Review by Tamahome
"Goes Right up there with Grandia II"
With the Release of Grandia II back in August, people have probably finished the game 3 times over and waiting patiently for another good rpg to arrive on the DC console. Most rpg fans should know about eternal arcadia aka skies of arcadia when it will come out in the US. Needless to say, the game has delievered and is what a die hard japanese rpg type gamer would hope for.
First of all, let's describe the graphics. The game is done in full 3D of course, and the environment and lighting looks surperb with real time lens flare, it is just beautiful. The whole game takes place on little pieces of land floating in the sky, so you are expected to see lots of clouds and sun. The battle scenes are also done in 3D, but simpler than that of grandia II, mainly because the battle system is a lot simpler. The world map exploration is also done very nicely with the main character flying a floating ship of some kind and you get to roam the skies looking for cities and temples and so on. You control the aircraft in many aspects from moving up and down to forward and backwards, and the general environment looks cool. It gives you the feel that you are playing a flight sim.
Next, let's describe the game system. The whole game is divided into 3 modes. Exploration, human battles and ship battles. Exploration needless to say is just roaming either with your ship or with your characters completeing quests and revealing plots. Human battles consists of the main character with his companions fighting bad guys using weapons and magic. Ship battle is more unique and a new feature in most rpgs. Think of it as kind of like gear battles in Xenogears. However all your character are in one ship and you actually get to assign crews that manages repair and crews that will shoot the enemy with cannons. A ship has a certain amount of hps and your goal is to shoot down the enemy ship to win the battle.
The magic and super move system is also very different. you have a bar of how much charge you have, and this charge is shared between all your guys. Think of this charge as action points in ship battle and super points in human battles. In human battles you can do attacks, defend and charge up, but you can only use magic and supers if you have enough charge to use them. Some of the more powerful moves and magic require a huge amount of charge, which adds strategy to the battles. However, I still like the battle system in Grandia II better.
The weapon system and the way you learn magic is also quite unique in the game, and in this review I wouldn't even be able to describe the basics of the game without making this close to a mini-faq. so I will leave this to the faq writers.
Music is done nicely, and I am not really a music fanatic, so I cannot make real intelligent commments about the music rather than it sounds nice.
The japanese version of the game came out on Oct. 10, 2000 with a limited box edition and a normal edition. Being a fan, I got the limited box which comes with an artbook and a few accessories and a real cool looking box.
A highly recommended game and goes right up there with Grandia II with the best rpgs for the DC. If you are an rpg fan and have a DC and don't have this game, go get it right now.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/11/00, Updated 10/11/00
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