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25th Nov 2009 | 1,158 views
Lost Odyssey is the second game produced by JRPG legend Hironobu Sakaguchi since his departure from Square-Enix. Does the game have the Sakaguchi magic intact, or does it fall short of expectations?
Lost Odyssey takes place in a somewhat steampunk-inspired world where magic plays a big part in people's lives. In this world, several nations are currently at war. The story follows Kaim Argonar, who is currently serving as a soldier in the army of Uhra, one of the battling nations. During a battle, a large meteor strikes down upon the troops and wipes every single one of them out - Save for Kaim. This introduces us to the fact that Kaim is seemingly immortal, and was stricken by amnesia 30 years prior to the game's beginning. Soon after, you'll be sent to travel far away on a mission, and the story begins there. Joining you is a woman named Seth Balmore, who also appears to be immortal, and a mage by the name of Jansen Freidh who is largely intended to bring comic relief.
There is more story than meets the eye in Lost Odyssey, however. While you can go through the game and mostly just pick up story from the cutscenes and mandatory dialogue, there are also hidden "dreams" that you can find. These are memories of Kaim's, repressed by the amnesia, which suddenly awaken given the right circumstances. These "dreams" are short stories written by Japanese novelist Kiyoshi Shigematsu, and feature no visuals besides regular text, so if you're not a fan of reading books you might not want to bother with gathering these.
Lost Odyssey brings what you would expect from a JRPG. It's turn-based, and the battles work much like, for example, Final Fantasy X. When you attack opponents though, you can time a press of the right trigger button with an on-screen prompt to inflict extra damage. This is only viable for regular attacks, and not special skills or magical attacks. The leveling system varies depending on which character you're looking at. For mortal characters like Jansen, they have certain levels where they learn certain pre-determined skills. Jansen, for example, will learn magical attacks and he won't be able to do much else than cast black magic to harm opponents. With immortals like Kaim, however, it's a different story. You can link your immortals to mortal characters and equippable accessories and, by doing so, learn every single skill available in the game. You can't equip all of the skills at the same time, but immortal characters have the possibility to be anything you want them to be, really, even though some of them will be more suited for physical combat than magic and vice versa.
Also, the game implements a level cap depending on the area you're in, so even if you want to grind, chances are you won't be able to. Once you've reached the appropriate level for the area, you won't gain more than 1 experience (out of 100 to gain a level) per enemy you face. This does much to relegate the difficulty of bosses and such, making sure they'll never be too easy or too hard for you.
Graphically, Lost Odyssey looks good. It's nothing groundbreaking or incredible, but it's not below average either. It should be noted that there can be some minor technical issues, such as slight framerate hiccups or extended loading times, on occasion. The music is composed by the legendary Nobuo Uematsu of Final Fantasy fame. As for voices, both the Japanese and the English voices are featured in all versions. You might want to keep in mind that lip-synching was made with the English voice tracks in mind, so if out-of-synch lip movements bother you, you'd best stick with the English voiceovers.
Lost Odyssey is a game in which you should feel engrossed. If JRPGs are your style, by all means, give this game a shot. If you generally dislike JRPGs, you might want to rent it regardless, just to see if it tickles your fancy. The X360 has a lot to offer in the RPG department, both for fans of Japanese RPGs and people who enjoy western ones. Personally, I think this is the best reason to own the console if you're a fan of JRPGs. (Please note that Tales of Vesperia hasn't been released here at the time of writing, so I have yet to try it.)
Story: The regular story in the game is above average for JRPGs, I think. But that's not where the storytelling really shines. "A Thousand Years of Dreams", the series of short stories featured as collectibles in the game, are indescribable. Several of them are heartbreaking, and conveying them in nothing but text and accompanying music was definitely the right choice. These short stories heighten the story value and lead me to give the story of Lost Odyssey the highest possible grade.
Graphics: Not bad at all. While there are some technical issues present, they don't do much to distract from the game itself.
Gameplay: It's pretty similar to most JRPGs, albeit with a twist due to the immortals who can learn any skill possible. If you have no problem with turnbased role-playing games, then there should be no complaints here.
Sound: The tunes from Nobuo Uematsu are spectacular and bring with them a certain magic that heightens the value of the game significantly. The voice acting is solid.
Fun Factor: While I don't find turn-based menu-scrollers as fun as, say, adventure games, this game makes it pretty fun to march through the many areas present and battle your way through the story. Thankfully, minimal grinding is required, making sure that the mandatory gametime never really becomes a chore.
nightengalelame posted 25/06/2015, 10:06
There is a Player who don't play a co-op game, new CoD or Destiny.
There is no genre more cleverly than jRPG.
There is a SAGE game with deep Philosophy inside...
The Player who appreciated the unique world.
Still playing a co-op game? Believe me, you're not a wise guy. NOT AT ALL.
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