Wild Arms 3 for Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2)
The first two games in the Wild Arms series garnered attention and acclaim as they brought classic console role-playing to the original PlayStation. Though crafted in the same story-telling spirit, Wild Arms 3 (titled Wild Arms Advanced 3rd in Japan) boasts major technological improvements and a number of new gameplay elements. Featuring "stroke-shaded" animation-style graphics, a "Wild West" setting, and a completely 3D game engine (not just for battles, as in the previous games), Wild Arms 3 is designed to make good use of the power of the PlayStation 2. Wild Arms 3 features four main characters and takes the time to let players become acquainted with each of them. The "drifters" Virginia, Gallows, Jet, and Clive are four very different adventurers whose paths intertwine toward a shared destiny. Though each has his or her own personal motivations, all four seek an explanation for why the once-verdant lands of Filgaia have become dry and barren. Differences must be overcome and the characters must act in harmony if they are to truly understand the ancient mystical forces at work. As the drifters move through the desolate land of Filgaia, they are challenged with a number of mysteries to solve and barriers to overcome. The different special abilities of each character must be used to solve different parts of the game's complex puzzles. A technique dubbed "expressive communication" is designed to allow players to quickly gauge the moods and emotions of the onscreen characters. Monsters, villains, and other horrible creatures stand between the drifters and their destinations as well. The Wild Arms 3 turn-based battle system is designed to offer players an intricate level of control, allowing tactics that make wise use of the various powers and weaponry of the drifters while presenting combat with cinematic flair.