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Preview - Wild Arms Alter Code: F

Everything old is new again

In the early days of the original PlayStation, Sony released an RPG called Wild Arms. Beating the famous FF7 to the punch, Wild Arms was the first RPG on Playstation to have 3D battles, which are now a staple in RPG games. It also featured Anime cutscenes of good quality, and characters that the RPG audience of the day found rather endearing.

Wild Arms' new packaging

Fast forward to 2005, after two Wild Arms sequels published in the states by SCEA, publisher Agetec is taking the localization reigns from Sony of America to release a remake of the original Wild Arms. This remake will feature updated graphics, sound, and cutscenes. Visuals in the game resemble Wild Arms 3, but without the Cel Shading technique used in that game. Perhaps one of the biggest changes is the addition of three new characters to bring the total playable characters to six. The new characters are females, including Emma, a scientist, "Calamity Jane" Maxwell, a treasure hunter, and Mcdullen, a butler who happens to be good with a sword.

In addition to the changes in the storyline that the new characters will bring, you can also swap characters in and out of battle ala Final Fantasy X. This should make for a more strategic battle system than has been used in previous games. But these battles might not be necessary at all. This remake of the first game in the series will borrow a gameplay system from the second game that allows one to dodge random battles. The team will have a special meter, part of which will be used when the the player avoids a battle. This is done by reacting quickly when the exclamation point is seen over the on-screen character's head. The cost on the meter is determined by the strength of the enemy.

Alter Code: F will also take advantage of Sony's HDD peripheral by allowing players to install the game and load that way rather than use the disc every time the game is played. This will decrease load times and save the player a bit of memory card space. Also in relation to game-saving is the "Ex-File." This will function as a way to start a new game using data from another file.

This game will come out in North America in the spring of 2005.

Below are some screenshots. Click them to view.

-Jacob Fernandez