What a missed opportunity...
The story is pretty much the same as Wild Arms 1, which I wrote about previously, so there's no point for me to write the same blurb. That said, the remake's strongest feature is the new retelling. Sure, the translation is as bad, sometimes even worse, as the original game's, but they added more dialogue which adds more depth to villains as heroes alike, as well as better explaining some of their motivations and ideals. The plot twists are better set up as well, making them more impactful and interesting. The new facelift also does wonders to how the game tells the story. There's no denying it, as far as the story goes, this one's got beat the original by a landslide. The game also makes playable Jane and Emma, as well as a certain other character, but the only join the party at the end of the game, so you'll only use them for the bonus boss fights, if you decide to tackle them.
No way to increase your attack power means that you'll be underpowered pretty much all the way throughout, which means that random encounters can take a while. You can use spells and abilities to do more damage, but these run on limited resources, and pretty much the only way to replenish them is by sleeping at an Inn or leveling up. Eventually your level will grow so high that counting on level ups will be impossible, so get ready to tough it out! The cherry on top is that the encounter rate in this game is ridiculously high.
Let's talk about the enemies for a bit. While this game is a remake of Wild Arms 1, most random encounters are borrowed from Wild Arms 3! Oh, and enemies LOVE inflicting status effects on your party, luckily you have spells. Wrong. For whatever reason, YOU CAN'T USE SPELLS OUTSIDE OF BATTLES. What where they thinking?? If I have the goddamn MP, let me use the goddamn spell! At least items are relatively cheap, but run out of them, and you will since it seems as if enemies only want to inflict status effects on you, and you're screwed. Brilliant. Don't even let me get into the fact that every area of the game features 3 enemy types at most. AT MOST. I'm absolutely speechless.
Back to Wild Arms Alter Code: F, did I mention that they kept some of the most annoying parts from Wild Arms 1? Remember all those moments in which the game basically told you to 'Go explore every town and hope to find your next objective'? They kept them. And this game uses the Sonar/Radius system from Wild Arms 2 and 3, so you have to find towns yourself on the overworld, and they won't show on the map until you talk to the single right NPC on the correct town that will tell you about its location. Fun. At least in the original game you could come across dungeons and towns by yourself.
Wild Arms - Alter Code: F started oh so promising, but it quickly turned into a tedious borefest. It's hard to have fun with it when the game is constantly trying to waste your time with continuous, endless amount of needlessly taxing random encounters, marred with poor design choices that work only to vex the player. I wish I could tell you that this game was the way to go with Wild Arms 1, but I can't.
4.5 out of 10