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Skies of Arcadia

video game review video game review video game review video game review Video Game Review: Skies of Arcadia Publisher: Sega
Category: Role-Playing
Platform: Dreamcast
ESRB Rating: Teen    Release Date: November 2000

Overall Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 4

Review by Tom Allen
3½ Stars out of 4

The opening montage in Skies of Arcadia assures you that greatness is just around the corner. The title screen, with its unintended imitation of Pomp and Circumstance, is also representative of the smoothness of the overall product. The color-changing clouds are a thing of beauty.

But enough minor details! What about the game? Well, let it be known that the heart of Skies of Arcadia is, well, the skies. Traditional RPG staples like airships and exotic heroes (pirates, in this case) are mixed with new and innovative ideas. For example, the game features airship-to- airship battles.

Another innovation is the spirit system. As you fight, you gain spirit points that the party earns as a group. No single member of the party has spirit points. When you use the Focus option in battle, you can cast magic by drawing from this "pool of spirit points." This style keeps the game play simple and swiftly paced.

The graphics are crisp and colorful, and the dialogue is kept at reasonable levels to prevent boredom. The dungeons are fairly simple, but they are well-designed. You really get the sense of being someplace, as opposed to walking from map design to map design, if that makes any sense.

The final boss in Skies of Arcadia is a real doozy. Prepare for a battle that can easily last an hour. Thankfully, the rest of the game does not dare be so tedious. Skies of Arcadia is a must- buy for RPG fans.

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