Skies of Arcadia Legends
Sega has proven itself many times as a fine developer of role-playing games. The legendary Phantasy Star series is one of the longest running in the genre. But in 2001 Sega released another RPG for its ill-fated Dreamcast – Skies of Arcadia. To this day it is a widely respected game and for 2003 Sega has released a reworked GameCube version. Mmmmm.
You assume control of the unwitting Arcadia hero Vyse a young member of the Blue Rogue pirates. Together with your childhood friend Aika and a mysterious girl named Fina you find yourself locked in an epic struggle with a powerful enemy nation for the fate of the world. Okay not the most inspired story we’ve heard but you get the idea.
A beautiful real-time introduction captures the setting of Arcadia Legends brilliantly. From this moment on the entirety of your adventure is played as you would expect in full 3D. Wandering through narrow hallways and exploring vast environments becomes second nature in a role-playing game of this breed but a full 3D camera makes the adventure much easier to navigate.
Shortly after your adventure begins you’ll inevitably discover the world of Arcadia isn’t as friendly as you first thought. Enemies and hostile creatures are in abundance here so expect to be fighting a plethora of unwanted battles on your travels. But this isn’t a bad thing – it’s a common trademark of the genre. Armed with some 70 weapons and several dozen magic spells many of which must be earned as your progress you’ll have all the time in the world to hone your skills and become an unstoppable hero. Battles are a turn-based affair and any players still standing at the end of a victorious battle will typically receive experience points and acquire any items the opposition has left behind.
Skies of Arcadia bears striking similarities to Square’s later Final Fantasy games only with a slightly less complicated plot and gameplay. Its approach is different too. Where Final Fantasy is in many places driven by cut-scenes and endless menus Arcadia Legends offers a more user friendly experience which is admirable for a role-playing game.——
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