Review by steveC10

"Beyond The Skies Of Greatness"

Since the launch of the Dreamcast, I’ve been longing for some kind of game which can occupy me for a long time to come…games such as Crazy Taxi, WWF Royal Rumble, NFL 2001…they are all great games especially when your used to playing the Playstation…playing games in enhanced graphics (from 32 to 128 bit) really does prove to enhance your need to keep on playing. Phantasy Star Online was my first RPG that I loved the most (See Phantasy Star Online Review I made) but after well over 200 hours of play, I’ve ran sick of it now…Skies Of Arcadia is the next purchase I’ve made and I did not know anything about this game apart from judging from the back of the cover, I made a good choice I believe :)

Although the game does not possess any online gaming functions, you can however go on the internet via Dreamcast and download add-ons for the game to enhance your gaming pleasures although I’ve yet to venture that far but I will do so in the near future.

Graphics
Game is set in a fictional world where boat like ships are capable of flying and the scene from different cultures of the world seem to be from different time zones…whether it’s Islands full of rain forests, medieval castles to the buildings of the stereotypical far east buildings…all captured of course in a splendid 3D rendered display which is exquisite to look at. Whether your looking at the special abilities of your character to the falling waterfalls of the scenery, all look realistic and runs smoothly.

Game play
Skies Of Arcadia is played in a third person view (Like Diablo on the PC or Phantasy Star Online on the Dreamcast). This is how you would tend to explore in the realms of Arcadia but fighting in the world involves a different kind of interaction. The screen from wither the world map, palace or cave (depending where you are) performs a transition effect and goes into the fight which you look upon your characters as you control them with a series of commands (Like any Japanese style RPG i.e. Final Fantasy).

Lasting Appeal
I do find that this game does sort of attach itself onto the person who is playing it. People who prefer playing RPG’s rather than any other platform of game would definitely play this game for a long time and lose sleep over it since it has a wide variety of quests and gamers would like to venture further into the game as quickly as possible.

Side Quest: This section is made because I believe it is relevant to all those who strive to become nothing but ‘Perfection’ within the game. Playing the game you would no doubt want to become the best that you can possibly be and the game itself lures you into doing that but if gamers wish to just go straight through the game then that’s their own choice. I believe that people would want to go on search for the ‘Perfect Crew’ as you later go on a recruiting mission and would like to recruit every single person in the game.

Cons
Memory Card: Most people have already got a memory card but the game is so good, you may want to explore the game further with the side quest called ‘Pinto’. This feature allows you to go on search with the VMU and find any extra items within the mini game for the VMU. Although it sounds like a good feature for the game, it has a bad side to it that in order to play it, you must however have a blank VMU with nothing else on it. I found myself buying an extra memory card not for this particular purpose but just for the future of games I intend to purchase for this platform. Although not necessary, a memory card would be a nice thing to purchase if you have the spare cash for it.

Vast Sceneries: I believe that the game at certain points are too large and prove to be pointless. For those who have yet to purchase this then you will encounter cities that prove to be a puzzle in themselves just to find a particular building. Unless your smarter than me (Which is almost 100% definite) then you won’t have this problem. I believe that it takes too long to climb ladders in the game…I do not complain about the characters climbing speed but the length of most ladders as most are large.

Conclusion
With aid of a great story line to go through, the game is very addictive (After Phantasy Star Online), if you love a typical Japanese Style RPG then you’ll no doubt love this game. The game comes in two CD’s and it took me over 30 hours to get through the first one and I’m now onto the second one. If you only buy selective games then I hands down recommend that you purchase this game. I’m sure you can remedy the ‘Vast Sceneries’ con with some music in the background or flicking to another channel as you hold the button down…hee hee.

Cheers for reading my review.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/17/01, Updated 08/17/01


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