Story: In the nice land of Kant lives a lecherous young boy named Meis Triumph of the Triumph Royal Family. The Dianovan Empire has been capturing and destroying each and every town they go to. Meis is separated from his family and goes on an adventure known as this RPG.
They say they've been waiting for Thousand Arms for four years. That's quite a long time. Is this game going to be RPG of the Year? Not really. Is it going to be given a perfect score? Not likely, given the flaws that the game has. Should it be a must buy? Not really, since some people may not like the dating aspect of the game. Is Thousand Arms worth the long wait?
We'll have to break this up into several categories, I'm afraid.
Story: It's not epic like, say, FF8 or Xenogears, but it works. A boy going on a journey, he meets friends, etc. What makes this slightly different from other typical RPGs is the insertion of anime cutscenes with practically zero loading time! And the story is rather entertaining. It's not going to make you cry (unless you're very emotional), but it will make you really amused. Humour is present even at parts when it's supposed to be serious. It's just lighthearted, don't take it seriously.
Characters: Ahhh, anime characters. I liked the character designs, their voices were very fitting (although some were a little off) and they were likeable. I found myself snuggling up to people like Soushi and Nelsha very soon. Wait, I do that all the time. The enemies also had some stories to tell, and I liked that. And of course, what would an RPG be without the really Bishounen Enemy Whom We'll See Shrines To?
Sound: The voices are heavenly. If all RPGs had voices nicely acted out like these, I wouldn't mind listening to an RPG entirely. As for the music, it's not epic, but they tend to stick in your head at the worst possible times and you won't be able to get it out. And then you'll be tapping your feet or humming the tune over and over and over until everyone gets sick of you..... you know what I mean.
Graphics: The fad seems to be either 2D backgrounds and 3D characters (FF8, FF7, RE) or 3D background and 2D characters (Xenogears, FFTactics). Thousand Arms falls into the latter category. The camera rotates at towns and the world map. Oh, did I mention that the characters are all SD and they turn into full-bodied wonders during battle? Well, they do, and when the camera zooms in, there's a bit of pixellation. The cutscenes are nicely animated, the FMV (whatever is there anyway; it's next to none) is appropriate. Everything suits the game.
Gameplay: Ah, what would a game be without gameplay? Not to fear, you'll have to fight and fight and fight and date and date and date to really accomplish the game. Fights are one-on-one and it's a change from the usual three at a time. Some have already complained, but it takes a while to get used to. Oh, fights are triggered very often, so you'd have to be a bit bloodthirsty to get through the game. As for the dating, you have to date all 8 girls to make stronger weapons and learn spells and special moves. If Meis doesn't get tired, you will.
Anything else: This is practically an anime. Anime cutscenes, the ever-present sweatdrop, and other cute expressions are ALL here! And they fit! Little black screens with 'Meanwhile...' on them make it so interesting.
Time: I managed to get to the last boss in less than 30 hours. Of course, this does not count the levelling up and finding MP to date girls. If you were to do EVERYTHING, I'd say it'll take another 30. Maybe more.
So, should you buy this? I don't know. I suggest you take a look and
then buy. But if you have plenty of money to spare, buy it.
+ VOICE ACTING!
+ Cutscenes are well done.
+ The innovative concept.
+ Just about everything. I'm not picky.
+ The Great Almighty Bishounen Enemy.
+ Battle System.
+ Music is nice and catchy.
- Fighting and fighting and fighting.
- Fighting to pick up MP to date.
- Fighting to find nice items.
- Fighting to get money.
- Did I mention fighting?