Mixed or average reviews - based on 39 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 39
  2. Negative: 1 out of 39
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  1. If you love RPGs for their rich characters and ability to tell a great story then Arc the Lad is for you. If you absolutely must have complex character development (stats), or an open ended game you probably won't like Arc the Lad.
  2. Game Informer
    Can't be praised enough for its truly excellent storytelling, but the greatest coup for the title is that the game wrapped around this tale is engaging, surprising, and very well done. [July 2003, p.103]
  3. 85
    While the graphics could have used a slight facelift, the story is what Arc the Lad is all about and that aspect alone makes this a worthy purchase for any RPG lover.
  4. The lack of originality may not put it in the running for game of the year, but the well-designed gameplay will keep you busy for some time.
  5. The storyline is excellent and the look of the game is as well. The controls may take some getting used to, but the overall design of the game is superb.
  6. A fresh and near flawless game that will envelop you early on for hours upon hours of watching and playing time with its engaging storyline and gorgeous graphics and will keep you wrapped around its little finger until the final showdown with the mysterious enemy.
  7. A pure, simple and satisfying role-playing game that is easy to pick up, easy on the eyes and downright absorbing, eventually. Great game, great game.
  8. 82
    Despite its relatively simplistic nature and less than inviting challenge, the interpersonal relationships between the game's fascinating characters and its entertaining battle system are quite enjoyable.
  9. A better than average RPG. Woo-hoo…
  10. Its story is deep and subtly confronts real issues such as blind hatred against others just because they’re different. This is a game where the characters are the central players who aren’t secondary to a new age, preachy plot.
  11. It may not be as appealing in the graphics as the other high class games, but the battle and story are pretty well-executed.
  12. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    Fans of the original gmes will surely dig this latest installment (and will enjoy the occasional subtle references to previous titles), and everyone else ought to at least get sucked in by its unique story line. [July 2003, p.93]
  13. Deimos or human, if traditional role-playing games rock your world, Arc will draw you in and hold you spellbound. The gameplay basics may adhere unashamedly to the tried-and-trusted RPG formula of exploring, talking, levelling up and shopping, but if it works, why change it just to be clever? Why? WHY!!??
  14. An extremely well produced title in virtually every respect. Striking visuals and an exceptional soundtrack are delightful superfluities, but the gameplay is what matters, and Arc the Lad has always been solid in this department.
  15. Strangely, despite Arc the Lad: TotS being anything but innovative, it has an interesting charm and still manages to be quite fun.
  16. It's a solid RPG that doesn't take many chances, and while it may not set the role-playing world on fire, it's still a lot of fun.
  17. It contains one of the most impressive and gripping storylines in recent memory, which can be easily related to today’s headlines without beating you over the head with its metaphor.
  18. GameNow
    Forget about the old-school gameplay and squatty heroes of the original games - Twilight features expansive 3D worlds, cool anime-style characters, and radically reworked gameplay. [July 2003, p.57]
  19. Where the game really shines is in presentation, however, something that rescues an otherwise bland adventure and helps raise it from a mindless, linear quest to the promise of seeing something interesting with each new locale.
  20. 73
    I liken it to a big, dumb, friendly guy: an affable, warm-hearted chap that you'd be friends with in real life even if he doesn't offer any useful insights or advice. Reliable, trustworthy and true: that's Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits.
  21. Cheat Code Central
    A refreshing game that is straightforward, easy to follow and most importantly, it's fun.
  22. PSM Magazine
    The graphics and music are very strong, and often approach "Final Fantasy X" quality, but the visual design is much less inspired. [July 2003, p.32]
  23. A nice try at an RPG – it has a nice fresh plot that can both bore you and enthral you at the same time.
  24. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    This 40-hour quest could've really used a few legitimate dungeons to explore, but the narrative and combat alone kept me hooked. [July 2003, p.106]
  25. 70
    Though flawed and not very much like previous Arc titles (Random battles! In an Arc game!), Twilight's fast-paced fighting and decent story save it from RPG oblivion. Don't worry—it does pick up after the beginning.
  26. netjak
    This game needed to get a big kick in the pants in the gameplay and graphics area, and that plot seriously needed to be worked on. This could have been a lot more fun...but it definitely needed a lot more work.
  27. Play Magazine
    Despite the fun combat, decent visuals and eclectic but strangely catchy soundtrack, the lack of depth and unfulfilling story left me lukewarm and yearning for another adventure with Arc, Elc or Alec... A solid RPG, nothing less, but nothing more. [July 2003, p.75]
  28. Most RPG fans will find some good fun here. However, it just doesn't live up to the older games in the series. It features some interesting perspectives with its dual stars, but its questionable delivery and lack of really compelling gameplay holds it back.
  29. Not the best that the genre has to offer. But, the battle system and the decent story go a long way towards making the experience worth the while.
  30. Perhaps the biggest disappointment is just how easy the game is - winning battles doesn't take much strategy, at least not until the final boss.
  31. Technically competent but uninspired and ultimately unsatisfying, “Twilight of the Spirits” is this year’s sacrificial lamb to the altar of the next-generation RPG genre’s rising standards.
  32. Edge Magazine
    There's nothing to stop a dedicated RPG fan from having a thoroughly good time but the Arc the Lad games have always had a derivative heritage and this is competent but sadly no different. [Sept 2003]
  33. 60
    The story and the graphics certainly make the grade, but a few tweaks are still needed in the gameplay to cement this one as a classic.
  34. 60
    Tries hard to please RPG and strategy fans, but it spreads itself so thin in the process that it won't do much for either. It isn't terrible, but everything in it has been done to death.
  35. games(TM)
    While your average consumer may struggle to justify another investment of time and money in such an incredibly generic adventure, we genuinely found a lot to like in Sony's latest RPG and we feel a sense of injustice that this enjoyable little game is in danger of being overlooked completely ... the game still delivers an enchanting experience. [Feb 2004, p.122]
  36. The genre has moved on. I hope that the next entry in this series can catch up.
  37. GMR Magazine
    Overly generic... This game has been made before, and its has been made better. [July 2003, p.71]
  38. I actually found myself being so bored at one point that I took to reading out the characters lines in silly voices just to entertain myself.
    It's a Japanese RPG in the truest sense and conforms to all the clichs of the genre. It has its misfits, its central (male) character with a mysterious past (and a strange birthmark on his shoulder) and a turn-based battle system with magic and hit points. It has its world map.

