SummaryNot only is it the best DC rpg but the best rpg in a while.
The GoodSkies of Arcadia was developed by Overworks a Sega department with some of the Phantasy Star designers. It is the best rpg of the Dreamcast, and one of the best in general. Everyone assumed that Grandia II would be the killer app rpg for the Dreamcast. In the end however most agreed Skies of Arcadia was the better game.
Skies of Arcadia takes place in a world of floating islands, where the sky is like the sea. In Arcadia much lies uncharted. Civilizations vie for domination and Air Pirates roam the sky. There are two types of pirates on Arcadia, The Black Pirates, and The Blue Rogues. The Pirates are the scum of the sky, whilst the Rogues are the nobler of the two. For example they only rob Imperial Ships. You play Vyse the Blue Rogue, when he and his friend Aika discover a strange young woman being attacked by Imperials, they aid her. Thus begins their epic quest to stop the evils of the Old World from returning. Skies of Arcadia’s plot had me addicted, seriously. No rpg since Phantasy Star IV, had me this enthralled.
The Graphics were amazing. All the various cultures in Arcadia have a unique look. The characters were all well detailed. The spell and Special Moves all look spectacular. But the S. Moves out do the spells. Even Vyse’s level one move looks awesome. Traveling the skies looks sweet. With good view distance, and only scant pop-up. All the towns, dungeons, and ships are incredibly detailed both on the world map and in full size. And unlike many rpg’s every dungeon is a unique experience. You never feel as if you just did this dungeon. Seeing the new weapons in battle is a treat I found myself compulsively going after ever new weapon just to see it in battle!
The Gameplay is unique in many ways. As I mentioned every single dungeon is unique. And unlike most rpg’s in Skies you start the game with an airship, instead of getting it at the end. There are also ship to ship battles which are some of the coolest segments of the entire game. You fire cannons and build up energy until you can unleash a super move that devastates the enemy! There are traditional character battles, which are made more interesting due to the S. Moves. However like most console rpgs they can get tedious. The boss battles are all good, fortunately.
The Sound and Music. First the sound all the weapon sounds, guns, swords, cannons, etc are convincing, the voice samples are poor, thankfully they are brief. The Music shines, more than making up for the questionable voices. Few rpg’s have a score this good, as few would I own, Skies of Arcadia is one of those few. I cannot think of a track in this game that I do not like.
The BadThe voices are poor. The character battles can get tedious and feel drawn out. And the random encounter rate is way to high.
The Bottom LineIf you own a Dreamcast and haven’t played this one, you owe it to yourself to do so. Don’t miss one of the DC’s best games, and one of the best ever!