Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26
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  1. 82
    Flawed? Sure. Is Arc Rise Fantasia the best RPG I've played? Far from it. However, Arc Rise Fantasia captures the heart and soul of the JRPG so wonderfully that it will be easy enough to overlook the flaws.
  2. While the game doesn't break any new ground in the JRPG genre, it does help to the fill the JRPG void that the Wii suffers from.
  3. Looking for a solid JRPG this summer? This isn't a bad choice at all. For Wii owners, or JRPG fans, this makes a fine addition to your library.
  4. Nintendo Power
    Despite its flaws, though, I ultimately enjoyed my time with Arc Rise Fantasia. [July 2010, p.84]
  5. Feb 26, 2011
    Minor technical issues, wasted opportunities and dreadful voice acting bring Arc Rise Fantasia down, but there's still plenty of enjoyment to be found as long as you know what to expect.
  6. Arc Rise Fantasia is the perfect RPG to play "between" RPGs. Something to pick up before the next big AAA experience hits and scratch an itch that one gets during the genre's common dry periods.
  7. There is no doubt about it, Arc Rise Fantasia wants to be a hardcore JRPG. In many aspects it achieves this, but before fans go rushing to buy it they have to ask themselves: just how much grind is too much grind? If killing the same weak enemies over and over for innumerable hours before any story progression is made doesn't deter you, then by all means buy Arc Rise Fantasia.
  8. Arc Rise Fantasia does pretty much everything you'd expect a Japanese RPG to do - problem is, it doesn't do much beyond that.
  9. Its gameplay can be a lot of fun and its world is an interesting one, making it a good rental for those looking for their RPG fix.
  10. games(TM)
    Although it plods along at a steady pace with a passable story and solid combat, nothing about it feels particularly original, while visually it resembles a cancelled Tales game. [Issue#101, p.107]
  11. Oct 21, 2010
    Even with those drawbacks, though, Imageepoch gets serious props for doing what no developer has yet seen fit to do; namely, give Wii owners a party-based RPG free of gimmicks.
  12. 65
    As a whole, Arc Rise Fantasia is a very average game. There is not much that really stands out. The story is fairly interesting, and the battle system can be fun when you are not in a boss battle, but there are many parts of this game that needed to be improved.
  13. 65
    I actually kind of enjoyed my time with it despite the terrible story and boring stretches.
  14. Although there is a decent amount of story material to cover as well as some potential for grinding/leveling up, nothing here warrants a second play through.
  15. The intricate combat mechanics and exciting battle system can't make up for the poor production values, not to mention the sheer amount of repetitive grinding the game demands.
  16. Arc Rise Fantasia is as typical as you can find, generic to the point of being too generic.
  17. 60
    If the only system you have is a Wii and you need an RPG, this certainly isn't a bad title to settle for. For gamers with more console options, however, the enjoyment you'll derive from Arc Rise Fantasia will likely be tied to how much you like combat, since the story certainly isn't anything worthwhile.
  18. It's also not like there are many JPRG options on Wii right now, so if you're really eager to play a traditional, if uninspired, RPG on Wii, Arc Rise definitely offers a respectable 40-ish hour experience – just don't expect it to throw you any curve balls.
  19. Overall, I think if you're a Wii only owner and you enjoy JRPG's, you'll probably find Arc Rise Fantasia to be a breath of fresh air. There's not a great deal that can compete with this particular style of game on the system right now, and it certainly has some highlights to it.
  20. 58
    If you're one of those players who simply can't make do without a Tales-like RPG experience every few months, Arc Rise Fantasia might have enough of what you're looking for. But for most players, the game will simply be a flashback to the bad ol' days of the mid-'90s, when shoestring localization budgets botched many an epic RPG adventure.
  21. Arc Rise Fantasia isn't a bad game, but it's an unfortunate victim of the "two steps forward, one step back" rule. As a result, the good moments do manage to outweigh the not so good, which is a lot more than can be said for many games that hit the market at this time of the year.
  22. Stop pilfering from the classics, Japan, because that's not how you top them. Start doing something different, and leave those classics in the paradise of childhood memories where they belong.
  23. 50
    The most disappointing aspect of all for Arc Rise is the fact that this was supposed to be THE RPG to get the Wii out of its RPG-slump. If this is all developers have to offer the Wii, RPG-fans are better off sticking with the other two consoles to get their fixes until the next potential RPG-savior for the Wii comes along.
  24. Like a starving man at a buffet, Arc Rise Fantasia has a little of everything on its plate, but few of the portions ever complement the other.
  25. If you only own a Wii and desperately need a JRPG to play in a pinch, then this game will do, but that doesn't mean that you're going to feel good about it later.
  26. When the reward for beating the next boss is just more bland gameplay, it just isn't worth the effort.

