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Thousand Arms

Publisher: Atlus Developer: Red
Reviewer: Trunks Released: 10/14/99
Gameplay: 83% Control: 86%
Graphics: 79% Sound/Music: 88%
Story: 82% Overall: 84%

On the outside looking in, Thousand Arms appeared to be the one of the 'great' RPGs of 1999, but on the inside looking out, the game is nothing more then another attempt to capture the success generated by Final Fantasy VII. If that wasn't enough, the game didn't flow together as nicely as I would have hoped, however I'm beginning to fall in love with those innocent anime gals. Either way, both the game and myself suffer from some problems.

I'm usually impressed when developers try something different than the typical RPG system, but with Thousand Arms, I feel like it falls just short of my expectations.

Battles are now one on one, with supporting characters in the back to use healing items to keep you fighting fit. Unique as it is, it often takes much longer to finish battles then in other games and because of that, I often felt like running away despite any advantages.

At least Thousand Arms presents one thing remotely normal, and that's the super deformed graphics. While far less spectacular then the visuals found in Final Fantasy VIII, Thousand Arms does prove that deformed graphics can still present a bit of entertainment, and with the frequent anime switch, who can really complain about this title?

Strangely enough, its the game's storyline which truly catches my attention and manages to hold it, at least, for a little while. That's before everything becomes predictable, and things generally get a bit on the repetitive side.

Being placed in the role of Meis Triumph, its your destiny to become a famous Spirit Blacksmith and to enjoy all the women he encounters. You see, that's the part where I get screwed up mentally, because Spirit Blacksmith's can put more power into swords by enjoying women before and during their work.

The anime scenes were beginning to do strange things to my mind (kinda makes me wish for a dating sim). Going on dates with a total of 9 women in the game, you're asked a series of questions which will either raise or lower their intimacy level with you. If you please them enough with your replies, you get a kiss at the end of the date, and then her power with you will rise.

I must admit that this intriguing system was quite a surprise and something new, a very welcomed surprise that I hope is incorporated into more games brought to the US.

From there on out though, the storyline pretty much becomes predictable, and while it does have its moments, I lost interest after only 15 short hours. I suppose part of that can be blamed on how many RPGs I was playing at the time, but it doesn't possess the zing of other storylines.

In a nut shell, the world is being taken over by evil forces and it's up to you to try and destroy them and get the girl (not only the typical RPG, but the typical movie story too).

Control outside of battle is standard, while the musical score is decent enough to receive my applause.

Like I said earlier, I couldn't help but feel that Thousand Arms was trying to cash in on a market that was created by Final Fantasy VII, so the music continually left me with a nostalgic feeling.

Except for a few minor flaws with the battle system and the 16-bit graphics, Thousand Arms delivers an entertaining, slightly frustrating game with enough charm to at least give it a rental. Who knows, maybe if you haven't had a date in a long time, the game will be worth it just for the chance to meet some anime girls (though if you play the game for that, I suggest you seek help).


The area maps are all polygonal.

The dating sequences put this game in the realm of dating-sim/RPG.

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