For me, I have been put off by JRPGs for a little while now, the last one that I played throughly being... I believe Radiata Stories on PS2. For the past couple of months I had been revisiting classics like Breath of Fire II, Earthbound, and FFIII, staples that I had already played the ever living shit out of.
This is no more however. I picked up a copy of Lost Odyssey not knowing what I was getting myself into. The first thought running through my head when I heard about the game and saw the first trailers way back when was, "The main character looks lame as hell... what is he the lead singer for a fantasy grunge band or something?"
Anyways the game piqued my interest, mainly because of the people behind it. so I grabbed a copy and started it up...
I was immediately sucked in. I've had the game now for around 3 days, and I'm already 16 play hours in. It's that good. I haven't been this sucked in for a loooooong time. The last RPG I played so fervently had to be FF VII.
I love nearly everything about this game, and there is barely anything I can think of that lowers my appreciation for how good this game is. The battle system is a classic turn based, but they somehow made it much deeper than that. The GC (wall/Guard condition) system is great, and the strategy involved in planning out what rings (special effects on weapons) to equip for which battles and which monsters makes it far more interesting than it should be. The amount of depth that they put into this turn based battle system is amazing to me.
The story is very good, definitely up there. There were definitely parts that got me a little teary eyed (the last time I EVER got that sad while playing a game was FFVII) The dream system is a neat little bonus. It's not necessary, but adds SO much more to the game and characters.
The graphics are pretty good, not the best I've ever seen, but enough to wow you at points. The voice acting is superb, definitely very good compared to some I've heard in games, and definitely add to the likability of many of the characters. The music, of course, is amazing, Nobuo Uematsu definitely pulled this off incredibly well, again this has been the first RPG since FFVII where I've caught myself humming the tunes subconsciously. The difficulty is good enough so that it feels like a challenge and becomes frustrating at parts, but not hard enough to rip your hair out over, it's all about knowing how to prepare for the battle and adjusting strategies to win. Not to mention the game puts in enough save and checkpoints that wiping out in the game is a far smaller consequence than most other Rpgs
There are only a few negative things I can say about this game. The loading times, although completely
bearable, are sometimes annoying, only when entering battle. I'm used to immediately going to the battle screen after the screen wipe, but with Lost Odyssey there is a bit of delay.
Another is some of the character designs, I'm mainly talking about Kaim, the main character. He still looks a bit lame, even though I have grown to like him immensely as a character, but then again this is just a personal opinion about him. Also, there is one voice that I cannot stand, that of Cooke, just because I definitely recognize her voice actor from somewhere else, and it drives me insane. There are also some minigames that I felt were completely unnecessary. I think people that got what part I'm talking about know what I mean.
Oh, and the US packaging, wtf. Come on, a dinky paper sleeve? I thought we were better than that...
All in all, this game has impressed me far more than any other game on the 360, the only thing coming close being Mass Effect.
If you're a classic RPG junkie like me, and believe me, I've played A LOT of old school RPGs, you will absolutely fall in love with this game. If things like random battles, excessive skill management, and some lame minigames turns you off, you might want to just test the waters with this one, but I highly recommend 360 owners give this game a try, and I hope you won't be disappointed.
For me this game is definitely a BUY rating. read