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Arc Rise Fantasia (Wii) Review

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Nintendo Wii gamers have had a rough ride when it comes to getting quality games that don’t carry the Nintendo publishing logo. Their strife is nothing compared to fans of the classic JRPG, which has been slowly abandoned by developers as the western RPG continues to gain popularity. Thankfully for fans of both the Wii and the dying JRPG, we have Arc Rise Fantasia from developer Image Epoch and publisher Ignition. Every element fans of the genre love is here and represented well. It’s almost as if Image Epoch sat down and during the brainstorming session, wrote down every well-known fixture of popular Japanese role-playing games and made sure to include every last one.

Gameplay is of the classic turn-based variety and follows the story of our hero L’Arc. Just like the best JRPGs of years gone by, a cast of characters with varying backgrounds and allegiances will join you along your journey and occasionally leave your party for one reason or another, but all in order to drive the story along. One of the most surprising things about the story is that it’s in a game on the Nintendo Wii and actually good (and not called Zelda). The character development is deep and offers a level of customization and character growth that most Wii owners may not be used to. In fact, for the $39.99 price tag that Arc Rise Fantasia is carrying, the story and gameplay goes above and beyond.

Arc Rise Fantasia Review for the Nintendo Wii

Customization comes in the form of traditional character creation and leveling, as mentioned above. However, the weapon customization offers a unique level of depth rarely seen these days. Your weapons each have a select number of upgrades and spots for those upgrades available. You’ll unlock the upgrades, called Arm Force pieces, the longer you use each select weapon. The limited number of spots on the weapon for upgrades adds an element of strategy to the gameplay that many will enjoy. The little touches that add some originality to the standard gameplay do a great job of complimenting the story, which should hold the attention of anyone who commits the twenty minutes needed to get into it.

Graphically, Arc looks very good if not very familiar to anyone who’s played a Tales game from the Namco/Bandai line of role-playing games. The artistic style used has a mix of the classic spiky-haired look with realistic human characters. The overworld is the only drawback visually due to some boring textures. Besides the simple appearance of the overworld, the dungeons are lacking a little bit in the looks department, but not much. Everything else looks great including animations and the very likable characters themselves.

Overall, if you own a Nintendo Wii and enjoy JRPGs in the slightest, you should already have the Arc Rise Fantasia disc in your console. No one will be able to sit there and call this game the most original role-playing title to be released, but it’s certainly one of the most solid and also fills in a gap on the Wii due to a lack of quality titles. Everything is in place to get well over thirty hours of play as you unravel a fun little story that presents some predictable twists and a few surprising turns. Check out Arc Rise Fantasia today, available now on the Nintendo Wii.








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