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Thousand Arms (1999) Review

Thousand Arms was one of those rare titles in the Playstation library just before the system was ready to bite the dust. Fortunately I'd heard about this title from a huge local library in my town that had video game rentals, as I soon bought it afterward. So today I give out my own thoughts of the game in this in-depth review.




Story

The plot revolves around a young blacksmith by the name of Meis Triumph, who begins to search for the legendary Sacred Flames, and to overthrow an organization known as the Dark Acolytes before they get their hands on it to prevent the destruction of the world. Through Meis' journey, he'll run into several girls along the way, which is a gimmick for this game since it's both an RPG and a dating simulator.


Gameplay

The overworld you're in plays out just as in any other roleplaying game from Japan, as you'll arrive in different towns and landscapes to advance the story. Along with that are some rather neat-looking interactive anime cutscenes between characters.

As far as the dating simulation goes, this is an important aspect of the game. As you fight monsters, you'll gain MP which is used to go on a date with a girl, or play a minigame with her. Doing both has a chance at raising your "intimacy level" which is used to get you to smith a more powerful weapon and add an element attack to it, depending on which girl you have in your party.

As a second note to the dating simulation, you'll be asked a variety of personal questions. Get positive answers on them, and you'll have a good status in improving your intimacy level. If you don't, well, better luck next time.

The battle system is somewhat interesting, though it's not very compelling. You can only have one character in battle at a time, while two others in your party are in the back, either to use items or to cast a spell. You can tag in one of your characters in the back, but they'll be exchanged by the one that's already up.



Graphics

The graphics leave something to be desired, as in some points the 2D character sprites mixing in with the 3D environments does seem kinda bland at times, but it has a charm in what I mentioned in the game using anime 2D animations for the cutscenes. The 2D sprites are also used for the battle system as well.


Sound

From what you'd expect in a Playstation title, the sound effects used are above average, as the same goes for the in-game music, but there's a nice Japanese vocal song for the intro.

The best feature of this game no doubt is its huge amount of voice acting. Spanning the two game discs that comes with the case, there's around ten hours of spoken dialogue from the characters, from both cutscenes as well as those that are used in the dating simulation.



Control

There's not a lot to be said in this section, as button pressing and scrolling through menus is pretty much done well. Alternatively when in a town or landscape, you can hold the X button to walk rather than run, but I don't see a point to that.


Final Verdict

While this game does offer a new twist to RPGs, it does have a couple of faults that I ran into. For one, the dating simulation gets pretty dull once you get around to the second half of the game, as a lot of questions are repeated.

Another one being how the battle system was handled. I'm not a big fan of it, but I got used to it after a while.

Overall, this game is worth a look if you have a lot of time on your hands. If not, just look elsewhere for a Playstation RPG.




Final Score: 7/10
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Benjanime Posted on Dec 11, 2012 at 10:03 PM

it's almost the same for me here. i truly miss the days when games were just about the adventure and not how much memory you needed for a console or any of these flimsy system updates.

i have taken interest in the 3DS though, as it just might be the last game console that i ever get, unless the wii u begins to have a huge library of underrated titles

Vaporman87 Posted on Dec 11, 2012 at 07:56 PM

Few games capture my undivided attention to the point of spending hours on them anymore. However, the Mass Effect trilogy was an exception.

Benjanime Posted on Dec 11, 2012 at 07:35 PM

in a sense, yes. i took envy in getting almost everything in the game, but after getting around to say, late on the second disc, i decided to start putting my game time to a limit of one to two hours a day. it was mandatory anyway since my playstation began turning into a heater after about four hours of use

Vaporman87 Posted on Dec 11, 2012 at 07:31 PM

Were they right?

Benjanime Posted on Dec 11, 2012 at 07:24 PM

@vaporman87

haha, my parents tried to sulk me away from video games once i got into the playstation generation. when i first played final fantasy VII my parents thought that my social life would be over!

Vaporman87 Posted on Dec 11, 2012 at 07:16 PM

This is definitely something my younger brother would have fell in love with (especially since there was a dating aspect to the character development).

I routinely ridiculed him for preferring to spend so much time on games with so little to offer graphically.

It didn't dissuade him though, since he still does. :)

Nice review Benjanime!

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