Review by JGosnell

"Good things come to those who wait"

Skies of Arcadia will take you on a unique and innovative adventure.

For a sport fans the Dreamcast had been just that a dream. For action game fans the same the console has some of the best games in the genre. Although for RPG fans it has been a bittersweet relationship. Well it seems as though that has changed. With the release of Skies of Arcadia Dreamcast has become the #1 gaming unit out there. This RPG is not only good; it is great so great it gives Final Fantasy a run for its money.
I know some of the RPG fans have probably stopped reading this review at the end of the first paragraph. Thinking how could a young console like Dreamcast possibly have an RPG that is better than Square’s masterpiece Final Fantasy. Well its not that this game is better but it surely is more innovative. I really did not see where Final Fantasy 8 advanced the RPG genre at all. Yes it added cool spell effects and all but nothing had really changed from the original RPG formula. Well Skies of Arcadia has a few new twists. It uses the regular battle system that most RPGs use. You can choose to attack, defend but also you can do a Super Move. This allows you to gather points. Each Super Moves takes a set number of points. Each time you get an item called a moonberry you can teach a character a new Super Move. I am sure your saying that is nothing really new for an RPG. I guess it is not but it gives a new twist on an aging battle. In addition to these battles there are ship battles. Here you are given a grid with each of your characters on it and must make certain choices on how to use your ship to attack. You can use different cannons that have a different impact on the battle. What is truly new though is you must make maneuvers to use your opponents’ weakness against them. That is something defiantly different for an RPG. The true innovation although lies in the world map itself. Instead of the usual going from place to place by foot you travel in the ships. At any time while traveling you can visit the bridge and talk with your companions.
Now to the most important part of the RPG genre. The storyline in Skies of Arcadia is great. It is not really breakthrough but it is good. To sum it up you play the role of Vyse a pirate. When he and his team snag a Valuan ship he finds a young girl Fina and rescues her. Fina turns out to be sent by people to rescue the world from an ancient threat. This plays out well and you meet an interesting cast of people throughout the game.
At the beginning of Skies of Arcadia you will read a notice that the effects in this game can cause seizures. Well that may be because they are dazzling. There have never been graphics like this in a Dreamcast RPG and they have a chance to be some of the most amazing the system has seen. Some of the villages are just amazing and have tons of exploration to enjoy. The game uses a real-time graphics engine that is stunning.
Not only does Skies of Arcadia have wonderful game play but also it has a lot of it. It has two packed roms full of game play.
Skies of Arcadia is a fun great RPG for any fan of the genre. It breaks new ground and gives us Dreamcast owners something to be proud of.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 12/06/00, Updated 12/06/00

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