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Terry 309 avatar 5:08 PM on 08.11.2014
Games I Couldn't Finish: Odin Sphere
Ok so if you read my Valkyrie Profile 2 review you'll probably remember me slating off Odin Sphere. Now don't get me wrong, i don't exactly hate this game, in fact it's the opposite, the game hates me, the player. Personally i believe Odin Sphere took a lot of what Valkyrie Profile 2 did and made it worse, sure they are two completely different games in terms of game play but that is the main problem.

The storyline of Odin Sphere is interesting to say the least as it's split up into five scenario's, each with a different character. This kinda reminded me of Warcraft 3 and why i felt it was so great, more games need to do this as it makes the world feel more alive as you get to experience the story from both sides rather than just one. If anything irritates me it's that most games and gamers only tend to talk about the good guys and not the bad guys because we play them, sure a lot of people talk about Sephiroth and Vaas but in most games, villains don;t get much attention because they aren't playable. Who knows? Perhaps they have a reason for doing what they do or perhaps they're crazier than you imagined. That is why a story told in multiple perspectives is enticing to me. I'm aware games such as Fire Emblem do this as well but that game is a far worse offender than Odin Sphere when it comes to the issue at hand.

So far i only made it part way through the second chapter after crawling my way through shit. Seriously this game is ridiculously fucking difficult, i honestly don't know how anyone managed to get through normal difficulty without a sweat. The game introduces you to a small story scenario, the best part of the game really (well i wouldn't really know if that was good really tbh because i haven't seen enough to judge), then it thrusts you into a battle where you're fighting against a bunch of enemies in what appears to be Golden Axe mixed with a bit of Atelier where you hack n slash enemies in a side scrolling beat em up style of game. The problem is, the combat lacks variety (you just mash square) and it is bogged down by frustrating mechanics such as the POW meter which dazes you if you attack too much. Why is this even necessary? It just adds more frustration to the game, add to that with the fact that every level has 2-4 boss fights and my god are the bosses frustrating as hell. 

Every level basically goes like this:
monster battle
boss
monster battle
boss
monster battle
shop
boss
final boss

and my god does it get repetitive. The knowledge alone that beating one boss just sends you straight to another is bad enough but the fact that the bosses can 1 shot you, can call in reinforcements and sometimes even heal up when you're out of sight is ridiculous, add to that, every boss has a ridiculously large health gauge, i mean sure i could understand if they had only a third of their actual health bar but come on, boss battles take forever and they're like only 1 area out of... i don't know. So even if you manage to beat a boss, another one could be lurking round the corner and get ready for another hour of frustration. To top it all off, the level bosses are even worse as they have even more health and even deadlier attacks. Honestly i give up with this game.

I have more to say about this... believe me. Like i said, the game is a mix of Golden Axe and Atelier, as such there is an alchemy system which is a vital component of the game. You will have to pick up every item you can find and get as many level bonuses as possible to get ingredients just to survive the tough boss battles ahead and keep well stocked for each one. Alchemy works like this. After every battle, you have to spend 10 minutes or so growing plants... i'm not joking, you simply cannot move to the next area without doing alchemy. Anyways once the plant has grown, you get an ingredient/food which can be consumed for either health or brewed into a potion, to brew a potion, you need an empty bottle and you need to combine the two items into that bottle to create a potion which you save for later, this means gathering running vegetables, planting seeds etc and they have to be done after every single battle... EVERY SINGLE FUCKING BATTLE.

So please allow me to update the level structure
Monster battle
Catch running vegetables
Grow plant
Make Potions
Boss
Catch running vegetables
Grow plant
Make potions
Monster battle
Grow Plant
Catch running Vegetables
Grow plant
Make Potions
Boss
Catch running vegetables
Grow plant
Make potions
Monster battle
Catch running vegetables
Grow Plant
Make potions
Shop
Boss
Catch running Vegetables
Grow Plant
Make potions
Final boss

and that is just the structure of a single level of the game....seriously it can take hours to finish a single level and that's not including the hours of frustration you'll have fighting the bosses. I think i've made my point clear. Odin Sphere is a game i want to like but the gameplay is just so horribly frustrating that i just can't continue playing it, it's seriously a nightmare. Maybe if i switch to easy difficulty it will be better but currently it is just awful to play.

I mean the soundtrack is great and all, Hitoshi Sakimoto is a great composer and has made some great... yet repetitive music for this game, the voice acting is good for the most part (except for Mercades, hate her voice) and the art design, though not as great as Valkyrie Profile 2, a game it seems to try way too hard to follow, is still great in it's own way... yet a bit repetitive also. Repetitive is but one word to describe this game... but i can cope with that. What i can't cope with is frustration, so i ask you, shall i give it another go? Or will it forever remain in the darkest recesses of my shelf forever? Leave your responses guys.

Sorry if you were expecting images, it's kinda late and would take too long to get them up. Pretty shitty blog really :/.


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