Game Title: Skies of Arcadia: Legends
No. of players: 1
Memory Card Blocks needed:
Young Vyse is a member of the Blue Rouges, a group of friendly pirates that act more like Robin Hoods than actual pirates. Vyse is determined to become a pirate and make a name for himself in the skies and become legend. Teamed up with his best friend Akira, Vyse and Akira work under Vyse’s dad, the leader of the Blue Rouges. One night while on a routine search-find-and steal the Blue Rouges cross paths with the Verlunian Fleet, who were chasing a mysterious ship with a girl in strange clothes. The Blue Rouges board the ship of Valuan Admiral Alphonse, who has captured the girl and her ship. Vyse and Akira save the girl and while Alphonse runs away leaving his ship and crew behind he vows revenge on the Blue Rouges, still the night seems like a victory for the Blue Rouges. Vyse and Akira decide to take the girl with them to Private Island, the HQ of the Blue Rouges. The girl is greeted with a warm welcome however the girl doesn’t seem to like talking much and remains quiet.
While Vyse and Akira go out to collect a piece of a falling moonstone, Valuna strikes an attack upon the Blue Rouges destroying everything and taking all the men and the mysterious girl, who’s named Fina, captive. When Vyse and Akira return they are left in shock. Luckily Vyse’s dad was able to sneak the women and children into the secret underground base. Vyse and Akira decide to go and have his father and the crew before they are executed, because being a pirate in Valuna is punishable only by death. The odds are against them though Valuna is knowed for getting what it wants and destroying everything else.
What seemed to be like a simple, but by no means easy, rescue mission will turn into a race to save the world from the power of the ancients. Vyse will sail the skyes of Arcadia discover new and amazing people and places, and battle monsters and opponents seen no where before.
In skies of Arcadia there are two kinds of battling players will get to experience: ship battles and hand to hand combat. The skip battles are few but probably the best part to this game. You and your active crew/team of four will each take turns performing different tasks such as attacking, healing, or charging. You’ll have chances when certain attacks would be more effective or a high chance of hitting your opponent, so it will take some strategy to beat some ship battles bosses. You’ll fight pirates and other large monsters that will put your strategy skills to the test, eventually you’ll get the hang of it–which might be the down side that their aren’t many default bad guys.
Then there is the hand-to-hand battle. This is a rigid turn based system. You’ll take turns controlling you party having them perform different task: heal, attack, charge, depend. I say rigid because it’s pretty basic to look at, you’ll have a wide battlefield, and occasionally you’ll move across the battle field automatically–you’ll have no control over that–however most of the time you’re opponents will be on one “side” and you on the other–not very realistic but tolerable. What’s cool is that you’ll be able to change weapons mid-battle and not have that count as a turn which is vital when you’re fighting multiple enemies of different sorts.
Each move in both the ship battles and hand-to-hand require you to use spirit points that you can charge or just leave rise on its own. While battling players will have to keep on eye on that because when it’s done you won’t be able to use any moves. You’ll also have to be careful to watch your MP too or else you won’t be able to use magic, which is a vital part to this game. As you create your party, you’ll have three defaults and 1 optional which you can pick from three characters (not much in terms of options but still), it would be good to keep in mind to have each member special for something. My current team is like this:
Fina=Magical Attack and Heal
Got to cover all the bases right.
You’ll also be able to collect Moon crystals which allows your party to learn special movies–which will be very helpful in the end.
The majority of the game will have you traveling to different “dungeons” collect the moon crystals, but you’ll also have to infiltrate and break into several different countries.
You will play as Vyse/the ship when in the air and travel the world of Arcadia as such, when you enter a battle–which are at random moments–you’ll see a scene, like those scene in FF X-2 or Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and be taken to the battle screen. Depending on your environment you’ll face different kinds of monsters, which will require you to change your weapons’ attribute or else you’ll be ineffective.
Overall game play will make you have to stay on top of the game and change your style depending on your enemy and environment.
Music & Sound
The music in Skies of Arcadia fits the style of the game: an epic adventure. The environment that you are in will play in will play a major part on the back ground music too. Possibly the coolest part is the music within the battle scenes, very dynamic! Th music will change depending on your status inn the battle, if you are in the general mode (both side are healthy to a certain degree) the music is general, if you are loosing the music will be imply that you are, and if you are winning the music kind of makes you wan to rub it in the bad guys face. Really good music no major flaws, if anything a solid thumbs up.
What does sucks is that you hear very little of your characters voices, most of the dialog appears on the bottom of the screen. You’ll hear your characters say something but nothing much usually just a few words or groans.
Skies are Arcadia was released before everything became cell shaded (lol) but still the graphics isn’t bad. You might be a bit annoyed if you playing the game now than when it came out about the bad edges and box like appearance some of the things have, but overall the graphics aren’t bad compared to cell shaded stuff today. On their own the graphics are pretty good, certainly not horrible.
Controls & Camera
Not much in terms of controls most the game, maybe even all of it, you’ll use the dialog stick and the A button to confirm the option or the B button to cancel. The gameplay doesn’t really require much, it’s pretty cut an dry. A downside might the controls for the ship. You have 7 directions available to you: up, down, forward, backward, turn (either left or right), dive, and rise, and they are all pretty rigid. You don’t really feel as if you’re really piloting a ship, I would have preferred if the turning ability seemed a bit more realistic. Still it ain’t too bad. The controls are simple and present no difficulty to understand.
This is one of this games high points, while you can rush through the story rather easily–defeating the bosses takes very little time–it’s the side quests and other miscellaneous stuff that makes this game shine. You’ll have the choice of finding and recruiting new crew members, constructing your own private island, discovering all 89 or so hidden secrets in the skies of Arcadia, helping a little and her baby chic, and defeating other prirates on the wanted list to clear you name and get a handsome reward, and much much more. All of that can take you a while to finish so be prepared to waste many ours trying to find that spot on the map where the clue said the discovering would be.
This is one of my favorite RPGs that I own. The game play was simple but still had a lot of BANG! to it. The story had dept to it which made it interesting and a real epic feel to it too. Game play was easy to grasp, although it took a while to figure out which element attribute did best against which. A lot of game play time wasn’t spent on the actually story but other stuff like collecting all the moon shards to unlock your team’s most ultimate move or fighting side quest characters–who will always be on the same level as you, so it’s not to say you’ll have the upper hand if you level up (sneaky bastards!) in fact it might be harder if you do. The game will surprise in the number of option you’ll have and how that will effect you in long run, the decisions you choose as Vyse will have an effect on how people view and treat you.
It’s a really good game if you’re fan of adventure turn based RPGs, it’s easy but it will have it’s moments where you’ll have to think about how to beat that certain bad guy.
Good story, good game play, sweet music and easy controls, not much more than you can ask for.