More Reviews
REVIEWS SPACECOM Review
This strategic space fighter won’t wow you with its looks, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t fun to be had. Especially if you bring friends along.

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: ULTIMATE NINJA Review
So, the question remains, is this an ultimate storm made by ninjas or a storm made of ninjas?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Sunset Overdrive Preview
Microsoft and Insomniac Games have created a new open-world shooter with clear influences from Jet Grind Radio. We went hands-on with the first hour of the game.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Release date: 09/30/14

Alien: Isolation
Release date: 10/07/14

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Release date: 10/14/14

The Evil Within
Release date: 10/14/14


LATEST FEATURES Xbox Download September 2014 - Updating Each Week
Minecraft launches on Microsoft's next-generation console and buy a console, choose a free game.

Interview: Sunset Overdrive's Drew Murray and Ted Price Talk Traversal and Game Design
Insomniac's open-world shooter will land exclusively on Xbox One later this year and we got to go hands-on and speak with the devs on the this stylish Xbox One exclusive.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES The Updating List of PAX Indies
We're heading to PAX Prime! Are you looking to check out a few unique indie games while you're there? UPDATED: Dragon Fin Soup, Dungeon of the Endless,

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP shandog137 Background: I own and have completed every entry in the Ninja Storm series, so there is inherent bias but luckily this isn’t a review. These are just my thoughts on a fun series I chose to pick up after my Dragon Ball Z Budokai days. I am also only about 3 episodes behind in the...

Skies of Arcadia Legends Review

Johnny_Liu By:
Johnny_Liu
02/01/03
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE  
PLAYERS 1- 1 
PUBLISHER Sega 
DEVELOPER  
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Mild Violence, Suggestive Themes

What do these ratings mean?

Sail the friendly skies.

On a clear day, I like to stare up and take in the natural beauty of the sky. The powder blue, the peaceful clouds...and when that gets boring, there's always the 'find the hidden pictures' game. Marshmallows, alligators, the Spanish Inquisition - there are all sorts of things to see while staring into the heavens. [Been watching too much Bob Ross, Johnny? - Ed.]

But while gamers are confined to terra firma, video games are not. Skies of Arcadia Legends lets you realize the romantic dream of stratospheric exploration in a world of open sky, airships, political intrigue and pirates. Arrr!

Skies originally came out in 2000 on the Dreamcast. While there are a handful of new additions to this Gamecube version, it's a little hard to get excited over a port of a 2 year old game. The new features include improved load times, 'wanted' bounties, a 'Moonfish' item-hunt and a new character to duel against. These extras are duly appreciated, but the sound and graphics have sadly not gotten the same amount of attention.

Vyse, a "Blue Rogue" air pirate, often stares at the sky, longing for the day when he can set out on his own to explore the far reaches of the uncharted atmosphere. His close friend and accomplice, Aika, shares that dream, except she plans to snarf up some extra treasure on the side. One day, a mysterious girl named Rina falls into the hands of the Blue Rogues. Their lives would never be the same.

The story is fun, charming and easy to get into, albeit all too familiar. The plucky young hero, surrounded by his saucy and equally plucky wenches, must face the unabashedly evil forces of villainy through fight after fight of random encounters.

The Gamecube port does promise some reduced fight encounters in certain areas in response to complaints on the Dreamcast. It's hard to exactly measure this change. It feels relatively similar, but the better load times means it's faster to run away from a battle.

The traditional turn-based system of combat gets an added kick of strategy through the Spirit meter. This SP meter is like one big meter pool that all the characters dip out of. S. Moves, an assortment of offensive and defensive moves you gain over the game, require a certain amount of SP points to execute. A character can spend his turn "focusing" to boost the SP meter.

Magic spells can only be executed when there are enough SP points available, but casting a spell will also expend one Magic Point. Red is obviously fire, but for some reason purple is ice. What kind of ice cubes do they use in Arcadia?

Each weapon is capable of equipping one of the six crystals; while equipped, your character will steadily gain magic spells from the respective color branch. The weapon is also imbued with the properties of its respective color - a red sword will be stronger against an enemy with purple properties.

In addition to the standard battles, there are Airship battles in which you plot out a series of attacks and then watch the ensuing exchange take place. These skirmishes keep things exciting and add to the atmosphere of a world filled with flying boats.

The Airships are really shown off through the impressive Overworld. The sense of exploring the unknown really comes through while piloting the ships. The controls utilize the C-stick, which feels just fine.

Landmarks are not always marked, so you have to pay attention to what the locals are saying to find the next dungeon or town. Newly discovered landmarks can be reported back to the Sailor's Guild for some welcome coinage.

At one point in the game, Vyse is urged to search out all the Moonfish he can find. Moon fishing is a tricky sport, requiring the first-person perspective camera. Vyse has to stand in a specific location in order to snag one of these fish. A beeping tone will tell you how hot or cold you are, though at least once, the beeping just seemed to be completely confused. Still, this mini-game does add some extra value.

Visually, it's immediately obvious that the game wasn't made with the Gamecube in mind. Right from the get-go, the graphics are dated. Sometimes the edges lack crispness and the scrolling cloudscapes just look awkward. In counterpoint, a few lighting effects and the character models still hold their own.

The quality is decent, but the most disappointing loss is the lack of a progressive scan feature, which I'd love to take advantage of... once I get a HDTV. The lack of progressive scan won't affect people who currently don't have an HDTV, but it just feels better to know that it's there, especially since the DC had VGA compatibility.

Instead of full vocals, the port of Skies opts for a lackluster sound byte approach. Each character has several vocal snippets that chime in at set times. These are as generic as they come and do little to nothing to add to the character's personality or the overall drama. The music, on the other hand, fits the drama excellently.

Considering it's a port, I would have been much happier if more attention was given to the audio and video. If you've played through the Dreamcast original, there really isn't enough incentive to get it a second time. But Skies of Arcadia Legends is still a rousing, swashbuckling adventure and for those of you who missed it the first time, it's great to have another RPG on the Cube.


B Revolution report card
  • New game additions
  • Charming if cliché story
  • Good strategic battles
  • Weak voices
  • Ported, dated delivery
  • No progressive scan
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.


More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Skies of Arcadia Legends


More On GameRevolution