What's so special about Lost Odyssey

#1 Posted by Aegon (5398 posts) -

Any gaming website I go to, JRPG fans sing the praises of Lost Odyssey. What makes it so great? I legitimately want to know. Critically it was kind of on the higher side of average, while being held in such high esteem in the eyes of gamers. 

#2 Posted by vidiot (2737 posts) -

There's a multitude of reasons, so I guess we will start with the basics. 
 
The project was headed by Sakaguchi from his MistWalker studio and it is regarded by many to be a spiritual successor to Final Fantasy X, if not the Final Fantasy series in general.  
The reasoning for the higher than average reviews is due to the fact that it's essentially a very traditional JRPG. In regards to mechanics, design and even story it plays it quite safe. The game also has difficulty with loading times, installing the game cuts down on these problems. 

That being said, everything about the game evokes a strong appreciation to the first PlayStation's era. If you're down with that: You're going to really enjoy it.

#3 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@H2Oyea: Because the way it tells it's story is rather beautiful. And because these are mostly immortals you get their backstories told very storybook like almost and it's rather sad, you see them as they are, growing older and the regrets they have, to be honest i can't play that game without tears in my eyes.
 
I don't say that to be dramatic about it, it's genuinely sad. The combat is turn based but goes really smoothe and not only that, the characters are likeable. Along with these qualities the bosses are no pushovers and you need actual skill to beat them. If you get the chance definitely give it a rent. I'm sitting on disc two right now
#4 Posted by kingzetta (4307 posts) -

fight
magic
item
run

#5 Posted by groin (837 posts) -

The veins that you can see on Ming Numara's breasts.

#6 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@groin said:

The veins that you can see on Ming Numara's breasts.

yeah i'm not even sure how to take all that when I saw that for the first time.
#7 Posted by Marz (5642 posts) -

Nobuo Uematsu did the music.

#8 Posted by Jimbo (9772 posts) -

The short stories are probably the best thing about the game. They're presented beautifully.  I felt like the game itself kinda fell apart at about the start of Disk 4 and I never bothered to finish it.

#9 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

at the time it was one of a few Jrpgs for the 360

#10 Posted by AmatureIdiot (1076 posts) -

I played about 25(maybe a little more) hours of this game and was really enjoying it until those two kids finally wore me down and broke me on some bullshit cutscene about pirates. Half way through the cutscene I had to just turn the 360 off because I was just done.

Shame the other characters were rather likeable, and I though the main character's issues with immortality were handled really well through main plot and short stores, but those kids man.

#11 Edited by spazmaster666 (1965 posts) -

Several reason. First off, the combat was damn good. Probably one of the best modern implementations of turn-based combat I've ever played (and the inclusion of the active "ring" system just icing on the cake). Second, the story, while cheesy and unoriginal in spots, dealt with characters and themes you don't typically get in JRPGs (the "A Thousand Years in Dreams" segments however are fantastic). The characters actually ended up strongly resonating with me, which isn't something you can claim for a lot of JRPGs out there. Third, the game discourages grinding and instead encourages you to move along at a constant pace (i.e. certain enemies in an area will give negligible XP once you've reached a certain level). Finally I really liked the look of the game in that it's not your typical anime-looking JRPG, and while you can kinda still tell that the designs are from a Japanese developer, it definitely has a atypical look for a JRPG.

At this point I would much rather play a sequel to Lost Odyssey than Final Fantasy XIII-2 or the next Tales game.

@vidiot said:

In regards to mechanics, design and even story it plays it quite safe. The game also has difficulty with loading times, installing the game cuts down on these problems. That being said, everything about the game evokes a strong appreciation to the first PlayStation's era. If you're down with that: You're going to really enjoy it.

I agree that Lost Odyssey isn't very ambitious when it comes to storytelling but still I think thematically it touches on things that most JRPGs don't typically deal with. I also think it dealt with the concept of immortality more poignantly than I've seen in other games. As for the loading times, it seems like the review copy many outlets received had much longer load times than the actual retail version, which probably contributed to the mediocre scores. (Gamespot for instance amended their review to acknowledge this fact though they didn't change their score.)

