Zwei: The Arges Adventure

Pokkle and Pipiro are two step-siblings living by themselves in the ho-hum village of Puck on the time-forgotten floating continent of Arges. Pokkle loves making terrible puns and wears a tail for funsies, and Pipiro loves buying fashionable clothes and has no filter whatsoever. Together, they meander through what seems to be a peaceful, monotonous existence in their sleepy little burg where nothing interesting ever happens.
Until something does, anyway! A mysterious masked figure shows up one night and steals six holy idols from the local shrine. The self-proclaimed “Archduke of Arges” tenders a hefty reward for their return, and our “brave” duo jumps at the chance to go find them – Pokkle for the glory, and Pipiro strictly for the cash moneys.
Their journey will take them to every last nook and cranny across the land and lead to confrontations with a wide variety of friends and foes, each more ludicrous than the last, as a sinister plot to revive an ancient “Demon Lord” unfolds and 500 years’ worth of history comes into focus. Can two 14-year-olds with limited abilities and almost no social skills truly save the day? Or is Arges just pretty much screwed?
Released in Japan simply as Zwei!!, Zwei: The Arges Adventure is the direct predecessor to the previously released Nihon Falcom action RPG Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection, from the creators of the popular Ys and The Legend of Heroes franchises.
Boasting a completely standalone story set on a mysterious “low fantasy” island floating amongst the clouds, Zwei: The Arges Adventure plays out as a classically styled action-oriented 2D dungeon crawler with oodles of optional content and unlockables, player-defined challenge through a unique food-based experience system, and a pervading tongue-in-cheek humor style that helps set it apart from other entries in the genre. Although released on several different platforms in Japan over the years, this is the first time it’s ever been officially released in English, and is the most feature-complete version of the game to date.
So what are you waiting for? There’s no need to ask Zwei; you Arges gonna have to play this game right now!

FEATURES

  • SD Anime-Style Characters Inhabiting a Colorful Hand-Drawn 2D World
    Boasting beautiful painterly art rife with detail and animations, and populated with an equally colorful cast of super-deformed anime characters who are constantly on the move, the world of Arges feels perpetually alive and energetic.
  • Fast and Chaotic Combat Featuring a Plucky Duo of Protagonists (and One Pet)
    Fend off merciless enemies in real time with Pokkle’s melee attacks and Pipiro’s myriad magics, and solve puzzles to progress through the game’s many dungeons, all while either flanked by a loyal pet or while monitoring said pet from afar as it goes off on its own adorable little journeys.
  • Tongue-in-Cheek Story and Characters Providing Genuine Humor
    Pokkle’s terrible puns and Pipiro’s all-encompassing snark combine with quirky NPCs, self-aware dialogue, weird and unlikely locations, over-the-top situations, fourth-wall breaking, optional side-quests, and more to provide a genuinely funny and dynamic RPG experience.
  • Food-Based Leveling System Allowing Players to Challenge the Game on Their Own Terms
    Eat food to level-up, or hoard your food so you can exchange it in town for even better food down the line that grants even more experience. Will you stay low-level and challenge dungeons well beyond your means for the promise of more level-ups to come, or will you engorge yourself on demand to make the road ahead a little easier?
  • Minigames, Music, Achievements, Art, and More, Creating the Definitive Zwei Experience
    Play an Ys-inspired typing tutor, an adorable yet savage aeroplane shmup, or a block puzzler that rewards you for not making combos – or maybe just take the time to help guide your pet through the harsh wilderness for various spoils! If that’s not enough, why not try for one of the myriad new achievements, seek out one of the newly illustrated character bromides, or switch out the regular soundtrack for its 2008 arranged version? You can even play the game with Japanese text if you want! Add to that a bevy of control improvements and other modernizations, and you have the ultimate update to this unsung Falcom classic!
Minimum Requirements
OS: Windows XP+
Processor: 2GHz Single core CPU
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Storage: 3 GB available space
Sound Card: Compatible with DirectX 9.0c
  • Zwei: TAA is the kind of game that, for reasons both tangible and not, are infused with such a pure and powerful sense of joy that it’s just hard not to smile. I don’t have a history with the series - or with many JRPGs, really - yet the childlike wonder that effortlessly permeates the art, dialogue, and titular adventure still managed to make me feel the nostalgic yearn of simpler times. It’s a game that has its share of rough edges, but one that I don’t find terribly difficult to recommend.

  • 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.

  • In short, Zwei: The Arges Adventure may not be the most polished or compelling experience, but it's a fascinating look into Falcom's past, and a quite loveable one to boot. Those looking for a rollicking action RPG should stick with The Ilvard Insurrection, but enthusiasts interested in Falcom's trajectory will no doubt find a lot to love here.

  • 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.

  • While notably simpler than The Ilvard Insurrection, Zwei: The Arges Adventure still manages to hold its own as a short, enjoyable RPG experience. Clocking in at just under twenty hours, the game is brief, but there are a number of optional dungeons for players who want to explore the world a bit further. Although its simpler story and combat keep it from matching last year's game, that's also what you would hope to expect from seven years of innovation and technology.

  • Zwei! The Arges Adventure is a lovely little title from Falcom that I am very happy was localised after the success of its successor. 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • A beautiful world filled with many different kinds of characters and enemies in an enjoyable dungeon crawler. The combat system is too rough and the story is not as interesting as others. However, it's quite interesting how the characters evolve their attributes just by eating food.

  • 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.

  • Pleasing aesthetics aside, Zwei hasn’t aged all that well in parts that matter the most. The game lacks the wit and charm of its sequel, the gameplay is unwieldy and the progress amounts often to guesswork. Everything The Arges Adventure does, the superior sequel The Ilvard Insurrection refines further - and beyond, as any good sequel should. There’s no guesswork in which one of the Zwei games I recommend to fill the need for a funny and smooth Japanese action RPG. In the end, The Arges Adventure is not a bad show, it’s just has passed its shelf life.

  • Zwei: The Arges Adventure is sadly not a very interesting game, but I give XSEED huge props for their dedication in finally bringing the title over to English players. At less than 20 hours in length for the main story, it's a title that might be worth checking out as a sort of curious novelty, but it's probably not going to leave any lasting impression.

  • 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.

Zwei: The Arges Adventure
$14.99 $6.75
Title: Zwei: The Arges Adventure
Genre: Action, RPG
Released: 24 January 2018
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publisher: XSEED Games, Marvelous USA, Inc.
  • Partial Controller Support
  • Single-player
  • Steam Achievements
  • Steam Cloud
  • Steam Trading Cards
UI Audio Subs
English
Japanese
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