Wild Arms 5
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|Wild Arms 5|
Wild Arms 5, released in Japan as Wild Arms: The Vth Vanguard (ワイルドアームズ ザ フィフスヴァンガード? Wairudo Āmuzu Za Fifusu Vangādo), is the fifth video game in the Wild Arms series of Japanese role-playing games. The game celebrates the series' 10th anniversary by featuring cameo appearances of characters from the previous games. The game was developed by Media.Vision for the Sony PlayStation 2 platform.
During combat, the field is split into seven hexagonal sections, some of which may have special properties. The player and enemies can move to different hexagons during their turn. This time around, the party count is three instead of four. Dean's party members and enemies can act instantly when they move onto the next hexagonal platform.
The Force meter returns from Wild Arms 4. This meter increases as Dean's party members make physical attacks or are attacked. This can be used for Original attacks, Team Combos or summoning Guardian beasts to attack enemies. The more powerful the attack is, the more the Force meter will be drained. The characters can summon guardian beasts to the field to attack enemies. They can also use combination attacks that utilize most or all of the party. New in Wild Arms 5 is the ability to chain attacks together. This lets one of Dean's party members attack two to five times provided they have the Violator Badge equipped and enough bullets to make the attack.
Each playable character is equipped with an ARM, a specialized kind of gun that deals physical damage in a range that varies for each character, from one-hex away to any hex. The ARMs must be reloaded after a number of shots by having the character defend for one round. While each character has a specific ARM, there are cartridges that can be added to increase its firepower. The ARMs also have their own stats that can be boosted by using "dragon fossil" items acquired during play. Like in other Wild Arms games, ARM is an acronym, though its actual meaning is obscure. There are two versions given in the game.
By the time the player is able to control three characters at once early in the game, the tools known as mediums are introduced. In this version, they are portable computer devices with mystical qualities. Each character can only equip one medium at a time and there are six available mediums throughout the game. Each medium specializes in affecting specific parameters and granting the character unique Original and Force abilities.
Wild Arms 5 is a third-person video game. The world map is not scaled down, and towns and dungeons can be seen in their real size. The player traverses the world by walking, or employing various vehicles, including a train and monowheel. The field avatar cannot be changed; Dean is always the leader.
Dungeon exploration has two modes. In Action mode, the player can jump, slide, and interact with objects. In Shooting mode, Dean draws both of his ARMs and can fire them freely. By employing various cartridges, the player can interact with the environment in a number of ways. Some examples include activating distant switches, breaking down obstacles, and lighting torches.
Like every game in the Wild Arms series, Wild Arms 5 takes place on the world of Filgaia. Humans are currently being ruled over by the Veruni, an alien race that landed on Filgaia 100 years ago. Dean Stark, the protagonist of the story, lives in a secluded village away from all the turmoil. He dreams of one day leaving the village to pursue his dream of becoming a Golem Hunter, someone who excavates ancient robots, like his idol Nightburn. While in the mountains, Dean and his childhood friend Rebecca spot a Golem's arm fall from the sky and land in a cave just in front of them. Upon entering the cave, they find a girl curled up within the Golem's hand. The girl only remembers two things, her name (Avril), and the words Johnny Appleseed. After receiving the pair of ARMs (special guns) she was holding, Dean, along with Avril and Rebecca, decides to embark on an adventure to find out what the words "Johnny Appleseed" really mean.
Meanwhile, a revolt has begun within the Veruni government. A man named Volsung has overthrown the leader of the Radical faction, sworn enemies of the more peaceful Moderater faction, claiming that his violent actions are necessary for the survival of the Veruni.
All playable characters are equipped with ARM weapons.
- Dean Stark - a teenage boy who wishes to be a Golem Hunter. Dean often obsesses over Golems, to the point where he, if he can, finds any piece of any Golem. He is naive, but his idealism influences the other characters. He idolizes Nighburn. Dean fights with a pair of ARMs. Special Ability: Double Critical: Doubles the damage of all critical attacks. Voiced by: Hiro Shimono.
