SEGA of America, Inc.
Jan 29, 2003
You are Vyse, a young pirate on a quest to save Arcadia. Wage battle against an evil Empire as you make a name for yourself on land and in the sky. Will you become a Legend?
- New “Wanted” Battles, new characters, weapons, and more!
- An improved battle engine featuring spectacular special attacks
- Experience the Director’s Cut with hours of new gameplay!
- Employ devastating weapons and magic
- Explore a full 3D world to recruit up to 22 crew members
Getting excited for the release of a game is both joy and torture. The only title that ever gave me the best and worst of these feelings was the original Skies Of Arcadia on the Sega Dreamcast. A stand out title for the flaling next gen console, SOA was easily up there with Final Fantasy with its enjoyable story, charasmatic characters, inventive battle system and huge world to explore.
After the Gamecube entered the console market, SOA Legends made an appearence…….. or reappearence if you prefer. This wasnt just a direct port by any means. The graphics were polished, the encounter system was lessened (not by much mind you), content was added and the game just had a more finished and defined feeling that its original release. The story still the same of course…. you control Vyse, an air pirate who along with his best friend Aika find a mysterious girl named Fina who is on a mission to save the world from the Valuan empire. They aim to use the power of ancient stones to summon gigantic creatures to rule Arcadia.
Nothing new main story wise of course but the inclusion of a side story starring the rather intimidating Piastol makes for a rather heartfelt tale. New discoveries have also been added to please the explorers in gaming. every corner of the world map has been littered with secret locations which can be sold to guild offices for cash and then there is the new bounties. Basically boss battles but if completed a huge reward is waiting as well as a bit of backstory on the boss you defeated. The battles remain the same as the formula did not need changing, random encounters, turn based choices during fights where the stats determine who attacks first and how much damage is shelled out and so on.
Sounds all familiar of course, untill you bring the spirit bar into the battle. Each turn the bar raises higher enabling you to use super moves or magic spells and more. You will visit many continents in the game ranging from deserts to jungles each affected by the games colored moons. PThe towns and villages are buzzing with activity. Wandering round with beautifully crafted background music playing makes the hours fly by, exploring new areas is no chore and you will find yourself easily humming the tunes the next day. Its these small touches that made me fall in love with SOA on the Dreamcast and Legends does a great job of renewing interest with its new addons. So much so tht I owe my online handle (OArcadiaSkiesO) to it.
There is more than enough of the old for late visiters to the skies such as the ship battles and swash buckling ratings to stay interested. Sure the random encounters can be irritating at times and you can find yourself shouting at the screen after the 5th battle in 2 minutes but the delays are definetly worth it and thats all I can really complain about as the 40+ hour adventure has very few shortcomings. So little in fact….. that the only thing that would really upset you about the game is the end credits.
Sheldon James Stokes