Arc Rise Fantasia
Arc Rise Fantasia follows the adventures of L'Arc, a young mercenary, and Ryfia, the mysterious girl who rescues him from a monster
- Excellent combat engine, lots to see and do, fantastic soundtrack, enjoyably poor voice acting
- Sub-par localisation effort, by-the-numbers story
A solid JRPG effort from Image Epoch, the Nintendo Wii-exclusive Arc Rise Fantasia is highlighted by an expansive world and an innovative and engaging battle engine, but is bogged down by a generic story and an awkwardly translated script.
Arc Rise Fantasia is probably the best Wii-exclusive RPG to date. This isn't as big a compliment as it might seem though, as it wins that honour by default due to lack of serious competition. The only game I can think of offhand that could possibly (and probably) best it is Tales of Graces, the Wii entry in Namco-Bandai's typically superb RPG series. But since ToG looks like it will remain a Japan exclusive, Arc Rise will have to suffice. It's an ironic circumstance, since it takes heavy inspiration from the Tales series in many ways: character designs, the optional dialogue "skits", setting design and presentation, and even things like enemy types and color schemes. It almost feels we're stuck settling for this instead of ToG. It's not all bad, though -- at least Arc Rise Fantasia is a fairly solid title on its own merits.
Arc Rise Fantasia follows the adventures of L'Arc, a young mercenary, and Ryfia, the mysterious girl who rescues him from a monster and now follows him everywhere. Through a chain of consecutive disasters, nations are plunged into war, the a world-ending peril is revealed, and L'Arc's hidden powers come to light. You'll spend plenty of time encountering familiar JRPG tropes, including the hero's best friend/pretty-boy fangirl bait, conflict between "good" and "bad" brothers, mysterious jewellery with hidden meanings, the stupid comic relief buddy, incredibly powerful summoned beings, teammates with secret pasts and motives, and a completely bland love triangle. In other words, you've basically seen this all before. The cliche-laden story would be more enjoyable if the characters themselves were interesting, but their dialogue and interactions are pretty unremarkable, hampered further by an awkwardly rewritten English script.
Speaking of awkward, the voicework in Arc Rise Fantasia deserves special mention. As someone who "appreciates" awful voiceover work, Arc Rise Fantasia's ineptly cast and badly directed dub proved to be a veritable goldmine of unintentional comedy. Ryfia's monotone, cue-card battle observations and L'Arc's bored-sounding hissyfits -- among countless other issues -- are the sort of things that leave me rolling. Of course, I'm sure most will find the VO to be an ear-grating experience, but thankfully the voices can be shut off.
The graphics and music in Fantasia definitely aren't as low-quality as the voices, however. Visually, the game is very appealing, though it lacks the sort of high-res polish we've become used to from JRPGs on other consoles. Characters and environments look very good (save for the cluttered overworld map), and the only thing that makes exploring these areas a pain is a fixed-path camera that's determined to get you lost. The music, composed by veteran game maestro Yasunori Mitsuda (the Chrono series, Xenogears, Xenosaga), is uniformly excellent -- you might find yourself compelled to spend more time in certain areas just to listen to the soundtrack.
Where Arc Rise most succeeds, however, is its combat system: a unique take on typical turn-based RPG battles. Players are given a pool of Action Points at the start of a turn, which they must decide how to spend. Every action, be it attacking, magic, using items, moving, or defending costs AP. One can use all their allotted AP having a single character attack repeatedly, chaining attacks together in a powerful combo, or they can opt to spread them across the party, having everyone aim for different foes, bombard an enemy with follow-up attacks from different sources, or go on the defensive for recovery and build-up for a more powerful onslaught later. There's a great deal of strategy and pre-planning involved, particularly against tougher foes. While most of the enemies you'll encounter are standard level-building cannon fodder, most of the boss fights are quite challenging, and new twists the game throws in later on (chained attacks and magic-augmenting environmental objects) serve to help keep players alert.
Arc Rise Fantasia gets a recommendation -- with reservations -- from me. If the only system you have is a Wii and you need an RPG, this certainly isn't a bad title to settle for. For gamers with more console options, however, the enjoyment you'll derive from Arc Rise Fantasia will likely be tied to how much you like combat, since the story certainly isn't anything worthwhile. For me, it was worth it just for the fights... and the voices associated with them. Thanks to Ryfia, I'll forever remember that I "must answer my calling."
Join the newsletter!
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
cloudandco Smart Cane
Apple iPhone X
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Toys for Boys
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Bose SoundLink Micro
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Xbox One X
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- The best free video editing software: Great tools for YouTube stardom and more
- MSI Trident V3 Arctic review: Looks like a console, runs like a high-end desktop
- VSDC review: This free video editor holds back too much
- Hitfilm Express 2017 review: Powerful features lie behind a quirky interface
- Lightworks for Windows review: The free version falls short in export options
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- Western Digital My Cloud Home review: Take back the cloud
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTLevel 2/Level 3 Application Support AnalystVIC
- CCProblem manager - OSS, Service Assurance appsVIC
- TPIT OfficerVIC
- CCExstream DeveloperNSW
- CCOracle DeveloperVIC
- FTCustomer Service RepresentativeOther
- CCSCCM Deployment TechnicianACT
- CCDynamics AX Functional Consultant ? Finance | Supply ChainQLD
- TPWeb Communications OfficerACT
- FTCyber Security Governance SpecialistOther
- FTProject Manager - Develop Strategy. Need RISI card, Rail bckgrdOther
- FTSolution ArchitectOther
- FTBusiness Analysts Wanted!Other
- CCWeb Applications Project ManagerNSW
- FTSQL DeveloperQLD
- FTInfrastructure Design Engineer, DC Power, CommunicationsOther
- CCM204 Developers - Federal GovernmentNSW
- FTSenior Network ArchitectVIC
- FTTeam and Project Administrator - SalesforceQLD
- FTTest ManagerOther
- FTMultiple SOC Analyst RolesOther
- FTSenior Consultant - Portfolio GovernanceVIC
- FTPortfolio Management & Governance ConsultantOther
- FTTechnical Solutions ArchitectVIC
- FTSenior Systems EngineerVIC