Skies of Arcadia Legends

Review

posted 3/20/2003 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: GC
The days of adventurers and pirates are just one of those many romanticized time periods that seem to have been all but ignored by the video game industry. Along with old time westerns, games about pirates rarely seem to be given the respect one would think they deserve.

In the past pirate games have either been really good, as in the case with Sid Meier’s classic Pirates! Gold, or really bad, like Space Pirates on the 3DO. Either way, the titles are few and far between, and rarely do you see more than one swashbuckling title per system. But the times may be changing, and the era of skulls, crossbones, explorers, and the pirates, may just be coming back for another try.

In many ways Skies of Arcadia Legends is reminiscent to the recently released, and poorly received, Disney cartoon Treasure Planet. Of course, the product is ripe for comparisons, what with the pirates and the flying boat theme, but in reality Skies of Arcadia came first. You see, this is a port to a Dreamcast game of the same name (minus the “Legends”).


The pirate's cure for constipation. Hold on tight kids!

This version is a longer, more polished, and graphically enhanced, however, giving you more than enough reason to take a second look at the title. Over the last year, companies have done everything in their power to bring back past franchises, and while some are going for name recognition, Skies of Arcadia is simply going for ANY kind of recognition. Here’s a title that was fresh and creative when it was first released, and yet nobody seemed to think twice about it.

Skies of Arcadia is one of those games that from the very start sucks you in, and keeps you hooked even when it becomes silly and unrealistic. It’s one of those classic role-playing games that reminds you what it was like before long-winded games relied on cinemas filled with great graphics, surround sound, and professionally delivered voice acting. This is a game that reminds us how much fun it is to simply follow a couple of interesting, yet unlikely heroes off on an adventure not even they can’t fathom.

Enter Vyse and Aika, a couple of “friendly” pirates who seem to always have a smile on their face and an optimistic outlook on hand. You can think of them as the Donny and Marie Osmond of the pirate trade. These swashbucklers navigate the world looking out for evil in whatever form it takes.

It’s on one of these adventures where the young pirates meet, as in steal, a mystery girl by the name of Fina. Unbeknownst to the crew, but outwardly evident to everybody playing the game, this mystery girl held the secrets to a whole adventure. An adventure filled with bizarre characters, hundreds of air ships, and an occasionally interesting story. All this leads to the biggest, and most impressive role-playing game to grace the GameCube.
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