First off, I apologise for my blatant disregard for the C-blogging system, but the forums were down and such. I was going to add a bit more but time pressured me. I will have something prepared next time. Sorries ^^
Despite the fact that Kaim (above) looks like he has been maced, this never happens, but the game is very good. I'm going to try my hardest not to give away spoilers, which I consider to be anything past either the first 3 hours or the first disc.
You play as the protagonist, Kaim: An immortal who has lost all of his memories. He has been employed into the Uhran army and you Kick ass. But shortly into the fight, the skies open up and a meteor shower starts to fall, completely wiping out both armies apart from one man. Kaim must then trek through the wasteland that only a few minutes ago was full to capacity with men putting their lives on the line. The opening cutscene/Battle will blow you away, As It is almost entirely cinematic and absolutely beautiful, though unfortunately after that, the game slows to a crawl with needless cutscenes and The game's interminable load times. Fortunately, the loading screens give you something to look at and you will memorise those characters' stats. With the dawning of the NXE, Lost odyssey is more bearable, however; after 20-30 minutes of installing a disc, you will barely notice those load times! I installed it at disc 4 and only once more ever saw a stat screen, right at the end of the game. Installing is a must to appreciate this game.
Walking around the field is a chore. It feels like you're being fought at every turn. 30 seconds in a house, 30 seconds to leave, and in true JRPG fashion, there is reason to go into every house; goodies. But crazily almost, Once I installed it, I didn't even notice that it had to load, so let's hope it applies to all discs!
The goodies mentioned above are this like Seeds (these are given to rabbits who live in pots for secret items) and ingredients for ring assembly, a function that you will need more later in the game, rather than earlier. Ring creation allows you to create special accessories that will imbue your attacks with special features such as extra damage, status effects and element properties. How effective these extras are are depended on a mini game in battle.
The youtube video shows a battle above from very early in the game and you can see the ring minigame at about 51 seconds in. I tried to explain it in words but it sounded jumbled even to me. Also, I don't know how to embed a youtube video so... a link will have to do, sorry for that.
Despite the ability to simply hold A through fight and have your most recently chosen scheme of attacking run through time and time again, battles are deceptively hard and cleverly done. You are generally pitted against enemy parties that are much larger than your own, or a couple of much larger, harder to kill enemies. The amount of battles you can actually just skim by holding the A button are few and far between. You need to be on your toes, especially because of the level cap.
Bosses are bloody hard
Each area has a level it wants you to be at. This means that you level up every single battle until you hit the cap, then the experience you receive quickly dwindles to 3 or 4 a fight. this makes grinding incredibly tedious if you're inclined to do so. Which very early on, you may be: The hardest boss in the entire game comes very early on and without a solid strategy, you will die time after time after time. (kill the little bugs and magic the boss) Many bosses seem to be more based on the luck of the draw, but your skill and strategy do matter. If you run in with a mash the enemy, spam healing, you'll win enough of the time for it to seem like a good strategy, and you can probably win the game doing it, but it's much more deep. To complete the game You need to be about level 60 (like most RPGs I've played) and for this you need to find the right area to level in.
The story is by far the high point of the game even if it can be a bit slow sometimes. You will find yourself slogging through the endless battles, dealing with the interminable load times to get that next text box or cutscene. There are countless beautiful moments to be had, one of which is already a memory-card moment, I won't link to because If you need a review, you might not have seen it. The voice acting seems to be decent and the characters are easy to figure out, without necessarily being entirely 2D.
The backstory, for Kaim at least, is fleshed out by a completely optional system called "a thousand years of dreams" which are little short stories, accessible from the start menu or inns, played with music, page by page.
Every single "dream" has made me cry or feel choked up.
I would suggest skipping them when they appear though because you will be doing something else at the time.
Overall, I would suggest this game as a game you must definitely play
alongside Classics like LOZ:Ocarina of Time and Chrono Trigger. But only if you either: have a 360 hard drive with about 7GB of space free or a helluva lot of patience. If you like RPGs, you will feel like lost odyssey is the plug that fills a hole in your soul.
Played over the course of a few months with the pack that contains the "killer machine" ring already downloaded before play started. This pack allows you to (i think) watch dreams whenever/wherever a special ring called "Killer machine+" which I didn't use all that often, and the ability to watch old cutscenes in your "airship".