The Definitive 50 GameCube Games: #27 Skies of Arcadia Legends

The series so far: The Definitive 50 GameCube Games.

Following the Dreamcast’s early and unfortunate demise, Sega ported many of that console’s finest games to the systems of its former competitors.

For the GameCube, this meant great titles like Sonic Adventure, Crazy Taxi, Phantasy Star Online, and today’s game, Skies of Arcadia.

This is no quick port, but rather an upgraded version featuring new content and graphical tweaks. You can tell it’s different, because the word Legends has been added to the title. Perhaps the biggest change is a reduction in the game’s all-too-frequent random encounter rate.

In Skies of Arcadia, you take on the role of air pirate Vyse, a spunky Blue Rogue who wields dual cutlasses. Joining him are childhood friend and boomerang thrower Aika, Silvite Fina, mechanically enhanced Drachma, and others. The team is on a mission to collect six Moon Crystals, summon the legendary Gigas, and save the world from the repressive Valuan Empire.

Most of the game plays out like your standard turn-based Japanese RPG fare. You’ll traverse dungeons, cast magic spells, and level your dudes.

It’s the ship to ship combat, however, that really stands out. Serious strategy is needed to plan out battles and handle your ship against enemy forces. Plus, they really makes you feel like a true air pirate.

It’s hard to deny that Skies of Arcadia has its problems. Despite enhancements over its Dreamcast predecessor, Legends still looks antiquated next to most other GameCube games, and enemy encounters are still too many.

Get past those problems, though, and you’ll be playing one of the GameCube’s finest RPGs.

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