Review by Gyarados
"This may be one of only a few must RPGs on Dreamcast, but it's great!"
While the Dreamcast didn't have many RPGs, quality is more important than quantity! I usually don't like RPGs and other genres, but I will make exceptions. This game has many things that make it another great game for the Dreamcast.
Graphics - 7/10
Imagine the best graphics you've seen in a Nintendo 64 game, and imagine everything being much more detailed and smoother. Everything is very nicely made. The graphics are better than anything the N64 or PlayStation can do, but this game doesn't have the best graphics of the Dreamcast. Many cities and locations look very beautiful. People will complain about the fog you will see. You are in the sky, so you should expect fog. Unfortunately, only a few attacks are impressive to watch during battles, but that's OK.
Sound - 5/10
While this game has good sound effects, the sound is just average and nothing more than you would expect.
Music - 9/10
The music is very good in many areas. It will reflect the mood of everything that's going on well. Unfortunately, some dungeons will use the same music as other ones, so there are not enough music tracks. But, like I said, quality is more important.
Story - 10/10
You might be wonder why I gave this a 10 by now if I gave the other aspects less than a 10. This is because the story itself is good enough to give this game a 10. The scenes are emotional and nobody is going to say anything stupid or something that is said too many times and easily expected. Once, I just wanted to keep laying this game so I could find out what was going to happen next. Here is the story:
The setting is in a world called Arcadia. It is like this world, but instead of everything being next to the ocean, everything is in the sky. Technology is also not as advanced, since you have only some electricity and lots of machines. There is no land, but you have ''islands'' floating in the sky. There are also 6 different moons that represent 6 different powers. You are Vyse, one of the Blue Rogues, which are air pirates (not the evil kinds). While exploring, you see a Valuan (the Valuans are an evil empire with power) ship kidnapping a mysterious girl on another ship. You will eventually save the mysterious girl, but this is only the beginning. You will find have to find 6 moon crystals before the Valuans do and prevent them from summoning six giant monsters to rule the world.
But don't worry because it is not that simple. Like I said before, don't try to say ''Oh, this is so predictable, this is going to happen.'' You never know what is going to happen. There are only a few times when you can be sure and say ''I bet this will happen.'' This is a long story, and you will want to keep playing to find out what is going to happen next. Think of Skies of Arcadia as a great book turned into a great game.
Control - 10/10
The control is easy to give a perfect rating as long as everything is easy to do. In this game, this is true. You have A to confirm, B to go back, X for items, and Y for viewing. There is absolutely no trouble you will have for doing what you want to do.
Gameplay - 8/10
The gameplay is great. You have a nice battle system, first of all. Although it is turn-based, it is still good. There are 36 different spells with 6 different types. You can attack with 6 different powers. Ice, Fire, Wind and Water, Electricity, Life, and Silver. Attacking an ice creature with fire magic will hurt more than attacking with a different type of magic. This helps add to the strategy you will use. There is a nice concept called ''Spirit Points,'' which you gain during battle. Doing a regular attack will not cost any, but doing a Super Move or magic will cost you. You also have another type of battle, which is called a ship battle. In this, you use your whole ship to fight another ship or a giant monster, which is something exciting that I haven't seen before. Unfortunately, battle attacks might take too long to show, and only a few are exciting to watch, but at least you can skip through them. A major problem is that you will run into battles WAY too often, but that won't stop you from wanting to play more. You have many other things to do in the gameplay which are optional. You can explore and look for discoveries (which gain you money). There are many of them to discover, but you don't have to do that. You can explore around for fun, too, if you want. A good aspect is the rating you have. In some situations, you need to say the right things to people, and this will increase your rating, and more people will like you. I really recommend a VMU (memory card with a screen) and a peripheral that makes your controller vibrate to make your game experience better.
Difficulty - 5/10
This game is not very difficult, but there is still a good reason. In many other games, you would have to do something or go somewhere to progress through the game, but there would be no way to know what that is. In Skies of Arcadia you will be told where to go or what to do next, which makes it easy, but at least you aren't lost with absolutely no clue of what to do. Some boss battles do take strategy, but in usual battles, you will be safe as long as you have 99 of each healing item.
Replay Value - 9/10
This game is a very long game. It is 2 discs long, but it took me 50 hours to complete, and I was only trying to get to the end without any side quests. There are many reasons to play the game over again, such as trying to get more discoveries and a higher rating.
BUY or RENT?
You should definitely buy this game! I don't think there is any way to finish the game in a rental, unless you play for most of the day. If you are still not sure (why not?) then borrow it from somebody to see.
Skies of Arcadia is another great and innovative Dreamcast game. This is a great answer to saying that Dreamcast doesn't have RPGs. I do not just give a high score to every Dreamcast game. There is a reason for giving many Dreamcast games a high score. Thank you for reading.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/23/01, Updated 09/23/01
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