Wild Arms Alter Code: F Review

I've played my share of role-playing-games going back to Wizardry for the Apple IIe, I think it was. What I do remember was that I played it while I was trapped inside my house during an ice storm and that I played for so long that when I looked away from my state-of-the-art green screen monitor everything had an odd shade of pink. Several years later I was up for several nights playing Shining in the Darkness on the Genesis. Both of those games were a lot of fun and very engaging at the time. Despite with all of the golly-gee-whiz consoles it has been hard to find a RPG that has captured the fun of those, with the notable exceptions of Dark Cloud 2 and the Zelda games. Will Agetec's newest RPG for the PS2 be that hard to find game? Well....

Wild Arms was released on the original PlayStation back in 1997 and I have to admit that I did not play it nor have I played any of the sequels including the one for the PS2. So I'm coming into the series as a virgin you might say. Now the question is, have I been missing something? Well, not so much as far as I can tell. Wild Arms Alter Code F is kind of a remake of the first Wild Arms and while it may have been interesting several years ago it doesn't do much for me now.

Wild Arms Alter Code F takes place in the world of Filgaia where the crops are dying left and right because of a huge war between the “humans” and some nasty demonic creatures called Metal Demons from another dimension. Winning this war took a lot out of the Guardians of Filgaia and without their full power the world started to slide over the following thousand years. Naturally the demons decide to return at this time and it's up to three heroes named Rudy, Jack, and Cecilia to protect their world and stop the bad guys.

Each of the these three main character, and there are other characters that you play as in the game, has a special ability. There is a short intro at the start that allows you to meet each of these characters and it helps to explain the special skills for the characters. Rudy is a quiet dude that has the power to use strange and powerful guns called Arms; Jack is a treasure hunter that is a bit of an outcast but cruises with a rat named Hanpan; Cecilia is a princess that can talk with the Guardians that defeated the demons all those years ago. Adding to this cast of characters an interesting environment, the game has a unique style to it that blends a bit of the Old West with Sci-Fi.

Once the story gets rolling you will need the tools of each of the characters to help you complete the game. For example, Hanpan can be sent by Jack to flip a switch in a hard to reach spot, or Cecilia can light torches with her flame throwing staff. There are puzzles that each character must help to solve but none of them are that difficult. Besides the puzzles tend to give you a break from the battles.