@Catolf said:

@H2Oyea: Because the way it tells it's story is rather beautiful. And because these are mostly immortals you get their backstories told very storybook like almost and it's rather sad, you see them as they are, growing older and the regrets they have, to be honest i can't play that game without tears in my eyes. I don't say that to be dramatic about it, it's genuinely sad. The combat is turn based but goes really smoothe and not only that, the characters are likeable. Along with these qualities the bosses are no pushovers and you need actual skill to beat them. If you get the chance definitely give it a rent. I'm sitting on disc two right now

I would have to agree strongly with this. Lost Odyssey is one of the few games I've ever played that actually brought tears to my eyes. And I'm not just talking about that one particular sequence half-way through the game, but also the "A Thousand Years in Dreams" sequences, which despite having no voice work probably resonated with me more strongly than any of the voiced cinematics in the game.

#12 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@spazmaster666: agreed, it's really hard for me to read them without boiling over and blubbering. ><
#13 Posted by lucas_kelly (769 posts) -

It was the game Final Fantasy XIII should have been if you ask me.

#14 Posted by Video_Game_King (35985 posts) -

Decent story, looks good, great music, I'm pretty sure James Wood voices a character, etc.

#15 Posted by RockinKemosabe (619 posts) -

@Catolf: What you said about the immortals and how much misery and sadness they live with throughout their lives was also my favorite thing in the game.

#16 Posted by Aegon (5398 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:

Decent story, looks good, great music, I'm pretty sure James Wood voices a character, etc.

That could also describe Kingdom Hearts. 
#17 Posted by Video_Game_King (35985 posts) -

@H2Oyea:

I like both games. But to set them apart, the Thousand Years of Dreams thing was Fragile Dreams before Fragile Dreams, if you were willing to put the time into it.

#18 Posted by Brendan (7686 posts) -

I thought the story was well done, but the gameplay was poor. Glacially slow, and frequent, random battles killed that game for me. I got 3/4 of the way through it and just stopped.

#19 Posted by pweidman (2297 posts) -

I loved LO. Good story, interesting characters, especially the main, and some super poignant moments. I thought the gameplay was deep and addictive. A bit grindy and repetitive at times, but you had to lvl all the characters to cope w/late enemies, and get all the achieves. I think it took me 80+hrs to to finish and do most everything. Extremely polished as well for such a big game...apparently a rarity these days.

#20 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4676 posts) -

I loved the somber tone of the game. The Thousand Years of Dream story's were what made it special to me. Everything about that game from the music, to combat and graphics were great.

#21 Posted by jaymorgoth (242 posts) -

Also probably one the last RPG's to have an honest to god airship in their game. I think it and Tales of Vesperia pretty much are the last bastions of Airship flyin!

#22 Posted by Getz (2989 posts) -

The story is beautifully written and not at all like your average JRPG (minus the whole MC with amnesia angle). It's got heart, characters you can empathize with, and some really solid music.

#23 Edited by Cornman89 (1579 posts) -

Honestly, I think the quality of the game is incidental to its cult hit status. It's just that there are very few old-school jrpgs on consoles this gen, so the people hungering for that kind of game really dug Lost Odyssey.

#24 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@RockinKemosabe said:

@Catolf: What you said about the immortals and how much misery and sadness they live with throughout their lives was also my favorite thing in the game.

they weren't one of those "I lived a long time and plan to live more, it's great" type of people, they hated the very fact that they lived as long as they did, all the people they lost, family members and friends, it was as tragic as it was compelling.
#25 Posted by RockinKemosabe (619 posts) -

@Catolf said:

@RockinKemosabe said:

@Catolf: What you said about the immortals and how much misery and sadness they live with throughout their lives was also my favorite thing in the game.

they weren't one of those "I lived a long time and plan to live more, it's great" type of people, they hated the very fact that they lived as long as they did, all the people they lost, family members and friends, it was as tragic as it was compelling.

Those kids were kind of annoying though. I remember being so angry during the mission after the train derailed, because I never used those two kids in combat ever so they were ridiculously under-leveld at that point.

