|LOST ODYSSEY REVIEW
||[Apr. 12th, 2008|12:15 pm]
|[||Tags|||||cooke, gongora, jansen, kaim, lost odyssey, lost odyssey review, mack, ming, sarah, sed, seth, tolten||]|
|||||What you are - Lost Odyssey OST||]|
Lost Odyssey review
Left to right: Mack, Cooke, Sarah, Kaim, Seth, Sed, Jansen, Ming, Tolten and Gongora
Story overview: Lost Odyssey is a Role Play Game made by Hironobu Sakaguchi, the maker of the Final Fantasy series and is played on the XBOX360 with music by Nobuo Uematsu, the main composer for Final Fantasy games.
We start with the character Kaim, a sombre, serious man who is immortal and who has lost all of his memories of the last 1000 years in some mysterious way. We learn about his past through dreams which are collected throughout the game which includes time on the battlefield and families and friends he’s lost over the years. Kaim is not the only immortal however, along the way to our destination we meet 3 other immortal characters who have also lost their memories and must struggle to regain them.
Kaim is ordered to investigate odd goings on in the world and sets out to investigate a suspicious magic ‘staff’ that’s leaking magic into the atmosphere, originally with Seth and the womanising drunk mortal Jansen who both see as a joke.
The story unwinds and suddenly everything is pretty insane and of course there’s a huge battle in the end, I’ll leave you to figure out whom against.
Three pieces of scenery.
Character descriptions contain details such as what position each character fills in your party and basic information about the character. There are no major plot spoilers but please read at your own risk if you don’t want to know anything about the game’s characters.
( Character Descriptions with Pictures MAY CONTAIN SPOILERSCollapse )
Gameplay: Game play was almost always good, that is literally running around and doing things with your character. You could zoom in on the character and surroundings which was fun since you got to really see the details in everything. One big problem with Game play that got really annoying was the fact that some things were just so awkward like ladders to climb to a different floor or trying to work controls on things. You had to run around the ladder for about 2 or 3 minutes to get at the exact angle to actually do an action, something that’s not exactly useful, especially if you’re under a time limit or something like that. The ship also suffers from this problem and you can drive yourself a bit nuts when trying to pick treasure up out of the sea. Lastly the character seems to find it impossible to run close to NPC’s so if you want to get into a house for example, even if an NPC isn’t actually in your way you still cannot get past them for the life of you. One thing that may also annoy you is loading times which pop up here there and everywhere in the game. They don’t last long at all but just be aware, they are there and there are a lot of them.
The surroundings of the game are very interactive; there are hundreds of chests and hidden items dotted throughout the game which you must find in order to have a strong set of characters in the end. Furthermore some items can be found in great amounts most importantly the Slot Seed and Seed. The Seed when given to a Pipot found in some cities will get you certain items which cannot be bought and which are often very useful. Slot seeds found can be applied to immortal characters to give them more skill slots, therefore you are able to apply more skills to them and thus they will be stronger for example if I have 4 element repelling Skills and I only have 3 slots I would be vulnerable to one element, however by giving the character another Slot I would be able to apply immunity to all elements. The use of slots makes the fighting style interesting and it makes getting items and skills exciting.
One problem with game play is incontinuity with the difficultly of the bosses. For example some bosses will be very easy and the boss after that much harder. In fact 2 side quests that can be completed before the final boss battle require the player to level their character to at least level 80 even though the final boss requires a maximum of level 55. Therefore you usually end up level grinding somewhere [literally trying to get into a fight over and over again to get SP/EXP to level up] however this is not the fault of the makers but a choice the player takes if they want to complete all side quests. It is possible to overlook the side quests however they give items and weapons that are extremely useful in fighting hard boss battles and so are preferable for the player to obtain them.
Characters: I have nothing bad to say about the characters. They were all very well developed and with the exception of Sarah and Tolten none of them were especially ignored. Some you knew more about than others in terms of history but none of them apart from Sarah suffered from weak characteristics that made you either hate the character or not care about them at all. I found myself caring about every single character and I loved some of them massively which is great in a game that deals a lot with emotion. Not only that but this is one RPG that actually has funny humour! It’s quite rare. Also it has intelligent characters that interact realistically with each other and since it’s a 16+ or something they got a bit more relaxed and allowed some adult jokes and swear words to slip in which was great when usually a character won’t even say ‘damn.’
Lastly the characters really evoke emotion from the player, they make you laugh out loud or cry for ages, whatever emotion it is you feel it really strongly whenever you’re playing it. I’ve very rarely played a game where that’s so strong and I don’t think I’ve ever played a game that’s as emotional as Lost Odyssey.
Graphics: The graphics were absolutely amazing, everything was rendered pretty much perfectly so everything looked realistic, lighting was realistic and natural and shadows on buildings etc. were really well done. Even when zooming in on scenery the graphics didn’t suddenly become bad as happens in some RPG’s but they stayed clear and sharp. Occasionally there would be some scenery that was sort of blocky looking like old RPG and sometimes your feet would sink into stone floors but this happened very rarely. They also gave the characters proper facial expressions so you were more emotionally attached to them. Alongside this the characters skin was amazingly rendered, they even had pores and different skin types which was amazing to look at.
