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VINE VOICEon 21 February 2003
I'm a bit glum at the moment. I've come to the conclusion that a number of fantastic games will not get the play they deserve due to lack of confidence from the distributors. Due to this, they put very little into advance publicity, advertising, put few copies on the shelves and give them weak covers.
A good example: I got Wild Arms 3 the other day. This is a fun RPG set in a Wild West / Fantasy setting with nice cell shaded graphics. I'd not even heard it was being released, despite it receiving quite admirable reviews and also being part of an acclaimed series of games. I'd seen no adverts for it at all in any of the magazines, and the cover is one of the weakest I have ever seen. Basically, it's a sepia brown mess with half a character's back on it. It's even worse than the Morrowind cover, and would certainly not attract the casual browser. (not casual bowser). Add to this a poorly chosen selection of screenshots on the back, and very little "interesting" blurb and you have a product that seems doomed to fail - Oh, and they are only providing about five copies per store. The guys in the shop were not too enthused about the game at all, it has to be said.
This is all a real shame, as the game itself is one of the most fun RPGs I've played in a while. The Wild West setting actually makes the game seem quite fresh, and the four characters you control all have varied and different roles within the gameplay. The turn based combat system is one of the best I've seen, extremely simple to use and understand, as is the magic system. You also have proper puzzles in the dungeons, a la Zelda, some of which involve a fair bit of lateral thinking.
It has it's faults. There's far too many random battles, but - unlike most RPGs - you can opt to skip them for the most part. You can't skip cut scenes, but that's not too much of a problem. When on the world map, you have to use a sonar-like device to locate new areas that you can visit, which can mean a bit of wandering around in circles. However, you're given plenty of clues as you go along as to where places are. Also, the combat varies between being extremely easy, or damned hard with little in the middle. Oh, and near the start, it seems like health berries are pretty hard to find (although I'm told later on in the game you grow your own and have almost more than you need!!)
Other interesting things in the game - Battles on horseback. To travel across the world at speed, you can catch horses - At times, you'll be attacked by bandits, or whatever, and have shooting battles at high speed. Fun! Much more fun than the Gummi Ship-like sand crawler battles which, to be honest, I could do without. The plot is quite good - Although you won't think it's anything special at the start. Like many RPGs, this takes a little while to get going, and you need to play for a few hours to see the game get better. You start of with four prologues, each one introducing each character and their abilities, before everyone teams up and you have your first group battle atop a fast-moving train. Anyways, I am liking this - It's also fairly light-hearted in atmosphere, which is a bit of a change from many of the recent RPGs.
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on 26 March 2004
Wild Arms 3 is one of the better PS2 RPGs. It does have a few flaws, btu it makes up for them with plenty of good features. The story is set in a futuristic "Wild West" world where saloon bars and horse-riding mix with space craft and magical monsters...sounds odd, but it works. Our heroes are four drifters who find themselves on a quest to save the world from a crazed super-power, whilst unearthing secrets and/or discovering personal fulfillment along the way, yadda yadda...all very safe RPG territory. One thing to note first off is that there are only four charcaters to play for the whole of the game, so there are no worries about characters not getting levelled up evenly. To make up for any possible lack of variety, the equipment/skill system for the game is entertainingly complex, with many options for assigning fighting abilities, stat boosters and magical attributes to your four characters. In addition to this, the game throws more into the mix with a unique opening chapter in which you play 4 prologues, one for each character alone. Still more fun (or hardship) is ensured by the random battles in which an ambush occurs, and you will find just one of your band surrounded and left to fight alone for a predetermined number of rounds before the other 3 appear. On this note, the random battle sytem is set slightly on the frequent side, but this is tempered with an "encounter-meter" that gives you the option of avoiding fights if you wish, however, the number of "passes" you are allowed is limited and continually skipping battles will eventually leave you are unable skip any battles at all, so usage of this needs to be carefully monitered in very dangerous areas. The encounter meter is yet another stat that can be boosted by rare items, adding further variety to the quest.
Another credit to the game is the highly engaging World Map, equal to those of the Final Fantasy games (apart from FFX!), in my opinion. Starting off on foot, the player is limited to only a few parts of the world, but gradual upgrading leads to riding horses, piloting a sand-cruiser (the "seas" of this world are all made of moving sand), and finally to boarding a flying dragon with which you can soar past inaccessible crevasses and mountain ranges. All 4 modes have their own specific type of fighting style, with the latter two very reminiscent of the ship battles in "Skies Of Arcadia". The dungeons themselves are loaded with assorted monsters and puzzles, and there are plenty of side missions and secrets to uncover. It's not an easy game by any means, despite the bright-coloured cel shaded graphics (which do work surpisingly well), so prepare for a few tough boss battles and some mind-bending logic puzzles that have to be solved to make progress through some of the later dungeons.
The game has a possible huge lifespan, so if you have the stamina there's a lot of fun on offer here, in my opinion. The learning curve is gradual, and fans of RPG's will find probably find the early chapters far too easy, but things become quite challenging later on, so while its easy to get stuck into Wild Arms 3, it may prove a real achievement to finish. Try doing so, and I think you'l be glad you did.
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on 18 August 2004
On the surface this, "Western RPG" with its cell-shaded graphics is initially off-putting, but only an hour into the game and you'll change your mind.
The game follows a team of 4 who you control through some of the hardest temples ever! The game features a turn-based battle system which works really well as you can fight both on ground and on horseback. Your weapons (known as ARMs) are upgradable and the map is enormous with plenty of locations to go to. The storyline is always there, but could be criticised for not seperating wild arms 3 from the other RPG's on the market, (basically it is GOOD VS EVIL.)
This is a really overlooked game and one of the best on the PS2. This game will look even better next to Grandia 2, Legaia 2 and emperial phantasia. If you have 60 hours spare, i would highly recommend getting this game, it wont be a waste of time!
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on 19 September 2003
If only all games were as good as this!!! Wild Arms 3 is a must have for the PS2. It's intelligent and enthralling gameplay is equaly matched by its amazing graphics. The story is of 3 guys and a girl (who are called 'drifters') who set off on a journey to find ancient artifacts and objects which have some relevance to magic powers and summoning monsters. This may be another Final Fantasy clone, but it definitely has a perfect blend of RPG and the wild west for me to give it 5 stars.
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on 14 November 2003
I remember the first in this series being recommended to me, i had never heard of it, but so glad I bought it. This is now the third and the best yet in this under-rated series.
I spent over a 100 hours on this, it has everything, great characters, side quests, puzzle solving, dungeons and strong storyline. It has a world map to explore, something that many games seem to be moving away from now, and there is plenty to find.
I loved this game more than FF ....buy it.
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on 24 August 2016
One of the best Wild Arms games, of whom I am big fan and the last one to use the series' staple battle system before shifting to the strategy-like hexes battle system.

