Familiar but long-lasting and enjoyable.
Lost Odyssey is everything you would probably expect from the man behind the now infamous Final Fantasy series. Whether or not this is necessarily a good thing or not relies solely on your opinion of said series, and whether or not you can make-do with what is largely a repackaged FF game with a different title. That is not to say that Lost Odyssey lacks anything remotely new or interesting, but rather that the time tested gameplay associated with the FF series makes a dominant role here, and not much has been done to alter it. Random encounters are just as random and annoyingly unwelcome as ever, and all combat is largely dealt with through turn-based mechanics. Seeing as these factors (along with overlong cut scenes) are what often deters gamers from the FF series in the first place, Lost Odyssey isn’t likely to attract any new customers, but for those who enjoy such fare, this should be a familiar and welcome treat.
Seeing that you spend upwards of one third to half of the game’s impressive 50+ hour duration, the quality of both the aesthetics and the writing goes a long way into making an enjoyable experience. Thankfully both elements are as strong as you can expect from your average Fantasy game, and while those familiar with the series will feel at home here, repetition of themes and motifs are plentiful (magic energy again plays a large role) so things can get a little tiring from time to time. The graphics, along with Uematsu’s score (another Final Fantasy veteran) are far more consistent in terms of quality over all four disks resulting in an emotive experience that does well to grasp the senses regularly.
Overall, the general feeling when playing through Lost Odyssey is one of deja-vu, despite being the first of what is hopefully going to be a rival series to Final Fantasy. Nevertheless, for those who enjoy the standard RPG formula regurgitated in many of the big-one’s releases, such deja-vu will be mostly enjoyable. With lots of play value, a chunky, layered and at times engaging story, along with some decent additions to the standard battle system, Lost Odyssey is an RPG for RPG fans who don’t necessarily need something new to keep them entertained.
Story & Game Modes… 8
Gameplay & Control… 7
Graphics & Design… 8