Review by dastly75

"A great FF rip-off."

Review by: Dastly75

Skies of Arcadia might seem like a Final Fantasy rip-off to you and the truth is, it is. Not to say this isn’t one of the best final fantasy rip-offs ever though!

The gameplay is much like it is in a basic RPG. You have the options of attacking, using an item, conjuring magic, fleeing, using an S move, or defending. Lets talk about attacking. Each character has a weapon whether it’s a sword, boomerang, or whatever. Their weapon can change its own type to red, green, blue, silver, yellow, or purple. For each type represented after a battle finished, you earn points for those types. Earning points leads to learning more magic. Magic has a crystal for every type I mentioned above. The more points earned will result in learning more magic spells. Lets say that you go up one level in the green crystal area; you will then learn a green crystal spell such as sacri (healing). Magic spells cost mp and sp. Sp is gained every round after everybody attacks. Sp is lost whenever you cast a spell or use an S-move. S-moves are reminiscent of ultimate attacks or limit breaks. Each character has a number of S-moves that can be learned by getting moonstones. Moonstones are scattered all over the place. Vyse (the main character) has a reputation with his fellow pirates. Fleeing a battle will lower his reputation and fighting all your battles and choosing the right dialogue choices will result in a higher reputation. Items are whatever you have such as a sacri crystal or a bomb. Defending as you guessed it just lessens the damage inflicted from your foe.

Ship battles add to the spice of the gameplay and are very different. Lets say you are the world map and you are flying innocently. Then bam, a pirate ship goes and tries to attack you. Lets say there is a graph; a spot for every character is present. Red means danger, yellow means be careful, and green is all hands on deck. It goes, you attack, they attack, you attack, they attack, and so on. Each turn has 4 attacks for each ship in the battle. You want to put strong characters attacking with cannons and weaker characters either defending or using magic. The choices are, attack, defend, item, magic, fleeing, or s-move. S-moves are gotten through the story and you can’t gain them yourselves. Throughout the game you can recruit people for you ship. Those crewmembers can have special abilities in a battle, which are used through the crewmembers option. As you wander, you can come across many discoveries. These discoveries put you in a race to find them first with your rival Domingo. These discoveries also can earn you money if you report them.

The story is that Vyse and friends are pirates. Good pirates that help the needy. One day they save a girl named Fina. She turns out to be a valuable person that the Valuain army is trying to capture. As the riveting story goes on, you save villages and you destroy evil. The story is very good for the most part and doesn’t dull at all.

The music isn’t as great as the legendary Nobuo Uematsu’s Final Fantasy VIII work but it is still pretty good. It tends to use repetitive music when they feel courageous and etc. The sound effects are merely ok.

The graphics get interesting. I don’t know why but many dreamcast games have this kind of weird style graphics. It's like many solid textures made up to fit something. It is a nice style though and is a change from the somewhat gritty textures of FFVII. The graphics don’t get too cinematic like in FFX but its still quite well. Don’t expect many cinemas because there is little if not none at all. The controls are basic and there shouldn’t be any trouble at all.

Presentation
One of the best, well, one of the only RPG's on the Dreamcast, and it looks great. 8.5

Graphics
Graphics are interesting and above average. The game runs very well under a constant “dreamcast style” graphic system. They could have added some more cinema scenes though. 8.8

Gameplay
Gameplay is basic rpg style. The system may make you feel cumbersome at first. The random battles may seem overwhelming but overtime it gets easier. The ship battles are great fun! 9.4

Overall
A well-rounded game like this shouldn’t be overlooked. Some may argue it’s better than Final Fantasy and in some points it is. If you have a dreamcast, this is game is a must. 9


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/13/02, Updated 07/13/02


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