Review by Misu
"I stayed up all night with this game."
Gameplay (9/10) – Seeing as this is the most important part of any RPG, heck, any GAME... I’ve gotta be pretty picky on this one. I can say without hesitation that Skies of Arcadia is one of the most enjoyable gameplay experiences I’ve ever set my little hungry fingers to. Two battle systems grace Skies of Arcadia; the character battles and your pirate ship battles. The character battle system is new and different, dealing with six Elements. It’s not such a hassle to level up, especially when you get lost on the world map like I do and can’t find the next place and eventually beat the sausage out of the next high-HP boss. Yaaay! The ship battles take a pretty long time, but they deal more with the timing and strategy of your guns than with the manipulation of the Elements. And another thing, you can get in character battles when you run into monsters on your ship. This solves the problem of getting no experience at all when on an airship in other games, and ending up having to level up again and again in a dungeon (take the Final Fantasy series, for example.)
Story (8/10) – A cute little pirate boy, a cute little pirate girl, and a cute little mysterious girl, all on a big adventure! Sound great? Play it! Sound not-so-great? Play it anyway! It has this certain predictable charm to it. To tell the truth, after getting the hang of the game, I knew exactly what would happen next, every single time. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play it. Some of the themes in Skies are recycled, but rarely do games these days have new, gripping, and unheard of points to them. The plot revolves around six moons, and each of these moons send ''Moon Stones'' down to the earth. With the Moon Stones of all six colors, you can attack and use the magic of all the colors of the Moons; green (healing/poison), red(fire/ability increase), purple (ice/silence), blue (wind/water/sleep), yellow (lightning/ability decrease), and silver (revive/death spells.) The characters are lovable, one of the game’s strongest points. Only a subtle love story, however.
Graphics (10/10) – Preeeeeettttttyyyy. Breathtaking world map, lovable character expressions and animations. I often found myself drooling over both Vyse and Fina by the middle of the game... Sephiroth (FF7) and Cort (Legend of Legaia) lovers should find solace with Ramirez, another white-haired baddie with a talent for destruction.
Music (8/10) – The title screen music keeps me from entering the game, because it’s so beautiful. However, some of the town music is a little annoying. Battle music is decent, boss music is horrible. Overall however, Skies of Arcadia features some of the best accompaniment available on any system, behind Chrono Cross and Trigger and Final Fantasy 6 and 7.
Sound (6/10) – Relatively awful voice acting, not as bad as Star Ocean 2 though. The controllable character’s seiyuu is all right, but the two other main characters have absolutely ghastly high-pitched voices. All the other sound is just fine...^_^
Replayability (5/10) – It’s an RPG. Not many people enjoy replaying them. Perhaps Skies of Arcadia may lure you in to play it again. Side-quests galore. Yum! I’d say it’s worth 1-3 plays.
Buy or rent? – Buy. A thrilling addition to any serious gamer’s collection. With 50 or 60 hours stashed into it, consider renting it first to test it out. Like the gameplay? Hurry up and buy it!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/22/01, Updated 07/22/01
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