't die in a single hit. Boss battles aren't too much harder the vast majority of the time (although I like the cool red background intro thingy). The story is best ignored whenever possible, and the ending is possibly the most boring I've ever seen, with the least amount of action and the longest length of time. The final result is something that's certainly playable, and better than some other RPGs out there, but there are a slough of games I'd recommend before it.
Overall Rating: 6/10