January 10th 2006, marks the date of XSeed Games’ first release, Wild ARMs 4. To get the facts on the latest game, HEX battle system and the reason they chose to localize Wild ARMs 4 we go straight to the source.
Siliconera: What’s the main theme and story behind Wild ARMs 4 in relation to the Wild ARMs universe?
XSeed Games: Since each Wild ARMs is an original story with a new cast of characters, there’s not much relation to the Wild ARMs universe from that aspect. Where you will see the similarities will be more the general theme of the title; even though Wild ARMs 4 has more of a sci-fi feel than previous iterations, the spirit and attitude of the Wild West is still present in the world of Filgaia such as the existence of Drifters and weapons called ARMs. A lot of the items found in Filgaia will be familiar to the fans of the series, with even a few cameo appearances of characters from another Wild ARMs game.
How does the battle system in Wild ARMs 4 differ from other Wild ARMs games?
The new HEX battle system is unique in that it is area-based as opposed to being character-based like most other battle systems. What this means is that of the 7 HEXes on the battlefield, if your HEX becomes poisoned then you have the option of either curing your HEX or simply moving to another unaffected HEX. All battle actions are directed towards a specific HEX instead of a specific character or enemy, so the player must think carefully about the placement of their characters; do I put all my characters in one HEX to unleash powerful combo attacks and be able to heal them all at once, or do I spread them out to keep my entire party from being wiped out by a single powerful enemy attack? This brings a lot more strategy to battles compared to the traditional enemies on one side and player characters on the other as seen in most turn-based RPGs, while keeping the pace of battles much faster than anything in the grid-based strategy battles seen in the tactical RPGs.
How’s the voice acting in the US version of Wild ARMs 4?
We selected the highest quality voice talent that we could find for Wild ARMs 4. I believe it shows in the final product as we’re proud of all the voice work in the game.
Why did XSeed Games choose Wild Arms 4 as one of their first games to localize?
We evaluated the Japanese version of Wild ARMs 4 and believed that it was a very good title that RPG fans in North America would enjoy, so we were eager to publish it. Luckily, we were selected by Sony Computer Entertainment as the publisher, and are honored to start our publishing business with an established series that has sold more than 2.5 million units worldwide.
Did you work with Agetec, who localized Wild Arms: Alter Code F recently about localizing Wild ARMs 4?
We did not work with Agetec from a localization standpoint; they localized Wild ARMs Alter Code: F on their own as did we with Wild ARMs 4. However, we are working together with them on cross promoting our titles as it is in both of our best interests to raise the Wild ARMs brand awareness as much as possible.
Do you think that sales of Wild ARMs 4 are dependant on how Alter Code F performs in the market?
No, I don’t think so. Alter Code: F is a great remake of a great game with a lot of added features, while Wild ARMs 4 is the first all new installment to hit the North American market in a couple years. It would be a nice bonus if Alter Code: F introduced a new audience to the series that may then in turn have more interest in Wild ARMs 4, but it shouldn’t affect us either way.
Look for more Wild ARMs 4 coverage, including our playtest coming later this week.