The graphics look good even in today's standards due to its adorable cel-shaded graphics. The music, in the tradition of the series, is a very beautiful Wild West one but dialogue lines are not dubbed, which is fine and reminiscent of older rpgs or the previous titles in this series, so it is not a drawback in this sense, but it would have been a cool feature.

Story nothing too revolutionary but good and interesting. The story starts very slow in the beginning as you need to play the very long prologue from each of the four main characters' perspectives. Despite that, this makes one more attached to and invested in knowing about the characters, their story and history.

The game when I bought was very cheap, around 5 or 7 pounds if I remember correctly, but this game is close in status in my opinion to a ps2 classic rpg even though my favourite in this series is Wild Arms 2, which happened to be my first in this franchise.
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on 13 February 2004
I'm a huge fan of RPG's and i'd have to say that my favourite series is the Final Fantasy series (VII being the best). But wild arms 3 equals ANY final fantasy game in graphics, sound, story, enjoyment and replayability.
I love the cel shaded graphics in this game, i much prefer them to the style used in final fantasy VIII and X. I don't know why but the small characters draw me in, probably memories of Final Fantasy VII.
This game features everything that an RPG needs to be perfect and yes it has a world map, and an absolutely brilliant one at that, including all sorts of vehicles to travel including horses, trains, a sandcraft and your own kinda big mechanical dragon thing that switches between being a dragon and a jet like a transformer or something (seriously cool transport and it can shoot missiles to blow up rocks on the world map, opening up new areas or just finding treasures etc). Infact, now that i think about it, isn't it the only RPG with a proper world map on the PS2 to date?
Wild Arms 3 also has a really nice story and manages to make you really care about the characters, envolving you even more with the game. It's no short story either, this game took me a good few weeks to finish and this was over the summer holidays playing it for hours and hours every day. Overall, i think it took me about 60 hours in the end because i wanted to do all the side missions and level up all my characters/weapons to max etc. Then i played through it all again :). Once you finish the game you can save a file and use EX-file keys that u collected during the game to view different versions of the game intro and some other small extras like that, but most importantly, if you collect enough EX-file keys you can play through the whole game again using the characters you finished it with last time, keeping your level and if i remember correctly, your money as well but i'm not sure.
I did get a little bit frustrated with this game at times trying to find things that seemed impossible to find but it wasn't all that bad, and after all, how many games have you played without some frustrating parts?
If you are an RPG fan then deffinatley buy this game without hesitaion. You won't be dissapointed
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on 13 February 2013
really enjoy this game! i cant really think of anything more to add it is a good game good quality.
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on 7 February 2004
After 2 impresive wild arms games on the PSOne, we should expect some marvelous RPG that keeps you playing for endless hours of enjoyable, sustainable adventuring. But, although it still has its moments of magic this game can be a real bore to play. It doesn't grab you and keep you going for weeks on end, and quite simply is snorearama. Graphics is Wild Arms 3 strongest point. The cell-shaded chraracters are really cool especially when they move and the colurs all blend in and the black outline dissappears. But again the characters are boring, unloveable and you really dont care if they live or die.
The story is appalling. Four people from different corners of the globe go in search of adventure... and (gasp) find it (sigh).
What a dissapointment. The one thing that Final Fantasy X didn't have was a world map. And Wild Arms has one, and a pretty good one at that. You need to find different areas by using youre search radio waves, which can keep you going for hours. Although you may get frustrated at the amount of time it will take you just to find a sign.
And this all ads up to a very average RPG with little enjoyment. Some of you hardcore RPGers may just find a glimpse of magic in there but its doubtfull.
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on 18 October 2016
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