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Arc the Lad II

For: PSP

Av at it lad!

Product: Arc the Lad II | Developer: MonkeyPaw Games | Publisher: MonkeyPaw Games | Format: PSP | Genre: RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Arc the Lad II PSP, thumbnail 1
The PSone era was a great time to be a JRPG fan - though less so if you lived in Europe.

While Square Enix's Final Fantasy series was available internationally in its prime, the closest we got to playing many other lauded RPGs was looking wistfully at screenshots in magazines.

With those days long behind us, Arc the Lad II has made it to our shores as a PSP download over a decade after its initial Japanese launch.

Story arc

The second in a trilogy of unlocalised strategy-RPGs, Arc the Lad II follows Elc, a hunter haunted by the memory of the grisly execution of his friends and family - a event you get to watch in the opening cut-scene.

Hitting all the usual storytelling tropes - corrupt governments, terrorism, and mysterious female partners - Arc the Lad II is pretty much a bag of cliches.

Combat is basic, with five party members making their moves around a battlefield in traditional turn-based strategy RPG fashion. Adding an extra dimension is sidekick Lieza's handy ability to tame monsters, giving you new team mates to regularly switch in and out.

There are also plenty of reasons to stray away from the main quest, the most important being the Guild. You can visit Guild buildings in most villages to accept quests and earn extra money.

Good lad

It's easy to nitpick over Arc the Lad II's lacklustre visuals, music, and combat. In all areas it fails to bring anything new to a well-stuffed genre not known for its variety.

But it's easily forgiven. Arc the Lad II is everything you'd expect from an aged JRPG, and it has enough personality to remind us of genre's heyday.
Arc the Lad II
Reviewer photo
Tom Worthington | 27 April 2012
A respectable JRPG that's no longer an essential play but instead a nice memento of the genre's better days
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Feb 2012
Post count:
tantoa | 10:18 - 29 April 2012
The hayday is right now