Music: I can’t say anything bad about Mr Uematsu, once again he provides an amazing soundtrack for this game. Some pieces I didn’t like because they personally made me sad or scared or something but the musical quality was never bad and some of the themes were so fun or sounded so great that I loved just being in that place and listening to them. I’ll upload a few pieces, please download them!
Fighting: I think this needs a category of it’s own because in the linear world of RPG Lost Odyssey’s fighting style is interesting and engaging. In the battle you can have a maximum of 5 people in your fighting party with a maximum of 10 characters with you at any one time which is hilarious when you have a cut scene and suddenly a mob of dandy dressed characters appears. In the fight you have a back row and a front row, the HP of the party determines your defence [DC] so if you have good HP you’re back row characters, the weaker magic casters, won’t get hurt easily. This works for the enemy too so you really learn to strategise.
Also there is a system of learning Equipped Items and Skills as well as Equipping Rings and Weapons which is pretty standard, Rings just give certain upgrades to your damage so you do more but introduce an interesting battle element I will talk about.
Rings are equipped to your character to give them an added advantage against an enemy and especially cater to weakening enemies that are elemental. You are able to change rings and equipment at any point during the battle meaning you can take out a fire enemy with a water element ring and then change to wind to take out earth. You can also make rings at Level 1, 2 or 3 which get progressively stronger and more effective with more and more status effects, in order to do this you must find components which are dropped by enemies giving a real sense of purpose when fighting as some components cannot be bought in shops.
As in most RPG's Lost Odyssey uses an elemental base for magical attacks however the attacks that weaken each element are different than in other RPG's in that firstly the elements are not Water, Fire, Lightening and Ground but are Water, Fire, Wind and Ground. Additionally the elements that weaken eachother aren't traditional, for example wind weakens earth, this means that you are able to use the comfortable structure of elements whilst still being challenged to learn which elements combat each other.
Lastly as mentioned earlier immortals must learn Skills from mortal characters encouraging you to bring them into your party and use them. Alongside this immortals must also learn to use equipped items. Learning these is done by battling whereby SP is gained at the end of the battle. A certain amount of SP is needed to learn a certain skill or equipped item for example the skill 'Double SP' needs 100 SP points to learn or the Equipped item Turntail Shoes takes 20 SP points to learn. Skill Linking, i.e learning another characters skill requires that that character be in battle which means you grow to like all of the characters.
The fighting style does still follow a very linear turn based style which some will find boring, it doesn’t challenge the ‘norm’ in that way however I think the addition of rings, Skills and Accessories makes the fighting fresher and much more enjoyable.
Overall: If you like fantasy themed Role Play game’s involving action and romance I would say this is definitely the game for you. If you like cold characters that are straight forward I wouldn’t advise it but if you’re especially interested in character development I would tell you to play this game if only for that aspect. Its music and graphics are amazing and the character development is incredible. Although the game is spread over 4 discs the game only takes around 80 hours to complete, the average time for a RPG, so it’s nothing terrifying although if you’re like me, you might be disappointed that it didn’t go on for longer. The reason it’s spread out is due to a large amount of cut scenes within the game.
If you’re not into romance type games I wouldn’t advise this. Not only regarding actual love romance, but the game is quite ‘romantic’ in feeling, there isn’t a lot of macho fighting [although the fights are always very charged and have really epic battle music xD] and it’s a lot to do with characters interactions and feelings towards one another.
Lost Odyssey overall has had mixed reviews, some reviewers have said it has stale subjects and others have criticized the characters. I suppose I can understand the criticism of subject matter since a lot of RPG will have a love interest, romance and the same sorts of boss structuring however I think it fits with the game, it’s not boring or predictable and to a certain extent I think all RPG’s fit that format anyway, not to mention it’s made by the same guy that did Final Fantasy who obviously enjoys certain themes and has made this clear in all of his previous games. Therefore I think that anyone who has had a go at the storyline simply hasn’t understood Sakaguchi’s past projects, he’s changed it enough to be exciting and new for players but the project was purely for him to break away from Final Fantasy and do something new, therefore he’s gone with themes that he really enjoys working with and I think this has made the work stronger.
I really can’t understand criticism of character development, I don’t know where anybody could get that from. Frankly I think all of the characters are so well made and formed throughout the game and the characters are also quite different than what you usually get in RPG’s so they break the mould. Yup, don’t get that criticism.
On the other hand other reviewers have given it glowing reports saying that everything in it was exciting and fresh and that it was the best RPG that they had ever played. Games are bound to get mixed reviews but I would personally implore you to ignore the bad reviews as I can’t personally understand much of the negativity. Overall, the game was met by very positive reviews and it sold extremely well. It’s definitely the best RPG I’ve ever played, even if you don’t usually play RPG, give it a try.
Rating overall: 45/50
SPOILERS BELOW, THIS IS ME TALKING ABOUT THE GAME AND THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN IT AND WHAT I THINK ABOUT THEM.
( personal views SPOILERSCollapse )
That last one’s a joke xDD Toto is always doing that face.
Just a cute picture of Jansen and Ming
( Icons with SPOILERS of the plotCollapse )
If the first picture is too large please let me know and I will resize however I will not put the text behind the cut so if it bothers you please PgDn past my entry.
Also if you have any questions about the game or you’ve played it and want to talk about it please feel free to ask/talk ^^
All pictures used were taken from IGM website apart from icons which were screencapped from videos online.