Skies of Arcadia
Review by DragoonKnight13
"A refreshing RPG with a bright storyline and interesting cast of characters..."
I have no idea why I had first wanted to buy this magnificent game. I think I heard of it somewhere, or read some good reviews of it. Anyway, soon I had it set in my mind I was going to get this game. I wasn't sure if I would like it but I knew it seemed interesting.
Upon playing the game, my first thought was ''Wow.'' The opening sequence isn't thrilling and exciting, but it properly introduces the characters and a villain quite easily. The obnoxious Antonio, the cliche hero Vyse, and the spunky and light hearted Aika. The graphics looked nice and the story motivating. I like what I was playing.
After a while, I wasn't only playing the game, I was hooked to it. Day after day I came home and was glued to my seat, with interesting characters, an amazing story line, ambrosial graphics, catchy music, and enjoyable side quests.
Let me tell you what is so good about each part I just mentioned...
First of all, the story is top rate. Yes, it may be about defeating a huge evil, but aren't all games like that? And anyway, it presents a captivating story with emotional characters and backgrounds to really move it along. That's good enough, right? I loved the story. With twists and turns around the corner, it was quite exciting. I was never once bored or tired of playing. The game takes you from your hometown to space in a battle to save the world. It was great.
Second, the graphics are great. I had a Playstation and this was one of the first games I bought when I got a Dreamcast. The Playstation had never lived up to this. The airships in this game were wonderfully detailed and the cities colorfully decorated with highly detailed characters. I loved the graphics. The world map is pretty nice too, travelling through the air above other regions was never so cool.
Third, the characters are incredibly involving and exciting. I either felt attached to them or hated them horribly. The main characters were the best. Fina, a shy and timid girl. She was so honest and sincere, I had to love her. Aika, the rambunctious sidekick. Always happy and funny when you need it. She was a great addition. Vyse was actually just more of a modern hero type so I can't really say much for him sadly.
The music in this game was pretty good. I never once got tired of it. It fit the area perfectly in the game and the overall mood.
Battling is pretty good. While it can get a tad bit boring after a while, I never skipped a battle (I'm not lying!!!). It isn't anything amazing or new, but it is an okay battle system. Their are several different magic spells and players move around the screen to separate areas to battle. It's pretty good.
Side quests are a big up too. There are discoveries, small things you can do to discover many landmarks all over the world. Then there is your ship's crew. Looking for the whole crew is enjoyable. With the wide range of characters, finding everyone for your crew is interesting. I couldn't pass the game until I found the entire crew. It wasn't an annoying task, it was a privilege. Also, on a side note, something I enjoyed about the game were the decisions presented to the player during different points in the game to determine the player's rank as a pirate. It was quite addicting trying to improve my rank.
So, in conclusion...
Gameplay (10/10) - This game was always fun. Good controls, fun battles (especially with airships), and an overall joyful time.
Story line (10/10) - Captivating, motivating, amazing, imaginative...
Visuals (9/10) - Very nice. I cannot remember anything bad or disapointing about the graphics. This department only gets a 9 because there were no actual movie scenes. Just in-game cut scenes using the same graphics as when playing. That would have made the game even more perfect.
Sound (9/10) - Great music, plus the addition of some voice acting here and there really created a nice atmosphere. I gave it a 9 because while the music was great, I'm sorry to say I can't really remember any or the songs. :(
Replay (4/10) - The only downfall. I cannot really see any reason to replay this game. It is a beautiful game but it doesn't offer anything extra after you've finished and completed it, unless you didn't get the whole crew or all the discoveries.
Overall Presentation (10/10) - So what, there isn't really any replay value. But the characters and story shine through the negative areas, or which there are little. This game, out of the many I have played, sticks out in my memory as one of the best. It gives the Final Fantasy series a run for its money! I wish there was a sequel, I'm sure that one would be even better, past perfect. The overall story line, characters, battle system, gameplay, and music really add up.
Final Notes: One of the greatest RPGs ever. I would definitely say to BUY. It is worth it.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/23/01, Updated 11/23/01
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