Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Skies are Endless

The 'Currently Playing' list on the side looks like it might be stuck for a while, because Skies of Arcadia is taking forever.

I know I've spent a lot of time looking for Discoveries in the game, and the game's encounter frequency just makes this an exercise in frustration and tedium. A game about exploring and yet you can't walk or fly longer than fifteen or twenty seconds before you're halted by another fight.

If the game was just 'straight lines' between towns or dungeons, then the encounter rate wouldn't be all that bad. BUT. They want you to find stuff. Not just secret stuff scattered around the map, but you often have to search out your next location based on the plot or dialogue. It isn't usually super far away or hidden to any real degree... but any looking around you have to do AT ALL will be utterly plagued with random encounters.

Actually, the word 'random' is kinda stupid in this case, because the frequency of them is all too predictable. Choose one; a) as soon as you think you're going the right way, b) if you are impatient to advance the plot, c) right now. Any one of those criteria filled seemingly triggers another battle. I'll tell you one thing. I have yet to enter a single boss fight where I didn't feel completely comfortable with my items, spells, and levels. Y'know why? Because the game basically makes you grind, grind, grind, just to get anywhere. You don't have to force yourself to do it to make sure you are powerful enough... it's going to happen to you anyway. You are going to fight and gain levels and gold whether you fucking well like it or not.

There are six major treasures (plot-crucial items) and therefore theoretically six chapters or stretches of the game. But that doesn't take into account a sort of 'prologue' stretch, a separation from your shipmates stretch, and a earn and crew your own ship stretch, that are each about as long as one of the basic six. So I've plunked in about 35 hours and I'm just getting to area of the third treasure, and I've had the second one for umpteen hours now.

The plot and cutscenes are fun and interesting. I really do want to see how this is going to go and have scrupulously avoided all references to the narrative or the battles coming up. I've used a FAQ once. When something I was navigating to find was just not appearing to me, and I got tired of all the fights while I tried to find it.

50 hours my ass. How would this game be 50 hours long (DC version) if you actually hunted out all the discoveries? Honestly.

I still like the game, but this sure as shit reminds me why I've long since gotten stuck on the idea that I 'don't have time' for RPGs.

And I want to play Baroque at some point in the future. I must be insane.


  1. Took me 80 hours to beat this. Still haven't recovered from it.

  2. I'm at hour 53 and I'm actually winding the game down. Avoiding looking at guides I THINK I'm almost to the end. Assuming I don't have monumental trouble with the end bosses I'm guessing I have less than three hours to go. I have NOT tried to find all the discoveries in the game. I have all but seven or eight I think, but the desire to find them (or all possible crew members) just got beaten right out of me by all the encounters.

  3. I'll have to dig up my save file dude. I finished it at the 50 hour mark though and I found everything. I ate this damn game up.

  4. The comments read like classic guy "measuring" in reverse. Heh.