Saturday, January 04, 2003

DC - Skies of Arcadia review

Skies of Arcadia Legends


Developer - Overworks

A.) 30 - 40 hours of competitive gameplay

Publisher - Sega

B.) First story driven RPG for Nintendo from SEGA / Overworks.

C.) Near perfect use of the battle system (not as good as some of those Final Fantasy titles but very close. If you haven't played Final Fantasy VII on PS then don't worry about it. The game is still rich in gameplay and really cool in my opinion.

Released on Jan. 29, 2003

D.) Fight the Black Pirates in ship battles. Every time you level up on the ground everything in the skies with reset. Giving you more experience points when you get back aboard.

Type - Role Playing Game

I would only say that Skies of Arcadia Legends is a cool game if you are a RPG fan. I am a mild RPG fan at best. Skies of Arcadia was first released on the Sega Dreamcast in 2000. I beat the game twice. What I'm about to write, is why this game is cool.

As for the story line, it basically says Vyse and Aika who go out and explore their world. The empire called Valua finds the home of Vyse and Aika and distroys it and captures all the blue rouges. (Later in the game the village is rebuilt) Vyse and Aika are now one their own to go on ship battles and hand to hand combat with Valuan solders and creatures that enhabinate 6 climate zones in the game. Some are hard to get too. That didn't stop me from playing Skies of Arcadia. Vyse eventually get to save the Blue Rouges but since they are out to save the world from Valua, the blue rouges meet alleys on the way including the Prince of the Valuan Empire (which is suppose to be a secret let loose later in SoAL) Together Vyse and Aika with their alleys fight evil. [Story 10/10]

The visuals in this game only come second best to Sega's other RPG Phantasy Star Online Episodes I, II. Much like another ported RPG on gamecube called Baldur's Gate - Dark Alliance, SoAL is basically a straight port of the ground breaking Dreamcast game. Skies of Arcadia was the nicest looking Dreamcast game ever created *It has to be the truth*. Plenty of thought went into Skies of Arcadia Legends.

I also like how Overworks put together the worlds from Summer climates to Winter climates. The water effects were exceptionally good. Most additional art is 3D which tells me that Sega put a lot of time in this game. I can also tell that the game was budgeted and could of been more if Sega fully emulated SoA to Gamecube standards. Imagine Skies of Arcadia look and feel like Final Fantasy Chronicles (a huge release on Gamecube appond release). The technology of character models painted is outdated in 2003 but was state of the art in 2000. The Gamecube release is one of the better looking titles from 2003. [Graphics 8.5/10]

Ship battles are fun and appealing to a novice game player. I happened to get to the end of Skies of Arcadia. The game gets harder as the story gets more complex but that's how all games are these days. Some die hards may want to be replay the game until they perfectly destory Victora battleships. In the game, if Vyse didn't get to Valua's secret weapon first and would say, "Ouch!" However, I purposely went through the different zones to fight pirates again and again. It was so fun. [Ship battles 9/10]

My favorite stage of this game is when Vyse and Akia / Fina get separated and all three go in the minigame not knowing the other one is there. It took me forever to figure out the puzzle. To complete the puzzle the player had to move platforms a certain way to get across. So Overworks comes up with a slit screen showing Vyse and Akia going moving levers on the screen which moved the platforms. I got frustrated a couple times but I eventually made it.

In the sound department, Skies of Arcadia has a orginal soundtrack. Not as good as Grandia or Final Fantasy tunes. But the music is well orchestrated. Characters in the game don't speak every word. But their is a convensing story line bar on the botom of the screen. [Sound 8/10]

You have every reason in the world to buy Skies of Arcadia if you like playing role playing games. For people who don't have 30 hours to spare shouldn't get it. For those of you who can't wait until Legend of Zelda comes out on gamecube buy this game. It will more then satisfy your needs. It is very well designed. If you like Diablo Style level up in your skills, Baldur's Gate Deadly Alliance may be another choice. I am looking into it myself. (Review Posted February 01, 2003 9:20 AM)

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