Awards & Rankings

#89 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2003
#13 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 45
  2. Negative: 1 out of 45
  1. Oct 29, 2018
    My version is the ps2 version and while I know there's a ps4 version, I decided to put it here instead because...well that's my version, andMy version is the ps2 version and while I know there's a ps4 version, I decided to put it here instead because...well that's my version, and I'm not sure if there's any difference besides the slight graphical update and trophies.

    + Great story with two POV for a better immersion and good twists
    + A large and balanced roster of characters (10 + 2 secret characters)
    + Easy to learn tactical combat
    + Many skills to unlock
    + Customizable armor and weapons (instead of buying new ones)
    + Challenging side content (The arena) that grants amazing rewards.
    + Good music with some enjoyable tunes.
    + A relatively long game (I finished in about 60+ hours)

    - Incredibly slow pace and the impossibility to skip cutscenes.
    - Spirit Stones instead of Mana for skills makes it needlessly harder.
    - Mediocre voice acting
    - Lack of information during combat (no bars above heads or etc)
    - Annoying looting system (no automatic pick after fight)
    - Lack of sidecontent besides the arena.
    - Huge difficult spike at the end of the game.

    Overall the game is great but it suffers from being a relatively old-school tactical rpg that has a lot of difficulty spikes and very slow paced combat and story. Add the fact that the game can become incredibly frustrating during the last session of story - and a final boss that nearly defeated me DESPITE having unlimited spells and basically everyone overlevelled, this game is a diamond in the rough: you'll have to go through the flaws to fully enjoy. But if you do you'll have a really good time and the lots of grind you've done will be worth it.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 7, 2012
    This game is excellent. The game actually has deep characters(despite looking heavily cliche at the beginning of the adventure) who change asThis game is excellent. The game actually has deep characters(despite looking heavily cliche at the beginning of the adventure) who change as the story progresses, a great combat system for 2003-2004 and a large world that's pretty interesting. This game is an amazing example of a videogame story done right, with us seeing multiple perspectives and making us morality, making us care for the characters and holding to an array of many different themes on the topics of revenge, good, friendship, power and love. A game I would heavily recommend for anybody who likes a good RPG and is interested in an excellent story.

    I would recommend it alone for the character Bebedora, who is probably one the most interesting characters I have ever encountered in an RPG. .
    Full Review »
  3. BrianK.
    Nov 7, 2005
    Excellent RPG actually, what makes it excellent are the story and plot and character development, I don't mean stats but emotional, Arc Excellent RPG actually, what makes it excellent are the story and plot and character development, I don't mean stats but emotional, Arc the Lad:TOTS has living, breathing characters with conflict, emotion and goals that evolve as the game progresses, the story is also great and will keep you guessing and wondering what will develop next, I actually care what will happen to each character, and until it finally happened I wondered what would happen when Karg and Darc finally meet, the fact they begin the game having no idea the other exists, then slowly and subtley crossing each other tracks until they finally meet in an emotional conflict was great to witness as in unfolded, I also love the battle system, strategy plays pretty heavily sometimes, everyone player seems to have a role which I like you have your fighters, mages, archers, and healers. I love some of the battlegrounds later in the game, m only quip is the voice overs though they are good they are way too few far and between, more voice would of been great. Love it still though! Full Review »