Nick (makoknight) wrote,

Operation Backlog: Arc the Lad and Arc the Lad 2

Hoo boy. I started this plan like a month or two ago, and I'm only three games down? Feel like I should be further than this.

Anyway, this time i just finished Arc the Lad 2. Normally I wouldn't do two games at nice but it's kind of necessary. The Arc the Lad games were released in a collection of three in English, another of Working Designs crazy projects. While you can get them all separately on PSN now,if you're going to get into these, know that Arc and Arc 2 are fundamentally one long game.

Arc the Lad 1 was a PS1 launch title, a pretty smooth turn based RPG. The game did not fuck around with any build up and threw you in the deep end. While it wasn't hard and pretty short (20 hours including ludicrous sidequests). It as straight forward, linear as hell, but fun. The plot had it's moments, but really it serves as a prologue/first act for Arc the Lad 2. But if you're going to play them, it's absolutely worth playing Arc 1 first, and at least doing the forbidden ruins sidequest. The reason being, Arc the Lad 2 let's you convert your save from Arc 1, and you can only get one of the best characters to her full potential (Choko, who some may know was a secret character in Twilight of the Spirits), as well as some of the better gear, and some scenes you can only gain from importing.

Anyway, Arc the Lad 1 follows the adventures of a lad, named Arc, and is a pretty typical find the things, save the world story that suddenly goes a bit haywire and leaves on a cliffhanger. Thankfully, you can just grab Arc the Lad 2, and get started right in time for a perspective shift.

Arc the Lad 2 has your character, Elc, wake up from a nightmare and get called out to deal with a hostage incident at the local sky port, where, well shit and fan meet. I'm trying not to divulge too many story details here, but it's a very different experience knowing the things that Elc doesn't. Arc the Lad 2 only let's you deploy 5 characters at a time (to the originals 7 with an additional 7 you can summon into battle), but otherwise retails pretty much everything into a much better games. There are a lot of similarities I can draw with Trails in the Sky, including the guild system, and the way characters shift around. Early on, you get a huge amount of party splits, which I personally loved, but it does later lead to a problem where you have too damn many party members, and later in the game you really have to be careful who you send where.

Overall, I really enjoyed the Arc games, much as I did Twilight of the Spirits, but they have a bit of a downer storyline. Would I recommend them? Yes, absolutely, but be prepared to invest a good 80 hours across both games.

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Tags: operation backlog, via ljapp
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Arc the Lad was decent, if straightforward (and a bit tedious).

Arc the Lad 2 was amazing. Gets you involved with characters, gets them all some decent screen time. Highly entertaining. Also is the only game I know of where you play a ninja who uses SMGs.
The characters in Arc 2 were really well done, I just wish there'd been a few more splits earlier on, to make the later ones more balanced. Admittedly, I was using Akura Choko by the end game, and even normal Choko is a tiny death god.

I think my end party was Elc, Choko, Gruga, Sania and Shante, subbing out Sania for Diekbeck in the second half of the final battle.

I'm now getting stuck into Arc the Lad 3, which I have to admit is pretty fun, if a bit cameopalooza.

(Also I am pretty sure that Shu is lurking around now, but it was hard to tell with the redesign, but then again, Ninja with a Shotgun.)
Also, I agree on the tediousness. Especially since I did the 1000 battles in the arena thing.

On the upside, I had Arc, Tosh, Kukuru and Iga at 60 by the end of it.