I had written yesterday about Odin Sphere and despite the really hard and below average gameplay I liked the game. Well, I played it more today and I'm hating this game more and more. I still love the sprites and all the artwork, but the difficulty is just really starting to piss me off. I really don't mind a hard game, in fact I generally welcome them, but Odin Sphere feels like it's hard just for the sake of being hard. I can generally get past the normal stages in one try, every now and then two, but the bosses and mini bosses are just hard and not fun. I don't know who designed the game, but a 30 minute mini boss fight where I still lose because of their cheap attacks isn't fun in any way at all. I get that I'm not great at this game, but when I put the game on the easiest setting, one the games says "just sit back and enjoy the story," I shouldn't have this much trouble. The difficulty on this game is just insane and it's a huge turn off. I was so excited about Odin Sphere and I want to see the rest of the art so bad but it's just not going to happen. I really wanted to enjoy this game because of the excellent art style, but it's just not fun anymore because of the difficulty. It might get picked up again in a few months but I imagine I'll play it for a few days, get mad again and leave it alone.
So earlier this month I saw an article for Odin Sphere and I just fell in love with the game instantly and preordered it on Amazon right away. Sadly, I have the attention span of a gnat and completely forgot about the game. Completely forgot about the game until today that is when it arrived in the mail.
As soon as I started playing the game I fell in love. The sprite graphics in this game are beautiful and just incredibly high quality. The sprites are just so detailed and the art style is just so great it's just hard to imagine. All the movement is very fluid, there is a very wide variety of animations, and they even go into so much detail to show the character crying.
That all being said, the art of this game is about all that's great. The story is definitely interesting and I love the way the game is laid out, but the gameplay just isn't that great. First off, I don't know if it's me but this game is just hard. I started the game on medium difficulty but just found myself having a very hard time and had to set the game on easy. Even with the game on easy it still is a pretty good challenge. The combat system just makes you want to button mash like crazy but you really need strategy in this game. You have to do a lot of running around the battlefield picking and choosing your attacks. Even picking and choosing your attacks it's still pretty difficult.
If the combat system wasn't hard enough they also have static effects that are just insanely easy to get and just hurt you so badly. There's the usual poison and flame that hurts you over time and lasts a very long time. To make things worse, you continue to get hurt while conversations and other forced events are happening. Sadly that's not the worst, they have a freeze and dizzy effect that pretty much means game over if it happens to you.
The game does have items, but you're so limited on item space that it's just very hard to keep any items. You can add additional storage but that costs money and money is extremely hard to come by. To make things worse, you also have alchemy that takes up a large amount of space. I just hate games that severely limit your storage space.
One last thing about the gameplay that bothered me is just one of the boss fights. I won't give any spoilers, but this boss was just insane. I don't mind a hard game and a hard boss fight but this one was just ridiculous. I was doing this fight about as efficient as possible and it took about 20-30 minutes a try and a good 5 or 6 tries to finally beat this guy. You do incredibly small amounts of damage to him, you run out of health items, there are random enemies that freeze the player, and the boss has one insane attack where he grabs the player and does an automatic 100-ish damage (when I had about 300HP), stuns you, and allows him to do another attack that usually does about 60 damage.
I know I have a lot of gripes about this game, but I'm more than likely going to finish it. The art style really is just amazing and that is more than enough to keep me interested. The story is also turning out to be fairly interesting and I really like the way the game tells the story. I'm actually pretty excited to play with the other characters and see how the stories intertwine.
In short, if you like a very pretty game or a good dungeon crawler (that really doesn't take place in dungeons) you should definitely give this game a try.