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In the end, there are three factors you really should consider when deciding whether or not to buy this game. Factor 1: Will you go online? Factor 2: Are you a fan of the Arc the Lad series? Factor 3: Do you like action RPGs? If you answered ‘yes’ to 2/3 or more of these, then you probably should look into getting this game. If you answered closer to 0/3, I recommend staying away.
Not everyone can live the good life. Look at Edda, a young boy living in boring serenity (translation: he was living in peace). He grows up knowing fear in the form of malademons – dark demons who some refer to as the Darmyst. These creatures are not harmful to those who live inside the towns, creating a protective bubble for anyone who's willing to spend their life inside them. For those who do not, however, that's a whole other story.
I suppose it would be fair to say that End of Darkness is to Twilight of the Spirits as Final Fantasy X-2 is to Final Fantasy X. Take the same world, put a couple of years in between, have some new characters and a boring plot to distract gamers from what they cared about in the last game, and tie up all the loose ends before everything's said and done. Well, even in that case, I'd say X-2 did a better job than End of Darkness. Crippled by poor gameplay, redeemed at times by enjoyable dialogue and decent aesthetic qualities, Arc the Lad: End of Darkness ends up being a mediocre game. However, as it is short, it may be a good rental, especially for gamers who have played the other titles in the series and would like to continue the journey in the Arc the Lad universe. I award Arc the Lad: End of Darkness a 72% and hope that the next game in the series is either much better or else is never created.
It's been five years since the closing events of Twilight of the Spirits and the world is a very different place. Almost entirely depleted of its spirit stone supply and up to its ears with new technologies and job classes, the kingdoms of Ragnoth, Halshinne, Adenade, and Epistia are no longer torn by racial tensions -- just uncertainty. Where the world goes from here following the near-disaster of half a decade ago nobody knows, but luckily, that's where you come in. As an aspiring exorcist turned hunter named Edda, you'll have to discover what it is that fate plans next with Cattle Call's latest role-player, Arc the Lad: End of Darkness.
Fans of the Arc the Lad games will pick this up no matter what I have to say, especially the ones that have been longing for the series to move into real time combat. For everyone else, End of Darkness is a fair RPG that has some things going for it, but not enough to warrant a $50 purchase. It is a semi-lengthy RPG, as the adventure clocks in roughly around 20 hours, and the online portions are pretty entertaining too. The latest Arc entry isn?t going to start the world on fire, but if you give it a rent some of the game?s unique aspects just might make you a new fan of the series.
Next Level Gaming
The slow single player mode along with unimpressive graphics, and a bad soundtrack really hurt this game. What helps it are the good online play, along with the easy controlls. The sad news is that the negatives outweigh the positives. I was really looking forward to this game when I got it, because I like role playing games. I was very dissappointed
Arc the Lad: End of Darkness is an average game. It looks dated and the lack of voice work hurts it. The game play is hack and slash and doesn’t have much depth. The only mode doesn’t provide much entertainment and your time could be spent else where. Also the change of game play styles will possibly turn off fans of the series.
Video Game Talk
Arc the Lad: End of Darkness is a radical departure in gameplay from the more traditional Arc the Lad series, but I hope it is an odd footnote rather than an entirely new direction. Although it can be fun at times, a mediocre battle system, a thin story, and a handful of poor design choices make it hard to recommend, at least at full price. Rent it.
Cheat Code Central
There's not much improvement in the graphics, animation or sound. Not that Twilight suffered from any glaring technical issues. It's just too bad the combat system wasn't more fleshed out. I can't say that this game is going to be a hit but it should keep hardcore RPG fans happy for a few weeks. It's doubtful that it will spawn any new recruits.
There is some obvious care that has gone into the game. The difficulty curve of the enemies is clearly defined, and the graphics are nice, all things considered. In the end though, this game feels like a throwback, or an experiment gone wrong. Die-hard ATL fans should rent this first - hate the score if you want to, but just trust me and rent it first. Everyone else should save their money for a more worthy title, and pass this one up.
The Arc the Lad series came to the U.S. too late to make the impression it did in Japan, where the first few installments were huge hits. Though Working Designs did its best to catch us up late into the PlayStation's lifespan, it wasn't enough to make the saga a success in the U.S., and Twilight of the Spirits, which hit in 2003, certainly wasn't interesting enough to make lots of new fans. To be blunt, it was a solid game, but more than a bit dull. End of Darkness, while bringing a lot of new elements to the series, won't do anything to change the series' fortunes around, sadly.
