Where do I begin when trying to review the epic tale Skies of Arcadia: Legends? SoA:L is a polished up version of the Sega Dreamcast game Skies of Arcadia, which was released in late 2000. Other than just clearing up the graphics and clearing out some bugs like most developers do when they port something to another system, Overworks made SoA:L a near flawless game.
You start off as an air pirate by the name of Vyse, who is teamed up with his childhood friend Aika. They are both Blue Rogues who are always looking for adventure. During one of their raids, they come across a Valuan Empire battleship that is chasing after a mysterious girl by the name of Fina, who is intent on saving the world. After you save Fina, Vyse and Aika use her mission as a way to explore the far corners of the world.
The world of Arcadia is a vast sky broken up by airflows and currents. Each continent is actually as set of islands floating in the sky, enchanted by the power of one of the six moons; the green, red, yellow, purple, blue, and silver. Every moon controls different magic powers that are basically elemental-based.
Other than its interesting plot and basic RPG elements (the average talk to people, get a clue on where to go, then proceed), SoA:L is a solid game. Every event in the game really makes you feel like a swashbuckling pirate because you are always getting some sort of pivotal outcome from being the risk-taker and succeeding at it. This leads to the part about making decisions; the more adventurous responses you make, the more Vyse is look up upon amongst townsfolk and feared by lowly enemies.
Instead of having mini-games as a supplement to extend the game’s length, the side quests do that well on their own. There’s a number of different side quests to do, like discovering fabled places and creatures, bounty hunting for some extra cash, looking for treasure, air battling in your ship against opposing pirates and legendary creatures, plus lots of little tasks to occupy your time.
The battle system for both the regular and air battles have a different take on turn-based combat. Instead of heavily relying on how much magic power your characters have or when you get your limit, you rely on team spirit points to do most of your major attacks in air and on land. As a side note, I’d like to mention tat the air battles are like watching a live-action version of the board game Battleship. It looks unbelievably sweet.
If this doesn’t whet your appetite, I don’t know what will. I suggest that everyone who has access to a GameCube makes an effort to play this game. It is definitely a game worth experiencing.