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

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Ignition Entertainment Arc Rise Fantasia
  • Ignition Entertainment Arc Rise Fantasia
  • Ignition Entertainment Arc Rise Fantasia
  • Ignition Entertainment Arc Rise Fantasia
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Excellent combat engine, lots to see and do, fantastic soundtrack, enjoyably poor voice acting

Cons

  • Sub-par localisation effort, by-the-numbers story

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)

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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: games, Nintendo Wii games, wii
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?