Yesterday I picked up Lost Odyssey…. and I must say the circles around my eyes have started to grow. I could barely finish my workout this morning. I think we have a masterpiece on our hands, ladies and gentlemen.
Ok, if you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about, here’s the details: Lost Odyssey is an traditional RPG for the Xbox 360 from Mistwalker. What is significant about Mistwalker is it is headed by none other than Final Fantasy creator/Square-Enix-slave Hironobu Sakaguchi. Also among his legion is Nobuo Uematsu, the original composer for Final Fantasy. So, with these two on board, one would expect a game that could stand toe to toe with the Final Fantasy series. Well, earlier last year, the world was hopeful with the debut of Blue Dragon. I remember I bought it the day it came out: $60 game and $20 guide. I even reserved it at Gamestop too, something I hardly ever do. I don’t think I could describe the sheer disappointment I felt within the first five minutes of playing. I felt like this was a Fischer-Price RPG. Five characters, the archenemy is a pansy old man named Nene (yes, which sounds like nay-nay), and the characters looked straight out of a Dragonball Z episode (of course, this is because the main artist was Akira Toriyama, but still). I mean hell, the main character looked like Gohan, or whatever his name is. Needless to say, I’m sure the execs at Square-Enix were laughing their asses off when they saw this game, saying “This is why we fired him”, and I was incredibly disappointed in one of my favorite storytellers of all time. So I started reading up on Lost Odyssey, story sounded interesting. So I reserved and paid it off again. And I prayed that I wouldn’t be disappointed….
…And I wasn’t. If you are an fan of Final Fantasy, you will love this game. If you are a fan of RPG’s, you will love this game. If you like stories that are moving and leave you begging for more, you will love this game. If you thought Final Fantasy XII was a disappointment in the story department, you will love this game. This game in my opinion, is what Final Fantasy XII should have been. If you’ve been living under a rock in Africa for the past few years, here’s the short edition: Lost Odyssey tells the story of a man named Kaim Argonar, who has lived for 1,000 years and has lost all his memories. He slowly begins to remember as the game progresses, and gets caught up in a political struggle in a world blessed (and scarred) by magic-powered technology.
Needless to say, it’s a pretty epic story. The battle system is pretty much traditional turn-based, not overly innovative, but who gives a shit? If you love Final Fantasy like I love Final Fantasy, you’re not overly crazed by new battle systems, it’s the story that gets you. And Lost Odyssey delivers on story, maybe even a little too much sometimes. Basically, there are parts of the game where Kaim will regain his memory in the form of dreams, which are about a 5-10 minute text read (yes I said read, hard to believe in this day and age of gaming). If you can tolerate the annoyance of having to read a chapter of text at a time, you’ll find these stories tugging at your heartstrings, as they are beautifully crafted. But aside from these drawn out reading sequences(and they are a bit frequent), this game will blow your mind. If you enjoy classic RPG style gaming, with modern technological advancements in graphics, you will love this game.