Game Review: Lost Odyssey

Developer: Mistwalker and Feel PlusPlatform: Xbox 360 (click to purchase)

Release date: 2/12/08

Grade: A

Honestly, the

souls of most RPG’s are void. Many of us hearken back to the SNES era and think

about how well the games, RPG's in particular, simply felt.

You got attached

to the characters; you loved learning the little niches of the game; and the

story was captivating enough for you to play for hours on end just to find out

what happens next.

Yes, there have

been a few exceptions to that such as Grandia

II, Final Fantasy VII and Skies of Arcadia. But for the most part,

it feels as if the RPG genre, the JRPG genre in particular, has been flowing

through the motions.

This is why Lost Odyssey is such a breath of fresh

air. While it isn’t brand new in terms of concepts, the game happens to have

the one thing most RPG's lack today....soul.

The story begins

as you follow Kaim Argonar, a man who seems immortal, but has no past. Of

course, through this adventure, you will gather his memories and fix

the mess he has had a hand in creating. You spend this time coming across other

characters that are quite endearing - three other immortals and four mortals -

and as the story continues you discover that their paths are interwoven.

You are also

given insight into the lives of Kaim and the other immortals by the way of

short stories, whose tales are intricately woven with beautiful music and

powerful prose.

The ambiance

within those short stories extends out into the game play as well. The game is

beautiful when creating the world to which it extends. This also goes for the

battles, where every accessory and weapon is represented on the characters.

The music is

also done extremely well, as each score carries itself majestically into the

scene in which it is presented. The sound effects, however, can only be done so

much, as many of them are repeated throughout the game. There isn’t much they

could change considering the fact that it’s an RPG, but it would have been nice

if they could do a bit more to add variety.

The same could

be said about the battle system. The old school appeal extends into the battle

system, but as such, there isn’t much new. The Judgment ring system adds a bit

of action to the standard battle screen, and the way that the immortals gain

skills makes for a bit of varied character development, but that is where the

buck stops. It doesn’t harm the game as much as one would think, because of the

ambiance and feeling that this title has - but there could have been more.

Saving can be a

little slow as well, considering that it goes to the screen twice. It is nice

at first, but it soon becomes annoying.

These small

tiffs aside, this can honestly be called the first great JRPG of this

generation. The emotions, voice acting, and beauty within the characters

doesn’t leave much to the imagination; and the gravity of the drama in the

short stories allows the mind to truly wander within its own zone.

Do yourself a

favor; pick this one up for the first truly epic experience of this year.

You can find Adam Thomas at the Gamer Studio, and at