During our wanderings through South Hall, Elliot and I
found Arc the Lad: End of Darkness at the far back of
Namco's booth. A friendly booth attendant helped us
get into the online component of the game, although we
did not try any of the offline gameplay.
Online mode is similar to that in Phantasy Star
Online. Players can choose a character type and join
others in mission instances. Elliot and I teamed up
with a couple other people and took on a few missions.
There's not much chat ability, but the missions are
simple enough that it is not needed.
Battles are in real-time action. There is no tactical
grid; characters can move freely around the field,
attack, use magic, or execute special abilities. The
characters' animations are quite awkward and a little
slow at times, unfortunately. The missions weren't
extremely exciting. The real excitement was teaming up
with others and working together. Sticking together
was very important. Anyone who tried to kill something
on their own usually died.
I wish I could have seen the offline main game because
that is the core of the title. However, the online
mission instances were somewhat interesting, although
obviously not enough to completely justify the game.
If the offline mode is any indication, the full
version has some potential to be a good Arc the Lad title.