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Skies of Arcadia: Legends (GameCube) Review

So, the original Dramcast release came and went. Then the American and UK Gamecube releases too, we bet you thought you were never going to see this review on C3, didn't you? Well, put your minds at rest dear friends, our review of Skies of Arcadia: Legends is here, so you will soon know the definitive answer of whether or not to purchase this beauty. Why did we take so long to get this review out to you, we hear you cry, well it is simple really, SOAL is a big game, not just big, but B-I-G! Clocking in at between 40 and 80 hours depending on how many of the side quests you do, this really is the Gamecube game that gives you value for money. More on that later.

Onto the basics first; SOAL is an RPG, maybe not as stat heavy as some, but still quite intense for the uninitiated. If you are not a fan of turn based battles in the Final Fantasy mould then you may want to give this gem a miss, as even the wonderful storyline and captivating character development may not win you round. On top of this the graphics are obviously not up to scratch with some of the latest next generation titles but, as this is a DC port, you couldn't really expect more, although the popups and pitiful draw distance on the world map is laughable in places. When you can look past the visuals and quite simplistic, in terms of RPGs, battle system this really is the best example of the genre on the 'Cube. Rune? What now?

If you are looking forward to an RPG you should still be reading, if you're not excited you're still probably reading to catch a glimpse of my razor sharp wit, but I digress. So now, if you will forgive us, we will slip into RPG freak speak. To all my freaks out there, 'holler if ya hear me...' SOAL does not take the advanced battle mechanics of FFVII and FFVIII and instead uses a variation of the simplified mechanics that were later used in the phenomenally successful FFX and Grandia 2. That is to say, the battle system is done in turn stages, where you choose the actions of the whole party at the start of the turn and these are played out as the turn progresses, with the enemies you encounter obviously having there turns factored in as well. This differs from FFVII and VIII, as the turn sequences are not played out in real time. On top of this the stat increases come in the form of moonstones – which are used in a similar way to materia of FFVII and if ‘junctioned’ to a weapon you gain points that eventually allow you to learn new spells.

The spells come in six distinct ‘colours’, each of which have a certain attribute – for example yellow indicates lightning and defence lowering spells and red corresponds to fire and spells that increase the attack stats. Your weapon stats are affected by simply purchasing better weapons as the game progresses.

In terms of story line you have the generic RPG fodder, guy fights evil power, guy meets silver haired girl from the sky, guy falls in love, girl gets kidnapped, guy rescues her from evil power, plot to take over the world discovered, you save the world after getting an enormous flying ship, purple whale, Yafamoton princess, big cannons, bad jokes. We would say more but the story is one of the best aspects of the game and we here at C3 do not want to spoil it for you. Rest assured however it is worth every minute.

The original Dreamcast version of this game was immense, but incredibly the wonderful guys and gals over at Sega have seen fit to give us at least another 10 hours of optional gameplay over the original, with more crew mates for your ship, more side quest and more fights.

There is so much more that could be said about this wonderful title, but time and a sense of respect for you prohibits us from going further. Trust us on this one when we say it is worth every penny spent and minute invested. Of course if you do not like RPGs you probably wont get a kick out of this, but if you do, or are looking for somewhere to start, SOAL gets our vote every time.

Gameplay

Not the most advanced and stat heavy RPG ever, but it should , if there is any justice in the world fill the same place on the 'Cube that FFX does on the PS2.

Graphics

Not the greatest in the world, but hey, it is a Dreamcast game. If you can look past the graphics you are onto a winner.

Sound

Captivating, haunting and most importantly, totally in keeping with the feel of the game. Brilliant.

Value

40 - 80 hours! 'Nuff said?

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

A truly brilliant game, that fills the void of RPGs wonderfully. We can but hope that Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles comes anywhere near the awe-inspiring wonderfulness of this modern classic. And with rumours of a Skies of Arcadia 2 being in the pipeline at Sega we are very happy bunnies indeed.

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02.06.2003

2

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Developer

SEGA

Publisher

SEGA

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (21 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

i've been having problems getting in since monday. tonight seems to be really bad for some reason, took me about 10mins and several hundred refreshs to get in.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

We'll be back and running full steam soon enough! :Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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