Overworks tells all about Legends release
Sega Overworks' GameCube based Skies of Arcadia Legends will be a fairly significant update to its Dreamcast forebear. According to product manager Rich Briggs, speaking in a conference call to US journalists, the game length has increased by 5-10 hours with all the new optional quests and activities, bringing the total up to between 40 and 50 to complete the game in its entirety. Yeeowch.
As Skies fans will recall, but Cube owners ignorant of this great Dreamcast epic will not, the RPG is about flying air ships and cloud kingdoms - two Blue Rogue pirates, Vyse and Aika, are on a quest to defeat the Value Empire, gather the six sacred moonstones (with apologies to Wilkie Collins) and save the world. With the help of a dashing princess called Fina, naturally.
But lets get back to the changes. Specifically, Overworks has overhauled the battle engine (increasing the speed and peripheral action between party members/enemies), scrapped the Dreamcast VMU mini-game (in favour of a new female character whose pet needs moon fish, and whose father will tell you about new enemies if you continue to feed it), upped the graphical ante (with remodelling, retouching and even the addition of facial expressions) and introduced GTA3 style 'wanted ratings' (allowing you to become Vyse the Fearless, Vyse the Fallen Pirate and others depending on your skill).
Furthermore, a significant section of the new, optional quests will be to do with so-called "wanted battles". These contests will introduce you to eight special groups of pirates who occupy Arcadia. Each has a bounty on their head, and you are rewarded handsomely for defeating them - conquer a group of imposters (Vize, Anita and Faina) for example, and you'll pick up a secret weapon only available by download to Dreamcast owners.
On the technical side of things, Briggs said that the game would ship on one disc (the DC version came on two) and that it would support Dolby Pro Logic II for surround sound - but not progressive scan display.
Asked about a sequel, Briggs confirmed that Sega and Overworks are considering it, but wouldn't be drawn on details, platform etc. It seems obvious though that having targeted the Cube for its lack of RPG content, Overworks will want to gauge reaction before committing to a sequel on the platform. Equally, they won't want to damage Legends' sales by announcing it for anything else, either - we should hear about Skies 2 once Arcadia Legends is past its sell by date.