game language: English
game release date for GCN:
What would you do if you had your own flying ship? Sega begs the question and beckons all role-playing gamers to discover the answer for themselves in Skies of Arcadia Legends.
Welcome to the World of Arcadia
The world of Terra Forma has been riven into a vast archipelago of islands floating amongst seas of clouds and blue skies. The unique geography of Arcadia has spawned two groups of air pirates: the Robin Hood-like Blue Rogues and the rapacious Black Pirates. You are Vyse, the son of the Blue Rogues leader. A thirst for adventure and to uphold the family rep impels Vyse on a quest unlike any you've ever experienced.
A Tale of Two Gangs
While the Blue Rogues only steal from the rich and give to the poor, the Black Pirates steal from everyone and pocket the spoils for themselves.
Vyse is accompanied by his lifetime friend Aika, a brash redheaded girl who wields a giant boomerang with frightening skill. During a routine heist, Vyse and Aika rescue a mysterious princess named Fina. Thus begins a dazzling journey of 40 hours or more through the oft-unfriendly but always amazing skies.
Air Ships Ahoy
Skies of Arcadia Legends extends the airship mission found in many traditional Japanese RPGs into an entire game. Gone are the arduous treks across barren deserts and highlands. Instead, players are invited to explore exotic floating lands teeming with strange enemies, quick-witted traders and fierce battles.
Everything in Skies of Arcadia Legends is rendered in real-time 3D at a silky smooth 60 frames per second. While on land, the camera follows Vyse from a third-person perspective. For a better look at your surroundings, you can hop into first-person mode at almost any time.
It's easy to get momentarily lost in the vast environments. Fortunately, the handy auto-map feature makes it easy to get back on track again.
As with most RPGs, random encounters spark the turn-based battles that make up a large part of the gameplay and experience-building system. Adversaries include Black Pirates, freakish monsters, corrupt Imperials and cagey bounty hunters out for you.
Before each turn, you must issue commands to your party members. Choices include standard attack, special attack, defend, magic spells, item usage, power-up and escape.
Your party also shares a Spirit Meter that must reach a certain point before certain spells and special attacks can be utilized. You can speed up the process by having one or more of your characters power up during their turn. Unfortunately, that character cannot attack or defend during that turn.
Attack turns are based on the speed of the character. Other attributes determine a character's skills at blocking, dodging and countering attacks. Once everyone's commands are entered, an animated melee showcases the results.
Your enemies vary not only in appearance and motives, but also in their ability to withstand certain types of attacks. Adding to the complexity of the battle system are Moon Stones. Magical items fallen from the mystical moons orbiting Terra Firma, Moon Stones change the attributes of your weapons. These, in turn, deal varying amounts of damage, depending on the type of enemy you are fighting. Be sure to experiment with the different Moon Stone types to deal maximum damage.
Battle encounters are not always hand-to-hand. Your ship is not only an important tool for transport, but also a battle craft bristling with weapons. Looking like 18th-century man-o'-wars with wooden decks and billowing sails, the ships are armed with cannons firing through portholes.
Don't worry about tedious voyages, though: jet engines zip your ship from land to land.
Ship-to-ship battles feature an innovative combat engine for turn-based warfare.
Once you become the captain of your own ship, you can begin recruiting crewmembers. These enhance your ship's abilities in various ways. Crewmembers also pitch in for combat duty.
You can build and upgrade your combat headquarters. You can also purchase ship upgrades such as new cannons and armor.
X Marks the Spot
Perhaps no bit of pirate lore is more fascinating than the search for hidden treasure. In the world of Arcadia, treasures are referred to as Discoveries. Think of these Discoveries as wonders of this spectacular floating world. By locating them, you will gain fame and fortune while establishing a landmark by which you will be remembered forever.
Better Than Before
The original Skies of Arcadia premiered on the Sega Dreamcast in 2001. For Legends, developer Overworks has overhauled the graphics, adding much more detail to characters and battle sequences, and added many new events to an already huge quest. Intriguing new characters include Piastol, a female bounty hunter out to get Vyse.
Random battle encounters have thankfully been reduced and balanced to ensure a smooth experience curve. New Wanted side-missions challenge you to track down criminals for extra cash.
The result is best described as an extremely ambitious director's cut that will wow even those who played the original Skies of Arcadia.
Fans of the original Skies of Arcadia should definitely check out Legends for its added features and expansive backstory. If you didn't play the original, you're in for a terrific adventure. Get ready to fly away in a heady new epic.
age requirements: everyone
- memory card