Editorial: Airborne Adventures

There are many ways in which to reach the clouds above us: airplanes, helicopters, hot air balloons, and the occasional high-powered bottle rocket. Earlier this very morning the clouds fought against Adeki’s publication of his weekly editorial and stole his electricity. However, Reetin was extremely helpful and was able to take Adeki up to the clouds to talk to them. Unfortunately the clouds did not give Adeki his electricity back and now he owes Reetin $500 for the ride, but every cloud has a silver lining right? Nevertheless this editorial will highlight three games that take place above ground either in full or just for a majority of the time.

Why not just make this an expansion? Why a separate game?

Alliance looks MUCH better than the original.

The first game that will be highlighted in this editorial is Guns of Icarus which is not about the mythical Icarus who flew too close to the sun and then tried to shoot it with whatever would have been an acceptable substitute for a gun at the time (a slingshot?). Instead Guns of Icarus is a steampunk-themed first-person shooter where teams of four pilot a large airship and battle it out against another team of four while also being sure to avoid storms and large landmasses. The game originally launched all the way back in 2012 and since then has had a notable drop-off in terms of player count which has in turn led to negative Steam reviews as those who still enjoy the game are unable to find a match in a timely fashion. While the initial concept of Guns of Icarus may have sounded appealing five years ago, the developers have lost many players. No doubt due to the fact that the game looked like it was an early access title when it comes to visuals and polish many years after release the fact that the developers have now released a “definitive” version of the game titled Guns of Icarus Alliance which is $15 while the original continues to be sold for $5. To release an expansion of an online multiplayer game is one thing, but to release a second version for $10 more than the original and then effectively abandon the original title is a separate matter entirely. While the definitive version continues to be updated and a PlayStation 4 release is scheduled for 2018 only time will tell if the player-base is to rise again.

Maybe next year Lusipurr will find a way to include Vyse and company in Terra's escape from Narshe.

Here comes the song again!

Second at bat is Skies of Arcadia originally released for the Dreamcast in 2000 where players follow the story of Vyse, a teenage air pilot who is a member of the Blue Rogues along with his friends Aika & Fina. A fourth party member will also be assigned to the party between three different characters (Drachma, Glider, and Enrique) although this can cycle throughout the story. As implied by the title and the term “air pirates,” Skies of Arcadia is centered around airships which travel throughout the world commandeered by their crew in search of treasures. Although it is structured like a traditional JRPG with a party system and experience points, the game had a larger focus on exploration. After its release Skies of Arcadia was met with extremely positive critical reception and continues to be regarded as one of the best games released for the Dreamcast, although sales were not exceptionally high. A GameCube port of the game was released three years later although aside from these two editions the game has not been seen in the marketplace since aside from some of the characters appearing in other Sega franchises. The most noticeable being Valkyria Chronicles which includes Vyse and Aika as optional playable characters while Fina makes a cameo as being a non-playable medic. Vyse and Fina also appear in the anime adaptation of Valkyria Chronicles while Aika is absent, but that is still no replacement for wanting a modern re-release on PC.

He even made a friend!

Honest Abe took a dark turn.

Last up is Bioshock Infinite which does not shock the player upon entry nor does it contain an infinite or even near infinite amount of content. Lying aside, the third entry in the “Bioshock” franchise takes place in the flying city of Columbia where main character Booker DeWitt is on a mission to save Elizabeth from Columbia. This then takes the duo through a series of rigorous trials and self-realizations which all ends up with at least two drownings. Be sure to note the word “flying” as Columbia is in fact suspended in the air through a variety of methods including giant blimps, propellers, and quantum levitation. Ignoring the questionable physics, Bioshock Infinite was extremely well received at the time and won many Game of the Year awards by the end of 2013. Since then it has been released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as one third of Bioshock: The Collection which includes Bioshock, Bioshock 2, Bioshock Infinite and all of the respective games DLC. So, as long as the player does not have a fear of heights or giant mechanical birds, it is highly recommended to go out and pick up the trilogy for the console or computer of their choosing.

That is it for this week’s editorial! Have you played and/or enjoyed any of the games featured in this editorial? Maybe you have a different favorite game that takes place primarily above ground. Or, maybe you have an idea for a future editorial. Whatever the case may be, make sure to leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

9 Comments

  1. Lusipurr
    Posted 2017.10.04 at 14:45 | Permalink

    I knew it was going to be about Skies of Arcadia.

  2. Durga Syn
    Posted 2017.10.04 at 19:45 | Permalink

    “Games that take place in the sky” is a pretty broad category.

  3. Adeki
    Posted 2017.10.04 at 20:24 | Permalink

    @Lusipurr: It’s all part of an advanced ARG campaign where all of my editorials have secretly been about Skies of Arcadia.

    @Durga Syn: I’m a broad person!

  4. Lusipurr
    Posted 2017.10.05 at 00:41 | Permalink

    As I recall, Skies of Arcadia was Mel’s favourite game.

    Which reminds me how must I miss Mel, and how much I hate you.

  5. Adeki
    Posted 2017.10.05 at 13:39 | Permalink

    @Lusipurr: I’m glad I could remind you of happier times.

  6. Tanzenmatt
    Posted 2017.10.06 at 09:28 | Permalink

    Oh man, so many great games you could cover with this topic. Balloon Fight, U.N. Squadron, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, the list goes on.

  7. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2017.10.07 at 09:56 | Permalink

    Baten Kaitos would have also been appropriate for the article.

  8. Adeki
    Posted 2017.10.07 at 20:43 | Permalink

    @Tanzenmatt: You give me ideas like that and games that take place in the sky will be the only post I do for weeks!

    @SiliconNoob: That would’ve been good too!

  9. Lusipurr
    Posted 2017.10.08 at 19:14 | Permalink

    The last thing we need is an Adeki article confusing Balloon Fight with me and Reetin arguing on Twitter.