Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Sep 192022

Yarr, today be International Talk Like a Pirate Day, me hearties, so why not talk about our favorite air pirates?

(I hoped I might have a short pirate-themed game to review, but I couldn’t find one in time.)

Over two years have passed since a Skies of Arcadia programmer said he hoped renewed attention toward Skies of Arcadia could lead Sega to make a sequel. Nothing has happened since then.

Meanwhile, a few months ago, Sega’s financial report mentioned that they intended to release more remasters and remakes. We’ve seen some of that already, with the Persona remasters and the newly-announced Like a Dragon Ishin remake. Could Skies of Arcadia have a chance of being included?

Currently, the only way to play Skies of Arcadia is to either get the original Dreamcast game or the improved GameCube port, Skies of Arcadia Legends. Neither of those is exactly easy to do nowadays.

I loved Skies of Arcadia, and I want it to get the attention it deserves. I’d also love to see its characters return for a new adventure.

So on this International Talk Like a Pirate Day, let’s show a little love for the pirates of Skies of Arcadia and hope that next year at this time, we’ll have Skies of Arcadia news to celebrate.

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Jan 132020

Is there hope for a Skies of Arcadia sequel?

Kenji Hiruta, who worked as a programmer on Skies of Arcadia, recently tweeted about the new Skies of Arcadia illustration that was revealed. He followed that by tweeting about a chance for overseas fans to win an autograph from Itsuki Hoshi, the Skies of Arcadia illustrator.

In his final tweet about the autograph, Hiruta added, “I believe that if this kind of movement expands a lot, SEGA may consider to develop the sequel.”

Sounds like it’s time to tell Sega we want another Skies of Arcadia game.

This is no guarantee Sega will actually make a Skies of Arcadia sequel, or that it has enough interested fans to get their attention in the first place. However, if it really did get a lot of attention, maybe it’s possible. I’d love to see a Skies of Arcadia 2 happen, especially since it felt to me like the universe left plenty of room for a sequel.

Last April, a Kotaku interview with Skies of Arcadia’s producer Rieko Kodama suggested a remaster or sequel were both unlikely due to the GameCube version being the “director’s cut” of the game (although I’m not sure how that rules out a sequel), but we can still hope, right?

Do you think fan interest will lead to a Skies of Arcadia sequel?

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Apr 012019

Recently, I played a JRPG I’ve been interested in for quite a while: Skies of Arcadia (or to be more precise, Skies of Arcadia Legends on the GameCube).

Skies of Arcadia is set in a world of floating islands, with a strong emphasis on airship travel. In fact, you have an airship from the very beginning, and flying through the sky’s “oceans” essentially acts as the overworld.

You play as Vyse, a young air pirate who dreams of having his own ship. Now, there are two factions of air pirates in Skies of Arcadia: Blue Rogues and Black Pirates. Black Pirates are what you probably think of pirates as – criminals who attack other ships to steal from them, regardless of who they are or who might get hurt.

Blue Rogues, meanwhile, are basically what people think of when they romanticize pirates – daring heroes who search for treasure and adventure and fight for justice. The Blue Rogues never attacked unarmed ships or merchants, and they mainly fight the oppressive Valuan Empire (or Black Pirates).

Vyse and his close friend Aika are Blue Rogues. When they rescue a mysterious girl named Fina, they soon join her mission to find the powerful Moon Crystals before the Empire can use them to threaten the world.

The story is pretty straightforward, with nothing too unpredictable, but it’s well-told and I enjoyed it a lot. The main characters are likable and there’s a fair amount of humorous moments alongside the more serious scenes.

It’s a turn-based JRPG, with some interesting combat ideas that don’t quite meet their potential. Magic only costs 1 MP to use, along with an SP cost. SP (Spirit Points) is used for both magic and for S Moves, special skills each character has. That opens up a lot of options… but after a certain point, once you have more SP available, saving up SP to use your strongest S Moves is so much better than any other strategy that I almost never used magic or even regular attacks anymore.

Meanwhile, there is no traditional overworld as I mentioned earlier. Instead, you’ll fly your airship from one location to the next. I liked that, although the random encounters during flight annoyed me and made me explore less than I normally would.

(Every time I got annoyed with the frequency of random encounters, I reminded myself that the GameCube version improved the encounter rate from the original Dreamcast version.)

When you are exploring, there are numerous Discoveries for you to search for. I love this in concept, but I much preferred the Discoveries that you can actually see and go investigate, versus the ones that are invisible and you have to find by getting directions to.

There are also separate airship battles, which are a lot of fun aside from the animations taking a long, long time to get through. (I could leave the room to do something and come back to find the turn still playing out.)

Don’t let these little criticisms make it sound like I didn’t like it, however. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed Skies of Arcadia, and I really wish they had made a sequel to it… or at least a newer remaster/port, since it’s pretty hard to find nowadays.

Have you played Skies of Arcadia? Do you think we’ll ever see a sequel or spiritual successor, or even a remaster?

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