Top Critic Average
I feel like I’m doing things slightly backwards here, as I reviewed Zwei 2 first, and now the first. Well, I did say I wanted to see it released, and it is, so I’d call that a win. While the first zwei certainly shows its age, it’s a charming adventure through a fantasy world filled with puns, monsters, puns, conspiracy, and puns. Did I mention all the puns? There’s a lot, and they’re great.
Honestly, if you enjoyed The Illvard Insurrection then you should enjoy The Arges Adventure quite a bit. With identical gameplay and mostly beautiful visuals, as well as an interesting world and characters, the main reason to stay away would be if you dislike the overhead JRPG style.
If you were expecting Zwei: The Arges Adventure to be a hidden gem finally unearthed to play, you'll be plenty disappointed. While there's a lot to love within The Arges Adventure, it's mostly superficial due to a frustrating combat system that forces most of the game to become a slog.
Although the two-dimentional visuals in Zwei: The Arges Adventure differentiate itself from its sequel, the game retains a lot of the depth and plot that made the other so good.
It has some shortcomings in comparison to modern games, but if you can overlook its quirks and are in the market for a simple dungeon grind with a colorful world, basic story, a focus on RPG elements, and some humor thrown in for good measure, then Zwei: AA is a worthwhile $20.
If you've been been needing some lighthearted dungeon crawling or have already played the localised sequel and want to know how the series began, than you'll appreciate this one a great deal.
I would say that Zwei: The Arges Adventure is best played by gamers with an eye for charm and adorable characters that you'd want to spend hours with exploring dungeons and going on adventures. Sadly, the decade-old dungeon design and repetitive action don't hold up as well as its sequel, but it's still a game that Falcom fans will enjoy until the end, I know I did.
Zwei: The Arges Adventure is a rare and enjoyable title, especially for anyone familiar with Falcom's output. The core fundamentals, such as controls and playability, aren't always ideal, and the rough frame-rate is a nuisance. The final result is a title that's buoyed by its charm and creativity. This a rambunctious collection of minor details that still manages a strong sense of coherency. However, it's tough to excuse the messy combat. The way it ties into healing and levelling is clever, but there isn't enough finesse. It's as if the system was designed by a team that hasn't yet found its footing in an ever-evolving genre. To sum it all up, this isn't a classic, but it's still worth experiencing.
I think it's important to preserve old games for future audiences, or make them available for audiences that never knew they existed. Video games, like any other art form, have a long history behind them, and a longer history ahead of them. Releases like Zwei: The Arges Adventure serve as time-capsules to help keep old pieces of history from disappearing. It's a game very much from its time. While I appreciate the effort put into making the writing stand proudly in a modern day, gameplay flaws and dated design choices make it a chore to truly get a satisfying experience out of the game.
As far as the raw amount of "fun" I had with this game, it was markedly below average, however my appreciation for all the mechanics which I found clever, as well as the beautiful Puns of Pokkle, bump my score up to what I believe to be a relatively generous "middle of the road" 5/10.
Zwei: The Arges Adventure definitely wears its age on its sleeve, and it isn’t always a good thing. If this game is your first experience with the Zwei series, you may be able to overlook the flaws and have a good time. However, if you’re coming to this after playing last year’s Ilvard Insurrection, you’re in for a bit of a rough experience.
Even though it has the ability to propel foes into the air and keep attacking before they can land, along with the ability to gorge on sweets and get stronger, this isn’t among Falcom’s stronger titles.