I’ve been working on Arc the Lad these last couple of days and I’ve put about two and a half hours into it so far. This means I might be a quarter of the way through the game if the estimates of its length I’ve read about are correct.

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I like the game so far but it certainly is different from the other games I’ve played recently. I just finished my seventh battle and this game really reminds me of Shining Force. It takes a strategy RPG approach to battles. You move your characters one at a time and can either attack, use a special power or use an item. It even has the translucent movement grid on the battlefield that I remember so well from my Sega Genesis days.

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The story isn’t particularly gripping. A girl named Kukuru agreed to put out an eternal flame to avoid being forcibly wed to someone. This was A Bad Thing as putting out the flame unleashed Badness on the world. A young boy named Arc is following in the footsteps of his missing (and presumed dead) heroic father and meets up with Kukuru and together they try to right the wrongs in the world. Along the way the two acquire a couple of other companions: Poco the timid marching band member, Tosh the noble warrior who seeks to avenge the death of his father and Gogen the powerful wizard from the past who is released from his prison and guides the group.

They also met up with a pretty green Forest Spirit who tells them something of their task ahead.

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The graphics in the game aren’t cutting edge but scenes like the one above do look nice and definitely are an improvement on the Genesis-era graphics of Lunar.

Arc returns home only to find that his house has been destroyed and his journey ahead will be difficult.

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I think I might have drifted off but apparently Arc needs to find an Ark in order to defeat the Big Bad. We’re not sure who that is at this point but there have been a couple of scenes of a mysterious figure in a mirror putting evil plans in motion so I’m guessing he’s the guy. But first we need to find the Power Stones. Probably not the awesome Dreamcast fighting games but one can only hope.

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