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Skies of Arcadia

So far, the Dreamcast has been starved of great RPG's. The PlayStation has had many (Final Fantasies 7 to 9, Chrono Cross and Vagrant Story coming to mind...) and even the Saturn had greats (like the original Grandia, Shining Force 3 and the all powerful Panzer Dragoon Saga...). But where has our great RPG got to? Well, it is actually almost upon us! And so, it's preview time!!!

Skies of Arcadia... funny name!

Well, there is a reason behind it.

Is there?

Well, yes...

Oh! Do proceed!

Thank you... I shall!

You see the game, a role-playing game, is set in a world known as Arcadia. The funny thing about Arcadia, however, is that it is situated in the skies! The land floats in the sky.

So, how do the people get from place to place?

Well, how would you usually? By magical flying ships, of course!!!

Of course...

So, basically, you fly around on your pirate ship, from island to island.

So, basically, you fly around on your pirate ship, from island to island?

Yes... thatís what I said!

Oh! Okay! Just making sure...

Yes, quite... Anyway, the main hero is a pirate named Vyse. He is a light-hearted fellow who is the leader of the Blue Rogues. He and his friend and colleague, Aika, fly the skies stealing from the rich so they can enjoy the riches themselves. They are actually the good pirates in this game. There are much darker powers in the world of Arcadia, And at the beginning, you encounter one of these evils... a warship from the all-conquering bad empire called Valua. The leader of the nasty Valua Empire is trying to capture the pilot of a small vessel. Vyse and Aika go to the rescue, but when they save the pilot, they have no idea what they are getting themselves into, as it seems that this person is very important... and this drags you into the main plot!

Ooh! I'm engrossed already!!!

I know! Sounds great huh?

Well, typical RPG fare, but still...

The story goes a lot deeper than that, you know! After a few hours of playing, I'm told the story takes a great turn! Anyway, enough about the story! Suffice to say, it is very, VERY good!

Okie Dokie! So... on to the gameplay then, I guess!

Yup! This baby has so much going for it in this department! Along with the engrossing story, there are many, many sub quests that can be engaged in and some secret areas to find! Also, battles are fun!

Yes, all RPG's have battles!

I know, smart arse! The battles in Skies of Arcadia are just as good as any other game too! Turn-based affairs, they incorporate a few new ideas. These include the 'spirit meter' which power for special attacks and magic spells is taken from. You can charge this up in battle using the 'charge' ability. This may take up a turn, but it will give you more 'spirit' to perform a great attack or magic spell a little later on!

Whoa! Sounds pretty cool! So, what about these graphics I've been hearing about then?

In a word... breathtaking! They look bright and colourful and full of life. Some of, if not the best, graphics on the Dreamcast so far. See for yourself in the pictures!!!

Oh yeah! Impressive! So, when will I be seeing this fantastic RPG?

It is due for release here in mid-April (check our release calendar!).

Cool! Well, I'll be looking out for that then!

And so you should! Any further questions?

Well, now you mention it, you DIDN'T mention anything about Grandia 2 and PSO at the beginning of this here preview! Are they not great RPG's?

Well, of course! But they don't look quite like Skies of Arcadia! We will have reviews of all three games up as soon as possible; so keep an eye out, as we tell you which is best!!!

Will do mate! Thanks a lot!

No probs!

Andrew Dickinson, andy@dreamcastsource.co.uk

Anticipation rating:

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Previewer:

Andy

Developer Overworks
Publisher SEGA
Genre RPG
Players 1

 

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