Arc the Lad is a game about collecting powerful items, and using those items to stop a great evil from destroying the world. While this may not be what most people would consider “new” in videogames, it doesn’t make the game at all boring or tedious to play. In fact, since this game can be easily beaten in 10 hours or less, there’s not enough time to get bored of playing it.
The game has quite a pleasant soundtrack, and the Japanese voices of all the characters are rather entertaining. For some reason, I just find it amusing to hear the old sage Gogen shouting “DIAMOONDO DUSTO!” and “WINDO SLASHA!”
The visuals, on the other hand, are not so pleasant. The whole game looks more like a Super Nintendo game that was ported to PSX than a game that was made specifically for PlayStation.
Now, just because the game looks like a Super NES game doesn’t mean it has to look crappy. I mean, I love the way Chrono Trigger and Lufia 2 look, so I wouldn’t normally have a problem with it. However, although the backgrounds are acceptable enough, the characters are just plain ugly. They all have gigantic heads and strange, deformed looking bodies…it’s unnerving. There are a few good-looking cutscenes, but generally the game is just not very pretty.
Now, personally, I don’t think that the prettiness factor of a game has much to do with how fun the game is, and that is a very helpful attitude to have for this game. The controls are easy to pick up, especially since you don’t even need to know how to work the menus to be able to play through the entire game, and the battles are fun to play. There aren’t any random encounters in this game; the only time you’ll get in a fight is when its part of the storyline, or you choose to enter into a battle yourself.
As I said earlier, the game is only around 10 hours or less long, unless you decide to do all of the sidequests, so it is very easy to play this game several times in a row without being bored. Killing certain enemies, fighting battles with certain characters, and completing various sidequests can earn you many different items to aid you in your quest, so if you are the type of person who likes to collect every single item, you may just find yourself replaying the game many times until you find them all.
If you are not the type of person who likes to replay games at all, you still will find this game fun and easy to play. It is also a great game for gamers who don’t have a lot of free time on their hands, and don’t want to get involved in a hundred-or-so-hour-long RPG.
This game may be somewhat hard to find now, so your best bet may be to look on eBay or some place similar for the Arc the Lad Collection, which contains Arc the Lad 1, 2, 3, and Arc Arena: Monster Tournament, as well as a few other Arc the Lad collectibles. I purchased said set for $49.99, I believe, which I consider a good deal since it translates to about $12.50 per game. This game is good for anyone, so if you have any interest at all in video games, you might as well check it out.