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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quick Final Impressions - Lost Odyssey

This was one of the most enjoyable JRPGs I’ve played in a long time.  It was certainly the most enjoyable one I’ve played this generation.  It features classic turn-based combat, but it utilizes rings that you have to time in order to enhance your attacks with whatever the ring’s ability is, so they act a lot like simple accessories but they specifically enhance your attack.  There are also accessories typical of other RPGs that can be attached to your character in addition to weapons.  I always enjoyed games that did the timing attack sort of thing such as Legend of Dragoon and Shadow Hearts because it felt like I was more directly involved in the battles and helped give them a feeling of rhythm.  I also just found it addictive to try hitting perfects.  It’s always nice to play a game where you find yourself looking forward to all the random battles instead of tiring of them.  The game does suffer some slow-down in terms of gameplay and narrative about halfway through, and I’ve talked to several people who have set the game aside at this point, but it really is a minor hump in pacing, and the game picks up a lot during the last two thirds of the game.

The story in Lost Odyssey was pretty enjoyable.  You start off as a 1000-year old immortal who has lost his memories in the middle of a power struggle between nations due in part to the immergence of magic energy as a viable power source, and as you meet other characters, some immortals, some not, you slowly gain some of your memories.  Often times these are presented as narratives that you can read, many of which I thought were surprisingly engaging and well-written.  The characters were really enjoyable and I genuinely liked most of them, aside from a couple ones I found a bit annoying, but managed to grow on me over the course of the game.  I’d recommend it to anyone looking to enjoy a JRPG on the Xbox 360.

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