Game Informer Magazine
Fans complain about franchises that maintain the status quo, the ones that pump out sequel after sequel and do little to shake up the gameplay or conventions of their predecessors. Sometimes, I’m one of these fans, but when it comes to experiments in evolution like Arc the Lad: End of Darkness, I will forever plead that the series go back to its roots.
As more and more role-playing games turn to action-based combat systems, it's no surprise to see Arc the Lad following suit. Unfortunately, despite the inclusion of a somewhat amusing online component, End of Darkness takes the series to a new low with an uninteresting story and a tedious battle system. If you're a diehard Arc the Lad fan, you might take comfort in the return of some of the characters from the previous games. But even the most loyal fans will be disappointed with End of Darkness.
Game Informer Magazine
Like a horribly disfigured mutant reaching out its slimy stump-arms and begging for a hug, End of Darkness requires supreme feats of self-sacrifice to love and embrace.
Game industry News (GiN)
ClichT storyline and sub par graphics overwhelm this edition of Arc the Lad. If you feel like taking the time to build up your character and pursue the online portion of the game, by all means, go for it. Just remember, don't blame it on me if that is lacking too! There are definitely better RPG games out there and perhaps Arc the Lad is better off as a RTS than a hack ‘n' slasher.
When I first booted up Namco and Cattle Call's PS2 action RPG Arc The Lad: End of Darkness I was impressed with its solid character designs and beautiful music, but after trudging around towns, completing lame quests, and having to deal with the mind-numbingly boring combat system my hopes were immediately dashed across the sharp, jagged rocks of despair. End of Darkness isn't a mess, but it's just disappointingly average, and to make matters worse, its combat system isn't user friendly. I think being able to collect and upgrade cards is a neat idea and the eight-person online play (complete with USB headset support) extends the game's replay value, but compared to other titles in its genre Arc The Lad can't hold its own. Fans of the series will be somewhat pleased because there are numerous character references, but I know fun, and unfortunately, this game isn't it.
Overall, Ark the Lad: End to Darkness is a downshift from the last game, which I actually enjoyed. It gives the feel that it was rushed out and that it's trying to grab some runoff interest from people who liked the last game, only to leave them mainly disappointed as it plays nothing like the previous games. It was a bold attempt, but not executed very well.
O jogo como um todo é curto para um RPG, e muito do tempo será gasto com diálogos e bate-pernas a procura dos objetivos. O modo online até diverte por algum tempo, mas logo cai na mesmice. Enfim, é uma pena que um dos primeiros RPG do PSOne tenha chegado a esse ponto. Fica uma esperança para o próximo episódio, quem sabe na nova geração.
Arc the Lad: End of Darkness tried something new in order to bring new life to the series, but it failed. Despite the fact that it is an action RPG, battles are still generally as slow as those of average tactical fare and feature below average play control. Most of the missions are very similar in nature and there is only a weak central story to accompany them. The card synthesis system helps decrease to monotony and there are a few decent missions here and there, but they aren't enough to make up for the numerous shortcomings. Serious Arc fans may enjoy the nostalgia, but the game itself is well below average.
I can't definitively say this is the worst RPG I've ever played. But this does make my Worst 5 of all time. The intro to the game shows all the Arc the Lad games in progression, and then gets to the intro to End of Darkness, like EoD is the latest in a decade full of enjoyable titles. Then you get into this game and it feels a lot like a Fisher Price “My First RPG” which should come as a huge embarrassment to the guys at Cattle Call. After the 2-3 hour mark of this game, you're going to be wondering why the hell you're still playing this and not doing something enjoyable with your time. Do not buy at any price. Your time has value. Do not waste it on this game.
The online gameplay is unique and manages to bring something new to a game that is an amalgam of stale gameplay elements that were old two generations ago. Fans who really want to see what happened to some of the characters from Twilight of the Spirits will find enough content to keep them drawn in to the story to make the game worth playing, but most gamers will be frustrated by a mediocre game that tries to extend its life through annoying contrivances. Arc the Lad: End of Darkness is only for the truly dedicated.