[It's time for another Monthly Musing -- the monthly community blog theme that provides readers with a chance to get their articles and discussions printed on the frontpage. -- CTZ]
I have traveled beyond the sunset. I have lifted the veil and gazed into the shining blue yonder. The edge of the world is never just so; there is always more to experience, more to imbibe, and more to soak in.
The world of Arcadia fascinated me from the moment I took the helm. Air ships were the main mode of transportation between floating masses of land. Even the Blue Rogues' headquarters was located in a secret dock within one of these miraculously hovering islands. Before I had even made it back to base I had already discovered a landmark that no one else in this world had seen! What other secrets lay hidden across the globe? For all I knew, the world was a flat place where dangerous creatures lay in wait at the edge, mouth agape. I immediately had a sense of excitement instilled in me.
Open air carries with it the scent of adventure. From the highest point on Pirate Isle, you can almost taste it.
The magic system directly ties in to the world. Each moon signifies specific spell groups, and within these groups there is balance. Green can heal as well as poison; Silver can revive as well as kill.
As a fan of swashbuckling, the aesthetic of fighting on the deck of a ship has always been appealing: my dastardly crew awaiting the enemy onslaught with swords (or flintlocks) in hand. Skies of Arcadia has this in spades. The reputation system in the game is a fantastic idea, allowing the player to give some control over their dialog but rewarding them for doing the right thing. I felt like it was me who made Vyse the fearsome little devil he had become. I had accomplished those tasks, discovered those lost continents, defeated those pirates or imperials, and I did it with style. Even more stylish than the random battles, were the ship to ship encounters. I often felt hunted when a Black Pirate ship appeared on the horizon, knowing they were out to plunder me or collect the bounty on my head.
The game was not satisfied with just having the standard ship against ship battles repeat themselves. I fought demons taller than mountains. I struggled for my life in deep air knowing the vanquished would be crushed under the pressure. I even took part in an all out war against a massive battle station.