Awards & Rankings

#18 Most Discussed Wii Game of 2010
#14 Most Shared Wii Game of 2010
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 53
  2. Negative: 4 out of 53
  1. May 29, 2019
    This game is one of my favorites of the Wii, and definitely a lost gem in my opinion. Although the characters and plot may be a little clichédThis game is one of my favorites of the Wii, and definitely a lost gem in my opinion. Although the characters and plot may be a little clichéd if you play a lot of JRPG, but there's a lot of charm to it. The gameplay though is my favorite part. I greatly miss it and wish more games would have this strategic take on JRPGs. Full Review »
  2. Jun 13, 2013
    Graphics are just beautiful as well as the story. The characters are fully developed, despite the awful voice acting. In my opinion, the gameGraphics are just beautiful as well as the story. The characters are fully developed, despite the awful voice acting. In my opinion, the game would've been perfect if it weren't for the terrible voice acting. After you finish the story there are many reasons to keep playing, though I'm not gonna spoil it. There are a variety of detailed weapons. Customizing armforce adds to the strategy. The game encourages you to level up and unlock armforce, though it can be very time consuming. I cried so much on a few parts.. especially the ending. The OST is amazing and flawless!! Currently in my music lists. I recommend this game to all rpg players out there. This game needs more credit and should have a sequel!! Full Review »
  3. Jun 19, 2017
    It took me almost 7 years to pick the game up and decided to start from the beginning. I can still look behind and see my younger self hopingIt took me almost 7 years to pick the game up and decided to start from the beginning. I can still look behind and see my younger self hoping this to be a good JRPG that would be even better than Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. Well today I can say that YES it is in my opinion one of the most underrated JRPG's of the last 10 years.
    Some reviews point for some flaws of the game but they actually ignore completelly what is good in this game.
    Let's begin with the graphics. They are really good for Wii standarts and I believe if the game had an HD remaster it would still look good, The battle effects, expec arts, rogress summons, magic effects, they all look stunning (once again for Wii standarts). Some animations out of battle seem a little bit "lazy-made", by this I mean that when its not a cutscene or a battle there are almost no animations for most of the characters other than walk, run, punch, even when someone hands you something you don't see any sort of animation that supports the act. For the characters, all of them are easy to recognize (not counting with the NPC's that keep repeting themselvs through nearly every main city or town), you know Rastan like that bad ass adult that really shakes a tough atmosphere, Leslie the sexy shooter with somehow a very strong sense of duty and responsability and yet teasing personality. All of them are easy to keep in mind and all of them have a very good development but I'll leave that for a path more ahead on this review. The monsters have models that repeat in at least the first half of the game, only having a slight recolor to distinguish the weaker ones from the stronger ones, a critical thing to point yes, but in an anime like JRPG its a very common practice, but that doesn't erase the fact that is bad.

    Not the worst game for the soundtrack, yet not the best too. What can I say? It has some tracks that really catch the moment that we're living on the game, and others just keep repeating (ex: the dungeon track).
    I've noticed something really curious too, imagine that you just got a cutscene by getting to a point on the game and something really dramatic is shown, the music reflects that dramatic event even when the cutscene ended, however if you go out of that "room" or "zone" of the town or dungeon to fullfill what that dramatic event caused the music just changes to the normal one all of the sudden.
    Some of you may be scratching your heads now, but think a little with me here, if someone important is killed in the game and the killer is close, you will run to catch him, but while you're at that small chase the music that makes the player feel the pressure still goes on until you face the killer (im not saying this happened, just using it as an example of normal game design), so its like "omg this is happening" in one zone and "oh its all normal now" as soon as you leave the zone or the room.
    The rest, its pretty decent for a tradicional JRPG.

    Oh boy, this is what i personally consider the most important thing in a game. The gameplay is kinda of a complex one yet very nice to experiment with. Everytime you buy a weapon you get those gems attached to them that if you train enough you can actually take them off and equip in other weapons, this is a good thing to make the grinding being not only for XP purpose because this game is kinda hard and requires a good share of grinding for levels because every boss fight will get you mini-heart attacks every time that the boss turn is on.
    The Orb system is not a hard one to learn weither but one thing in this game is kinda out of place and that is the WP, that's a thing that just shouldn't be there, it isn't necessary, its use is soully make the game harder. Overall think it like the materia system from FFVII turned into a small puzzle that awakens your weapon's secret power.

    Well, there are good points and bad points here, I'll start with the bad ones.
    The map is huge they could have made at least 20 more locations but instead the story makes you go to the same places multiple times in different orders again and again, I lost count of how many times I've visited the republic's capital only to be sent to a small town for the party to have a small conversarion at the entrance and then "let's get back to the capital". Dungeon recycling is also present, sometimes its justifiable and sometimes just seems that the game designers were out of places to visit.
    Now the good part, the Story kinda keeps you going with the mystery and triggering your curiosity to look for more rogress and has an ending that made me kinda cry because of 2 things, and one of them is that there will be no sequel (the other would be spoiler). The character developing is there too and evolves with the pacing gone just right.

    Problems: Horrible english dub (Just play undub please), low score reviews because it wasn't a big game company that made it.
    Full Review »