Skies of Arcadia Legends
Reviewed: 11/25/2004


The Dreamcast’s Skies of Arcadia was a cult favorite right away, and remains such today. Naturally, the news of the game being ported to a more popular system excited many, for good reason. The fact that extra features would be added made the game appealing to verterns of the original version as well. While Legends is certainly a different game, this will be a pretty short review since most things stayed the same. See our old Dreamcast review for filler. Yeah, my writing style has certainly changed since then, but the point remains the same.

Screen Shot
Watching the sunset and reflecting on life.

Players still control Vyse and his crew of “Blue Rogues,” which entails partying up with two hot women and a variety of gangly dudes in order to prevent the evil empire of Valua from obtaining a cosmic weapon, which they would use to enslave the world. The great thing about this quest is that you get around the world by airship travel. Now, one of the things that really invited a feeling of fun and grandure in the original version was cruising around the gorgeous world in your airship. However, the GC port seems to have lost some graphic quality. Not alot, and not even in all places, but on the world map and in certain shots, cetain colors look “fuzzy” in the same way they might if your computer switches to a lower pixelation. It’s easy to see, and makes the game occasionally look…well, cheap.

In addition to that gripe, in some battles the camera tweaks out for a second or five, which is actually quite hard on the eyes. You see, battles in SoA start out with the camera moving in towards the first attacker, then slowly moving aoround that character for dramatical style while you decide that character’s action. This worked without flaw on the DC, but on the GameCube it sometimes screws up, moving back and forth rapidly, kind of like a broken record. My copy of the game was purchased brand new–this isn’t just me here.

Fortunately for SoAL, there are gameplay additions that make up for some of the debt incurred by technical flaws. For one example, players can now hunt for bounty heads through the sailors’ guild. The bounties you’ll be chasing are evil versions of the game’s three main characters, so the confrontational fights are interesting. More minor touch-ups include the appearances of a few new NPCs, a couple new subquests, and small tweaks to old ones.

All in all, Skies of Arcadia Legends keeps what made the original version a classic. There are minor technical fallbacks, but the great story, unique battle systems (yes, that’s plural) and lovable characters haven’t changed a bit. It can’t be a 10 like the original, but SoA is still amazing.

-Heath Hindman

Score Breakdown
Out of 10
See our Review Criteria
Gameplay Excellent
Story Excellent
Graphics Very Good
Sound/Music Great
Replay Value Great
The Verdict: 9