Author Topic: SKIES OF ARCADIA (request)  (Read 4195 times)

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Offline Zach Adams

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« on: February 01, 2003, 12:33:10 PM »
Yup, the coolest RPG for Gamecube is now out. I can give it that title because it obviously is and if you think Evolution of some card battle game can beat it, you should be smacked on the head with your 'cube.  Anyway, so who has played it? No spoilers please, and I want to know if its worth my money! By the way, I am already considering buying it because I like swords A LOT and that is mainly why I like Soul Calibar. So you know.
If any man says he hates war more than I do, he better have a knife, that's all I have to say.

Offline mac<censored>

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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2003, 03:21:12 PM »
I can't say I've played it all, but I'm currently playing it (I'm very slow), and I'd say hell yeah -- it's far more engaging that most other RPGs I've played.  The story is nothing ground-breaking, but the game tells it very well, and really draws you in.  There's also something really cool about flying around in your sky ship as opposed to yet another trudge to the next town like a typical RPG.  Using a ship to get from place to place feels far more integrated into the non-ship action than the usual `overworld' (which always makes me feel like I'm playing on a gameboard, and ruins any feeling of immersion).

The graphics are certainly not up to gamecube standards as far as polygon count and special effects are concerned, but they're pretty well done for what they are, and some of the design is breathtaking.

Another point that I really appreciate is the lack of the stupid teen angst thing that FF in particular is infested with; the characters in SoA are appealing if a bit one-dimensional.  The villains are also cool, both appealing and dastardly at the same time, in the best movie-villain tradition.

Anyway, unless you're a total graphics whore, or hate all console RPGs, run out and buy this game immediately!

Offline KainMD

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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2003, 01:16:09 AM »
Zach Adams GOD! How I loved that game it begin good but turn amazing half way and end as the best game I've ever seen from the days of NES/Master Systems to date, I've played all Japanese RPGs for Playstation 1/2 and the 2D RPGs for SNES/Genesis and I consider this game the best one of them all!
Check this thread about it in Gamecube discussions

Offline matt oz

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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2003, 08:16:17 AM »
I've played the Dreamcast version almost 2 times completely through.  Although I can't comment on the new things like the wanted battles, I can give you my impressions of the Dreamcast version.

Great.  They have a very unique style, very friendly.  One problem I had with the Dreamcast version (and from screenshots, it looks like it hasn't been changed) is Vyse's shadow.  It doesn't change at all.  It's an oval on the ground.  Link in Ocarina of Time had a more dynamic shadow.  That really annoyed me for some reason.
The monsters are varied.  There's this one boss that looks totally amazing when it does its defensive move.  You'll know when you get to it.
Battle effects are incredible.  Aika's Special Moves, in particular, are great.  At one point, you get two group Special Moves that you can unleash, and Prophecy is one of the most spectacular attacks in the game.

Some of the best video game music I've ever heard.  In my opinion, Majora's Mask had the best video game music ever.  But Skies has some awesome tracks.  My favorite is definitely the song that plays whenever you speak to Ramirez.  I even downloaded the mp3.  Some of the music can get repetitive, like when you're in a dungeon, and some of the battle music.  But it's so well done, that you don't really mind.
Other sounds are well done.  Footsteps change depending on where you step.
There is no voice acting, which I thought was disappointing on the Dreamcast, considering it was on 2 discs.  And I know for sure that this hasn't changed for the GameCube.  All you hear every once in a while is an "uh-huh" or an "aye, aye", or a "hello, handsome".  At this point in gaming, there should be voice acting, no excuses.  It's all or nothing.

Amazing.  Story is amazing.  I've played some RPG's with horrible stories (Grandia II comes to mind), but this one sucks you in.  You play as a group of Blue Rogue air pirates who are the good guys, going against the Black Pirates and the evil Valuan Empire.
There are quite a few random battles.  It gets especially frustrating when you're looking for a certain landmark at one point, and you get attacked every four seconds.  Literally.  Gamespot said that this issue hasn't been resolved, even though the developers said it would be.
The battle system is turn-based, but has a very unique twist.  You have your weapon attacks, and your magic attacks, but there's also a Spirit Meter.  You start every battle with the same amount of spirit points.  You need those to cast magic spells (in addition to MP), and there's also Special Moves you can unleash with spirit points.  This is where the graphics shine, as I've mentioned earlier.
Then there's also ship-to-ship battles where you fight with cannons and magic spells.  These are very tactical, more so than the hand-to-hand battles.  This is where you'll die more often, especially in the beginning.  They're very challenging and a very nice change of pace to the hand-to-hand battles.

Replay Value:
My first time through, I reached the final battle in 50 hours.  There's so many other things to do in the game as well, that I've racked up over 60 hours on my file doing other things.
There are many discoveries to make on your voyage, things like landmarks to find.  Your ship is customizable with 20-something crew members who you must find along your journey.  They contribute attributes to your ship, and can even help in battle, so the more you find, the easier the battles become.

***************** SPOILER ALERT *****************

regarding the final battle:

at the end of the game, you can change your 4th party member to either: Gilder, Enrique, or Drachma.  So after beating the game with one of them, you can go back and do it again with another member.  I found that fun.

***************** END SPOILER ************************

so, that's the end of my review of the Dreamcast version of Skies.
My arbitrary ratings are:

Graphics: 8.0
Sound: 9.5
Gameplay: 9.0
Replay: 8.5

My final score: 9.0

If you've never played it, BUY IT!!!!!!!!
Since I've put in over 100 hours into the Dreamcast version, I don't really plan on purchasing the GameCube version.  When Sega decides to stop porting Dreamcast games (Sonic 1 &2, Skies, PSO) or making monkey games, I'll buy another Sega game.  But that's another topic, sorry.  
Wii Code:  7894 - 4898 - 7716 - 3649

Offline Davideo

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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2003, 05:52:21 PM »
oops.. I had typed out a small review, but I hit the back button on accident.
Anyways heres a quick summary.

The game was exactly what I was looking for.  And that was a traditional RPG with an engaging story.  I hadn't played one since FF8.
I beat in about 55 hours w/ a level 50 main character.
It gets EXTREMELY easy after you get to a certain level, which I found to be the games only flaw.  I walked all over the final few bosses, barely taking any scrapes. And for that I give it 9 out of 10.