Skies the limit! Review

Skies of Arcadia Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 1

Publisher

  • Sega

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now

Platform

  • DreamCast

rating

Skies the limit!

Every once in a while, things catch fire. A patch of dry grass. The Oakland

Raiders. The all-powerful Sal Magicpants, perhaps. Also making the “hot” list

recently is Sega of America. With a slew of top notch games including Jet

Grind Radio
and Shenmue, this winter’s

Dreamcast lineup is spicier than a chili pepper in Mario’s meatball sauce.

Continuing the hot streak is one of Sega’s best and brightest RPGs to date.

Join Vyse and his crew of air pirates in their adventures through the Skies

of Arcadia
.

The storyline is familiar and conventional. An evil dictator is looking for

a weapon of mass destruction and our would-be hero is out to save the world.

Players take to the skies above and the dungeons below in search of mystical

items and rare treasures. They battle strange looking monsters and evil henchmen

in turn-based combat, becoming more powerful fighters/spellcasters in the process.

Eventually, they gain enough power to stop the bad guys and save the world.

Theoretically.

Even with this basic premise, Skies of Arcadia manages to develop an

interesting plot with lots of twists and turns to keep things interesting. This

is one tale that RPG fans will thoroughly enjoy.

Now if Skies of Arcadia was an average game, I could just throw in

a few words about graphics and the review would be done. But alas, the Skies

hold much more treasures for role-playing fans. Shall we commence with the goodies?

In order to boost the typical RPG combat to a higher level, Skies of Arcadia

includes element-based weapons. Upon obtaining a Moon Stone, characters will

be able to imbue their weapons with elemental properties based on color. Think

of it like Magic: The Gathering (the card game) or even Pokemon.

For example, yellow (lightning) weapons have an advantage over green (earth)

creatures. Usage of each weapon type also boosts that character’s equivalent

magic powers. Use your blue weapons a lot and you’ll boost your blue magic skills

that much faster.

The world in which Skies of Arcadia takes place is large, with plenty

of places to explore. As a sort of side quest, players can freely explore the

world in their airship and discover hidden lands and landmarks. Hunting for

these secret locations can be fun on their own and info regarding the discoveries

you make can be sold to the local sailor’s guild for a nice chunk of change.

Adventures in the sky lead to another take on the turn-based combat system.

Sky battles can happen with ships instead of swords. Players enter a string

of commands and then watch as the crew carries them out. Occasionally, players

will also have to decide the ship’s strategy, such as closing in on the enemy

or keeping a safe distance away. While these ship to ship battles are a bit

more interesting than the hand to hand combat, they tend to be drawn out way

too long.

Eventually, when Vyse gets a ship of his own, you’ll also need to find a suitable

crew. Gaining specialized crew members, such as a gunner or engineer, will boost

different parts of the ship. So you won’t just be hunting for treasure and new

lands, you’ll also have to be on the lookout for new crew. There’s just so much

to do within the world, you’ll never be stuck in any one place doing just one

thing.

Within the dungeons you’ll also come across a few puzzles to solve. While

none of these are particularly challenging, they offer some nice variety.

The graphics are top notch. Skies of Arcadia shows off smooth and detailed

environments as well as very solid anime-styled characters. Even the cool looking

spells and super moves put on a dazzling display

of color and light.

Surprisingly, bits of audible speech are thrown in every once in a while.

The voices are cheesy at best, but it was

nice of them to give it a shot.

The most enjoyable aspect of Skies of Arcadia is the way the game flows.

RPGs that follow the typical dungeon/town/dungeon pattern get really dry and

boring. In Skies, the story, as well as the ability to freely explore

the map, move the game along at a brisk pace. Even the dungeon expeditions move

along nicely. You won’t have to endure level after level of similar looking

environments, desperately looking for the next save point. With this type of

gameplay, you’ll never feel like you’re stuck in one place for a long time.

So whether you’re a classic RPG gamer or a newbie to the genre, you’re bound

to have some fun with Skies of Arcadia. With a great presentation and

a well-developed story, this is definitely not a game to miss.





REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

Rating9
Solid gameplay
Nice graphics
Great story
Huge world to explore
Cheesy voices
Drawn out battles