So now that I have a job and get some money every other week, I felt the need to splurge a little bit on video games. So I go to Best Buy to get Mario Kart Wii and they're fresh out... So I search around and end up getting Lost Odyssey for the XBox 360 instead. One of my friends up at school had it, and it looked fun so I figured may as well... So here's my thoughts so far:
So, I've never really been a big fan of the run around the world randomly running into enemy games such as Final Fantasy but Lost Odyssey has me changing my mind slightly... The plot actually has a great flow to it and the game can move quickly if you want or you can take time and run around doing whatever you wish. I always had a problem with how long it takes to travel from one section to another in huge RPG games (like the Legend of Zelda and the Elder Scroll series) but in LO the map section makes traveling quick and painless. If you want to walk though, you can walk from section to section and eventually get a boat to go from port to port so you can get where you want to go.
The graphics are extremely well done. In HD they look unbelievable but they're still great in Standard Def. All the area layouts are extremely well done and have a very good flow to them while all the characters have their own unique look. Beyond that, the fight graphics are amazingly pretty. All the flashing and sparkles and stuff... It keeps you entertained while you wonder why you can't hurt this enemy or why your guy just passed out.
The fighting system is good overall, there are a few things that really bother me. First off, it doesn't tell you what order you're going to attack before your turn. It completely changes your strategy of healing since potions always act first whereas using a healing spell can take so much time that your character is dead before you can cast. Another thing that really bothers me is that, lets say you do use a healing spell and the character you want to heal dies before you can cast. You don't get to re-select what you want that character to do, they just use the healing spell on a random character in that row.
But, for those negatives LO does a great job in some other aspects of fighting. By using two seperate rows of characters (front and back) you can have your front row shield your back row. This is great for spell-caster characters that generally have low health, since the guards negate most of the damage. Also, the spell casting system is clearly broken up into easy to use sections: White (healing/protection), Black (destruction), Spirit (healing/protection/destruction) and Combination (completely pimp). Combination is sweet because once you obtain certain spells, you can combine them to completely blow everybody up (for example, Shadow(Spirit)+Flare(Black)=All Flare, a super strong fire spell that attacks everybody and can basically kill everything).
My favorite part of the game so far has been the difference between Immortal Characters and Mortal Characters. Each player type has advantages and disadvantages but once you get used to them, it's unbelievably well used. Key Differences :
1) Immortal characters revive themselves in battle after a few turns of being knocked out while Mortals must be brought back using an item like Angel's Plume.
2) If an Immortal is still knocked out at the end of a battle, they are revived to about 1/3 of their full health where Mortal's are revived to 1 HP.
3) Mortal's learn skills on their own and can always use every skill they have learned. Immortal's cannot learn skills by leveling up, but can learn skills by using a Skill Link with a Mortal character or by learning from an equipped item. Also, Immortals can only equip so many skills at one time and the number of skills you are able to equip can only be increased by using a Seed Slot item.
Second favorite part so far has been the Ring System. Rings are createable equipment and each character (at least to the point in the game I am at so far) can equip one ring. These rings can have a variety of effects depending on the ring: additional elemental damage, additional damage against certain enemy types, or various curses. When a ring is equiped, a new element is added to battles when doing a melee attack: a ring appears on the screen and you must use the right trigger to try to match the ring with another (it's hard to explain). If you match it perfectly, you get a damage bonus. Good a slightly damage bonus while Bad gives you no damage bonus (there is no penalty for receiving bad, it just acts as though you are not wearing a ring). It's also cool how rings can be upgraded and combined (only by various people in the game, however) to make what I call "super-dooper-uber-rings." Learning this system is a KEY to doing well.
Through 1.5 disks out of 4 (about 12 hours), I would so far give LO a 9.4/10 with my only real objections being in the fight scene and the stupid "Dream System" that I don't want to waste time explaining (it's really boring and pathetic and takes away from time that could be spent playing). But, if you have time on your hands and an XBox 360, I would HIGHLY recommending checking out Lost Odyssey!