#26 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

It could have been an all time great if they'd have delved deeper into the immortal angle and left out the constant JRPG cliches and cookie-cutter characters. And god, that villain. He was one of the lamest, most non-threatening, douchie, villains ever. The short stories were also very well done. All-in-all it was good, but not amazing.

#27 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@Cornman89 said:

Honestly, I think the quality of the game is incidental to its cult hit status. It's just that there are very few old-school jrpgs on consoles this gen, so the people hungering for that kind of game really dug Lost Odyssey.

This, for sure. Lost Odyssey is pretty much a PS1 turn based rpg with a fresh coat of paint. For some people that's all they really want from a JRPG so they clung onto it considering there has not been a single console JRPG to come since it that just went for the old school approach in game design.
#28 Posted by Adus (68 posts) -

Like already said Lost Odyssey's praises mostly come from the 1000 Years of Dreams stories. They're incredibly well written and emotional. The game is still a pretty solid JRPG that's probably more like Final Fantasy than FFXIII is. Umetsu's soundtrack is also really excellent as always, and one of my favorite game soundtracks of the past decade.

It's flawed in numerous aspects but very few games aren't. If you like JRPGs in general it's worth playing. If you're not, I don't think it'll be the one to make you a fan.

#29 Edited by RobertOrri (1120 posts) -

I think Lost Odyssey is a very good JRPG that has many of the classic mechanics (and tropes) you expect from the genre, but still offers a few unique spins on the formula.

I really liked Blue Dragon for similar reasons.

#30 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -

I liked the combat system, the timing thing was pretty cool and satisfying,

#31 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@RockinKemosabe said:

@Catolf said:

@RockinKemosabe said:

@Catolf: What you said about the immortals and how much misery and sadness they live with throughout their lives was also my favorite thing in the game.

they weren't one of those "I lived a long time and plan to live more, it's great" type of people, they hated the very fact that they lived as long as they did, all the people they lost, family members and friends, it was as tragic as it was compelling.

Those kids were kind of annoying though. I remember being so angry during the mission after the train derailed, because I never used those two kids in combat ever so they were ridiculously under-leveld at that point.

Oh, i'm using everyone so there is only one level difference, because of my fear with JRPG's making you use different chara due to some story event i'd rather be safe than sorry.
#32 Edited by AlwaysBeClothing (1446 posts) -

At the time it was one of the only and arguably one of the best JRPG available on the 360. It was heralded as by the creator of the original final fantasy with music done by Nobuo. The game is a straight up JRPG, random battles, ludicrous story and more characters than probably necessary. Its still my secret achievement shame that I'm one achievement away from S-ranking it because even the guide I was using didn't have all the chest locations.

I'm not sure I could play that style of game today, but I sunk over 80 hours into it. Pretty good memories of it but who knows if it has aged well. A sort of relic of that time where final fantasy was the king.

#33 Posted by jakob187 (21642 posts) -

@H2Oyea said:

@Video_Game_King said:

Decent story, looks good, great music, I'm pretty sure James Wood voices a character, etc.

That could also describe Kingdom Hearts.

Or Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within...if that's what you're into...which I am.

#34 Posted by Aegon (5398 posts) -
@jakob187 said:

@H2Oyea said:

@Video_Game_King said:

Decent story, looks good, great music, I'm pretty sure James Wood voices a character, etc.

That could also describe Kingdom Hearts.

Or Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within...if that's what you're into...which I am.

I watched it as a kid and my childhood memory is saying that I kinda enjoyed it. 
#35 Posted by plaintomato (598 posts) -

Great discussion. As someone who loved FFX and FFXII - and hated FFXIII with the passion of a very very disappointed fan - it sounds like maybe it was a mistake to overlook this game...

#36 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@plaintomato said:

Great discussion. As someone who loved FFX and FFXII - and hated FFXIII with the passion of a very very disappointed fan - it sounds like maybe it was a mistake to overlook this game...

you can more than likely find a copy of it cheap now.
#37 Posted by JacDG (2113 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

The short stories are probably the best thing about the game. They're presented beautifully. I felt like the game itself kinda fell apart at about the start of Disk 4 and I never bothered to finish it.

Me too. The music throughout the game was incredible, and the backstories were pretty great, but I personally got tired of random battles and combat system in general, which was a shame.

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