Monday, February 18, 2008

Scytherage's Impressions of Lost Odyssey midway through Disc 4

I am thoroughly enjoying this game.

The turn-based combat is just perfect. What I like is how every fight lets you feel that you've got a lot of options at your disposal. If you've read any review that says that the game favors magic casters, that review is sorely mistaken and likely didn't play far enough through the game. As it stands, in my view there is an equal footing between casters and fighter classes in this game. In my humble opinion, Seth, Kaim, Mack, Tolten and Sed are all fighters that are meant for the front row. Though some might consider Mack to be a 'spirit magic' character for the back row, I've found him quite useful in situations where I need some physical attacks and better defense on the front row.

Disc 4....where do I begin? The first dungeon in this level is very well designed. It 'feels' complex without making you completely lost. It has simple puzzles but for the most part continued to give me that sensation that I'm embarking on one hell of an epic adventure....this is what Lost Odyssey accomplishes that most other Final Fantasy games have not been able to after the 7th sequel. Also, by Disc 4 you'll notice that the game becomes more open-ended and there are a lot of side-quests. Sometimes talking to people in the towns you've been to already will get you new dreams or other simpler side quests. Other areas in previous towns now become open to you, so you'll have access to more items and accessories to customize your characters further. I'm really enjoying the Ring Assembly system now. Note that you can buy some ingredients from stores (particularly in Gohtza), while there are others that are extremely rare, and these are the ones you can get from simply exploring the whole world and finding new areas and dungeons. There's also a major side quest for Tolten where you have to help him become a worthy king for Uhra. Overall, the impression I'm getting is that the game is open-ended by Disc 4 in terms of letting you do more exploring, and generally the feel that you're embarking on an epic adventure is completely enhanced by this point.

Characters still get great cutscenes in Disc 4 which continue to flesh them out and make them more interesting. One of the best things I've seen from Lost Odyssey so far is that it doesn't just focus on Kaim! In fact, and this sounds insane...try this.

Take Kaim out of your party.

Seriously, guys, try it.

See? It's possible! You can have a party that doesn't have Kaim. This further attests to the idea that this game doesn't just focus on the lead character. Everyone in your party is interesting for different reasons, and the game pushes that idea throughout the story. This is a Japanese RPG in the truest sense, as I remember how they should be.

The last Final Fantasy game to do this was FINAL FANTASY 6. I've said it time and again, this is the true spiritual successor to that game. What made FF6 so interesting to me before was that I had complete control over my party and that I could decide who I thought was the 'lead' character for the game. While in Lost Odyssey of course Kaim takes prominence, you have the freedom to create the type of fighting party that you choose. Cutscenes will still work because all the characters are present, even the ones that aren't your party. It's just nice to know that you aren't constrained by the idea that one guy has to be the 'hero' in your turn-based battles...the freedom given by the game in creating your party is really refreshing.

Overall, I could say more and more wonderful things about Lost Odyssey, but damn, it's late night already, 12 midnight....gotta get some sleep. I love this game.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely right on all accounts, particularly on melee characters. Maybe the reviewers forgot to equip rings or don't understand that melee serve a dual purpose--as tanks to defend the casters, in addition to being damage dealers. Reviewers smoke crack, pure and simple, especially that Gamespy dude.

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