Hello readers, we are here today to bring you a review of the third entry into the classic game series, Arc the Lad which has been brought to PSN by MonkeyPaw Games.

When it was originally released, back in October 1999, the game received good reviews from critics, however, it was called the worst of the series of 3 games by most.

Reviewers said the game was an excellent standalone product, however, when compared to the original two, it ranked third out of the three. A new visual style was introduced for the third game with many new concepts added which weren’t in the original two games.

We will recap briefly on the story of the game, then, we will do the review. The purpose of this review is not to review the game, it is to review how well MonkeyPaw did in bringing the game to the PS3.

The game focuses around a teenager, Alec, who aspires to be a bounty hunter when he grows. They begin with small bounty quests, escalating to going against the Academy, a large organisation. The strategy RPG allows Alec to use items and magic in battles and to heal his friends.

Very similar to the second game, towns can be explored in between quests. In a very interesting concept, players can load Arc the Lad II save data onto the game with some characters from the second game being playable in the third.

Leveling up was removed in this game, only character experience can be leveled, items and magic are no longer tracked. Teo, an ally, can turn enemies into summonable cards which bring monsters to fight by your side.

This is the only entry of the three games to have 3D backgrounds (previously it was all flat shaped) and CG effects are impressive considering it is a PS1 game.

Other features include weapon crafting, material hunting and dungeon exploration. However, the game is now limited to a 4 ally team and this makes the game feel more slow paced. You will find most of the game easy, however, some difficult scenes are suddenly sprung upon you with little time to adjust to the game going from easy to very difficult.

MonkeyPaw has done a great job with most of the porting of the game. Sprites have been kept looking retro and feel original while still looking graphically good. Music (an excellent soundtrack) has been preserved and untouched.

Backgrounds in the game look excellent, appearing to more like the early PS2 games rather than a PS1 game. Controls are easy to adapt to and do not seem to have been changed from the originally, however, I never played the PS1 version, so, I cannot say for sure.

One small problem lies with the camera. When the camera angle adjusts, the graphics in the background go very jagged and “shake”, if that’s a correct term. When the camera moves down the screen, the edges of the polygonal backgrounds will jitter. I am unsure if this was in the original, or, is due to the PS3 porting.

Overall, I feel MonkeyPaw have done a good job bringing another classic back to the PS3. Arc the Lad III is available now on the European PSN. Thanks for reading, here are the scores…

Please bear in mind, when I score the game below, I am taking into account it is a PS1 game and this is NOT being compared to a PS3 game.