In the long line of Wild Arms games, XF brings the ongoing saga to the PSP in the form of a tactical-based RPG strategy game. This release is a welcome addition to the franchise and is hopefully not the last one. The fanbase have been asking for a PS3 continuation for years.
Similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, Crossfire brings the Wild West to gamers who enjoy using turn-based strategy in combat than a simple run around and kill everything approach. One runs around in a map and battles are played on a hexagonal grid. Achieving mission goals is more important than to kill everything on screen.
Here, emphasis is placed on character skill customization, resolving battles quickly and solving puzzles. There are six fixed character classes that each of the playable characters have and sixteen more to further enhance their abilities. In combat, taking advantage of the terrain is important, and Labryntha, one of the characters players get to play, describes the objective to be achieved before all the character’s vitality runs out.
Vitality Points measure how long each character can last in a battle, and once they are gone they take hit point damage every round until they are “exhausted.”
This level of detail makes combat realistic by not drawing it out. Like other RPGs where there are items to restore hit points, vitality and other statistics, this game is different because each character can stock only four items. When players are in locked in story mode encounter settings, there is no pause to save the game. Having the right items are important because players can’t restock.
And when players are going into free combat situations, these items can go fast because there are plenty of creatures that can slow the game’s characters down. When players expect to breeze through a random fight fast, the average time to finish the battle is about 12 minutes. This game can take several weekends to finish and the tale is rich with enough subplots, twists and turns.
The story takes place in a small corner of the massive world of Filgaia. When Clarissa Arwin and her entourage visit the Kingdom of Elesius in her own quest, she becomes mistaken for a missing princess and embroiled in a brewing power struggle for the throne. But there is more than what she is aware of that reveals itself during the game.
Her own self doubts and struggles make for some great character development and there is a deeper story told in a series of flashbacks. Because of the limitations of the PSP, the tale is told in a series of still images and lengthy dialogues. Favoring the Japanese production of the game, the voice track was kept in its original language. There’s nothing like hearing the battle cry as it should be intended. The dubbed track is fairly good in other situations but not in fights.
When backed up with music composed by the same team who did Wild Arms 4 and 5, fond memories of the early Wild Arms games are invoked instead of a more modernistic feel that these previous iterations tried to do. The game includes a music-only selection so the tunes can be enjoyed by itself.
Article from Gamersyndrome.com