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Actually, in Sky you can skip the beginning even if you don't have a file, which is a step up from Time and Darkness.
I think the flashbacks were just an easier way for lines to repeat. And if I'm wrong, oh well, that's just how I feel about it. Personally, you should be grateful that not every scene in the game has a flashback.
Even Rescue Team Red/Blue had a flashback or two, if not more than that. Like when...
Alakazam tells you that you have to run and survive to discover the truth. The next day, you see the exact same thing as you remember what Alakazam said.
That is why I think that all of the flashbacks have to do with line purposes. Sure to some people, it might be annoying or bad. Still, it never really bothered me.
As for the unskippable cutscenes, it's not like they last a long time. And if you hold the B button, it doesn't take as long either. That and when I play, I play to see the story again, so it doesn't bother me that much.
Unskippable cutscenes have been around in many games. Even one game I know makes a mention to having to see it over again if you die. It could be worse. The unskippable cutscenes could have voice acting, and if you can't control it or skip the lines, it could take even longer.
The main character's "heroic mime" business irritates me thoroughly - they spend so much time thinking exactly what they would have said anyway, that it rather defeats the purpose of the heroic mime in the first place, and just it sound awkward. (Case in point: textbox of "[Player] told Dusknoir their name" rather than just having them speak for themselves.)
The other major thing that annoys me is how your partner calls you by name just about once a sentence. PEOPLE DO NOT TALK LIKE THAT.
RocketJess, blasting off again! [insert witty quote here]
I will agree it is a little weird for the partner to call you by name once in a sentence where he/she mentions you. I got used to it, but it is weird, I won't deny that. I think part of that is because it doesn't consider the gender of the character in dialogue. And the one that did in Time/Darkness has been reworded in Sky, so there is nothing that points out your character's gender, aside from the color around the side of the box.
It isn't just the hero either. The partner gets the same name treatment. Maybe not as much as the hero, but it's still there.
I can see why most people would prefer the hero to talk more. I mean, you see your character thinking a lot, why not talk more? To be honest, there are a couple of times where I think these thoughts are said out loud... like when...
*spoilers* Grovyle shields you from the blow. *end spoilers*
While I admit it is weird, it is something that I am used to, since Rescue Team Red/Blue did this as well. At least you get more insight on the hero in these thoughts. Red/Blue Rescue Team had a part where there was no thoughts from the hero for a long time.