- Rebecca Streisand - Dean's childhood friend, who is smarter than he is. She has feelings for him, but does not dare reveal them. Rebecca fights with a revolver-style ARM. Special Ability: Continuous Shot: Can randomly shoot/attack two to five times. Voiced by: Nana Mizuki.
- Avril Vent Fleur - a mysterious girl with amnesia. Avril fights with a sword ARM that can change into a whip. Special Ability: Double DP: Can randomly double the DP of all physical attacks including critical attacks. Voiced by: Shizuka Itō.
- Greg Russellberg - a 'Golem Crusher' who destroys golems, looking to find the man who killed his family. Greg fights with a combination sword/shotgun. Special Ability: Shoot and Guard' Randomly guards after attacking. Voiced by: Tomoyuki Shimura.
- Chuck Preston - a young, boastful Golem Hunter with self-confidence issues. He fights with a piledriver-like weapon. Special Ability: Increases his attack power proportional to his loss of HP. Voiced by: Eiji Hanawa.
- Carol Anderson - the young assistant of a mysterious professor. She is extremely intelligent, but very shy and clumsy. She is equipped with a backpack-mounted missile launcher. Special Ability: Can attack any enemy from any position. Voiced by: Asuka Tanii.
- Asgard - the golem that dropped Avril. It acts as a transportation device and an ally in battle. Asgard is not under direct player control, but its combat actions can be preprogrammed.
- The group's enemies include Volsung, leader of the radical movement, and the four sentinels under his command, Fereydoon, Persephone, Kartikeya, and Elvis. Their goal is to ensure the survival of the Veruni race at any cost. Note that all these characters (except Elvis) are named for figures from various mythologies, although this is not mentioned in the game. Volsung (voiced by Kyle Hebert in English) comes from Norse myth, Fereydoon from Persian myth, Persephone from Greek myth and Kartikeya from Hindu beliefs.
- Other characters include Nightburn Acklund, a famous golem hunter who is Dean's hero, and Captain Bartholomew, the captain of the Moderate ship Mayflower.
- Cameos from other games include all the playable characters (excluding Lucied from 2nd Ignition) from Wild Arms and its remake, Wild Arms Alter Code: F, Wild Arms 2, Wild Arms 3, and Wild Arms 4. Some may or may not be the characters they resemble, but most are likely just cameos. These characters are not playable, though many of them are part of the game's sidequests. The anime series, Wild Arms: Twilight Venom, is also given a nod in the form of a boss by the name of "Twilight Venom".
The game makes use of CGI to create a 3D effect, including a slow camera pan drift. The player can zoom in and out from different angles during gameplay. There are also several computer generated cut scenes. The art style for the characters is a typical anime look, as opposed to a realistic or super deformed one. In addition, the game features a wide selection of alternate costumes for all the playable characters, including several originally used by characters from the previous Wild Arms games, that can be obtained during gameplay.
The game features voiceovers in several of its cutscenes and battles. The music for Wild Arms 5, the only video game title where the original series composer Michiko Naruke did not contribute, was provided by Masato Kouda along with series newcomer Noriyasu Agematsu. Unlike past Wild Arms, Nana Mizuki, who voiced Rebecca in the game, sung the opening "Justice to Believe" and ending "Crystal Letter" theme rather than Kaori Asoh.
In the United States, the first print run of Wild Arms 5 came in a commemorative "Series 10th Anniversary" box and included an art book featuring character art from all five Wild Arms games. This limited edition was later replaced by a standard edition with different cover art and no extras. The European version was released in two different versions: a limited edition, including an 80-page art book, and a standard edition, without the art book. Both featured the "Series 10th Anniversary" cover from the US release.
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- Wild ARMs 5 Prima Official Game Guide, published in America by Prima Games (2007)