Skyborn is one of the games that I’m playing while waiting for FFX/X2 HD Remasted to be released and delivered to my door on a red cushion.
It turns out it was a good choice because the graphical style reminds me a lot of Final Fantasy VI.
Skyborn follows the tale of Claret Spencer, a human mechanic who spends her days fixing skyships. The city she lives in us under the dominion of Skyborn, a race of winged magic users.
The story starts when her brother decides to sell the family workshop and as part of the deal he has arranged her marriage to the son of a local rich merchant. Claret is not a fan of this plan and one thing lead to another and an epic journey to free humanity from Skyborn rule ensues.
While the story is not exactly mind blowing; it is told in a very interesting way and has enough twists and turns to keep things interesting and the fact that the protagonists is a female character makes it sadly unique in RPGs and games in general.
The graphics are in the classic RPG style with a modern feel and this is probably due to that fact that it was made using RPG maker. I thought the graphics were really lovely and colourful; which is nice to see as a lot of modern RPGs like to go all gritty and have a brownish colour palate.
As with all RPGs you spend a lot of your time gathering party members and Dancing Dragon games have managed to give each party member a unique personality and even though they only ever speak at plot designated times, you really get to know them.
The combat is turn based which suits this type of game well and it is very straight forward and easy to get to grips with. Mostly its based around threat, the characters with the highest threat is the character that will be attacked, not necessarily anything new to those familiar with MMORPGs but Skyborn provides a helpful bar to let you know how much threat each of your characters have, so its easier to manage.
Leveling up is done automatically, once enough xp has been gained and skills are earned as your level up. Throughout the game you’ll be given an opportunity to choose a class for your characters which will determine what skills they learn next. HINT – I would super recommend fighting in the colosseum as it will lead to the third class change but is optional content.
Most of the customisation comes through deciding what armour, weapons and accessories to equip your party with. Many of the names and abilities of the accessories will be very familiar to any who has played a Final Fantasy game, there is even a Ribbon and bet you can’t guess what that does.
I went with a very damage focused party with a healer to make sure no one ko’d but you can mix and match the equipment to meet your needs. You can also augment equipment with material Claret finds to make sure it suits your party.
Equipment is either bought or created by Claret using ores gathered from mines. I made a lot of my gear but I would recommend buying the armour and making the weapons. Bought armour and made armour are identical were as Claret can use more ore to make a better weapon.
Overall I enjoyed the time I spent with Skyborn, its a lovely looking game and the soundtrack is fabulous and really sets the scene. The characters are interesting and have enough depth to allow you to pick a favourite. Claret in particular is well written, funny and an enjoyable protagonist to play. Non party characters do tend to be extremly 1 dimensional though.
The combat can get a bit boring but Skyborn doesn’t have random battles, instead battles are represented by a monster wondering about on the map, so you can avoid them if you want and xp is earned by exploring as well as from battles so I never felt like I had to battle or else lose out on xp.
And while the story does have some plot holes, it is interesting and keeps your attention throughout the game.
So, I’m recommending Skyborn, especially for those that enjoyed the early Final Fantasy games. You can buy it from Steam (as its a PC only game, probably should’ve mentioned it earlier), but you might want to wait for a sale as it is a short enough game. I completed pretty much everything and got it finished in 10 hours and others seem to have gotten it finished in much shorter times.
And thus ends my first proper review of a game. If you play Skyborn let me know what you think, I’ve tried to be as spoiler free as possible so I’d love to discuss it with someone who has played it. Also let me know what you think of this review that I’ve cobbled together from my random thoughts.