Impressive adventure in the skies
This game really is a dream. I think there is no better way to describe the game's genre than "Sky Adventure". You start with a selection of three planes, and your task is to fly around in a group of four newly discovered, mysterious islands. Your final objective is to find out about the secret of the Tower of Maximus located somewhere in the area, but you'll have much to do before you get there. The missions do not involve combat, nor simple exploration - you'll have to cross caves, refuel from moving trains, survive storms, help other explorers and much more. After each mission, the player receives a rating based on his flying skills and achieved objectives. If you're good enough, you will win more parts and planes as the adventure progresses. There are not many planes, they do not look very good and they do not feel realistic, but you'll forget about this the first time you see the landscapes of the game, which are so wonderfully designed they really take your breath away. This atmosphere is supported by the marvelous soundtrack, which I believe is one of the best game soundtracks I ever heard.
But there is more to Sky Odyssey than the adventure mode. You can also play Sky Canvas, where you have to draw patterns of smoke with your airplane, Target Mode, which resembles a checkpoint course in the air, several Training missions, and of course Free-Flight mode, where you can freely explore the landscapes you discovered in adventure mode, with the airplanes you got in your hangar. The game has much for you to discover.
As stated above, the airplanes could be better. The graphics are technically a bit disappointing, but the great design lets you forget about this. I also think that a bit more realism in the physics engine wouldn't have been bad.
The Bottom Line
Sky Odyssey doesn't try to be a realistic flight simulator. It tries to be a game of wonderful landscapes and mysterious adventures which take place in the air. This mix is a great idea and works very well. The things you will see in this game will make you dream away, and you will long remember the scenic views and the fantastic soundtrack after playing this game for a while. It is one of my Top-3 PS2 games.