How the game plays
Enchanted Arms follows in the footsteps of many traditional Japanese RPG games before it. Gameplay is split up into three different forms: there's the exploration part which involves the main character, Atsuma, wandering around the game world talking to characters, moving from destination to destination, and finding items. The second mode is managing the statistics and levels or your characters, as you level them up, add items and customize the characters to suit your play style. Finally, the last major type of gameplay is in the combat sequences: random battles play out using a turn-based grid style where characters use a variety of skills to destroy the enemies.
There are seven main human characters that you control in the game all of which have a major role in the story, and over 100 Golems which are both enemies and allies. Similar to Pokemon, Golems are monsters that you fight, and can also be collected to be used alongside with you in your battles. For the Xbox 360 version, one of the game's achievements is to collect every single Golem in the game.
There are a few changes to the traditional JRPG formula that make this game unique, and most of these changes involve making the game easier and more accessible for newcomers to the genre. Two additions speed up the battles, one is an automatic system where the computer controls your characters for you, and the second is the fast-forward system that speeds up the skill and magic animations.
Most of the story is progressed from characters speaking with pictures to represent who is talking, there are occasional real-time cutscenes, with full motion video (FMV) cutscenes occuring during special climatic moments.
There's also an online multiplayer mode where you take the golems you've collected and upgraded to battle one-on-one versus other people.
1000 years ago there was a devestating war called the Golem War where machines infused with magic (known as Ether) fought each other and destroyed much of the world. Devil Golems were created that were significantly more powerful than any other kind of golem were created to put an end to the war, which they did. In the present you play the role of Asuma who is a student at the Enchant university in Yokohoma. One day Atsuma, with his two friends Toya and Makoto, decide to skip class to attend a festival, during the festivities an earth quake occurs and a mysterious force draws Atsuma to a forbidden location.
Following the force the three end up discovering and waking up the Ice Queen Devil Golem who is intent on destroying the world. It's up to Atsuma and his friends to stop the Ice Queen from waking up the other Devil Golems and killing everyone.
Differences between Xbox 360 and PS3 version
The PS3 version of the game contains more real-time cutscenes, 30 more golems to fight and collect, and the North American version of the game will include both the original Japanese voices, as well as a new rerecorded english track.
[eM] is the first and only game to have "Only on Xbox" on the box art, claiming Xbox exclusivity, and still be released for another platform.
Enchanted Arms is also one of the only games released in North America that features a flamboyant and extremely homosexual male protagonist.