Game needing a sequel: Skies Of Arcadia
Original game format: Dreamcast, with an enhanced port on the Gamecube.
Why is needs a sequel: While the Final Fantasys and Dragon Quests of the world are either in or nearing double figures, Skies Of Arcadia remains a single, solitary diamond of a game, gleaming ever brighter the longer it stands alone.
Skies exists in a unique world as well-realised and vibrant as those of any of the RPG big boys. Its epic tale of steampunk air pirates refreshingly side-steps the overblown emo histrionics we see far too much of, creating much more likeable and affecting characters as a result. The production design is as intricate and imaginative as that of any game of its era, and the combat system is simple enough for a novice to pick up but deep enough to provide some deeply satisfying tactical play with a bit of experience. Oh, and did we mention that you can fight in airships? Bloody airships! This game is gold, and you have to play it. Wii owners, pick up the GC version right now.
What we want from a sequel: Don’t mess too much with the concept, but don’t give us a complete re-tread either. Skies Of Arcadia thrives on its world and its charismatic characters, so both need to be preserved in a new adventure. As long as new characters are mixed in with the old ones we love and we get a vast new sky to explore with locations designed with the same imagination of the original, very little else needs to change. The potential of a current gen Skies sequel is all about the little tweaks and improvements that modern technology can bring.
The game looked gorgeous on the DC, and still does, but just imagine the sense of majesty and freedom that would come from sailing through an endless blue sky rendered on a 360 or PS3. Dynamic cloud and weather effects would both add to the spectacle and bring a whole new element of danger and skill to navigating your ship through the stratosphere.
The game world could be massively bigger than the original’s, and DLC would be ideal for expanding a world truly without boundaries by adding new islands and quests after the game’s release. And actually, why not go the whole hog and really latch onto the game’s sense of exploration and endeavour by using Xbox Live and PSN to give Skies’ career elements a kick? If we had the option of meeting other players to trade rare loot, crew members, and even ships, we’d never want to come down.