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Game Informer: Wild Arms XF Review

Game Informer writes:

Following in the footsteps of games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Disgaea, XF is turn-based strategy that leans on a variety of classes and the special abilities associated with each. I had fun experimenting with new skills and customizing my party, especially since victory hinges on striking a balance in the classes and abilities you bring to the fight. The balancing is solid, and the core combat is fun, often inspiring that "just one more battle" fervor. Unfortunately, the thrills don't come without baggage.

My biggest issue is with the constantly depleting Vitality Point gauge. Each character has one of these meters that goes down a little with every action (even guarding), and when it hits zero, they start losing HP. This essentially puts a round restriction on every fight, unless you want to burn resources to keep your troops standing. This makes the longer fights incredibly frustrating. To compensate, you get tactical pointers at the beginning of each encounter, but that substantially diminishes the satisfaction of devising a successful plan of attack yourself.

Smart playing can minimize (but not eliminate) the annoyance of the VP gauge, leaving you with an entertaining strategy experience. However, with Level 5's Jeanne D'Arc out there, Wild Arms XF certainly wouldn't be my first recommendation to someone looking for an original, tactics-oriented PSP game.

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