GOTD – Arcana

Arcana – RPG(SNES)

I have to admit that I, too, have not played this game for a long while. It’s not a game without its frustrations, and I haven’t had the patience to get all the way through it in the past few years.
If, however, you can stand the frustrations, you’ll be treated to a remarkably above-standard game.

Although you can’t choose your characters, the ones you get are all well-characterized and their coming and going ties into the plot quite well.
Although many details of the plot escape me, I do recall that it is darker than most normal RPG fare (for the time), and there are plenty of mysteries in the early game.
Your elemental partner (originally Sylph) can be exchanged with other elementals as the game progresses, which becomes a strategic element of the game.
The way the game is stylized is very different from most. It’s entirely done in first-person, and all people, monsters, etc. are represented by cards (your main character is a “Card Master”, for what it’s worth), and when your party members are defeated, they appear as a card that’s been torn down the middle. It makes for an interesting experience.
The problems with the game are largely minor. Enemies are more difficult than normal, and dungeons are mazelike. The music isn’t especially inspiring, but it’s not particularly bad.
If you can track this game down, I recommend giving it a try. It’s certainly not the best RPG on the SNES, but it’s not the worst.

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