Originally posted: Jan 20, '09
This review is a little bit overdue as this game was released at about the same time today last year, so a year has passed already but I still feel compelled to do because this game is my favorite JRPG in the Xbox360. I already completed the game December last year but it's only now that I found the time to write a review, so here goes.
I just made a bold statement that this is the best JRPG for me in the Xbox360 and I tend to clarify the prefix "J", which means Japanese, which is different from the other half which are the WRPGs, "W" for Western. So how does the two differ? First JRPGs are made in Japan and WRPGs from US or Europe. But that doesn't end the differences; for one mostly JRPGs are turn based or if not it still has some element of it but somehow mixed with a little action and also you're travelling with a party; while mostly WRPGs are hack-and-slash based and most of the time you are alone wandering. So for me it's unfair to compare those two sub-genres of RPGs. Now that that's cleared I'm gonna tell again that so far for me Lost Odyssey is the best JPRG in the 360 closely followed by Tales Of Vesperia. In the future we'll see if Final Fantasy XIII will take the crown or maybe The Last Remnant if I find time to finish it.
What made me like Lost Odyssey so much is that it really feels like the old Final Fanstasy, purely turn based, black magic, white magic and learning skills through weapons. The only difference is the lack of summons, but the gigantic bosses pretty much make up for it if you just want to see huge monsters covering up your screen. The story as you'll expect is dramatic, the sounds amazing, the character graphics feature big sprites similar to Final Fantasy VIII but of course much better 3D rendering now. The background rendering and 3D cinematics are also top notch and paired with the best voice acting you'll see in years makes playing this game really a breathtaking experience. The game is also long, with estimated time to finish around 80 hours if you complete all the side quests (and just to give you an idea, the game houses four, yes that's four dual-layer DVDs); and it also somehow eliminates level grinding as the experience the enemies' give becomes 1 if you reached a certain level in a specific area; but good thing every level only requires you 100 experience points, but still grinding for only 1xp per enemy is not fun. There's also another aspect of Lost Odyssey that is amazing which is the "Thousand Years Of Dreams" which chronicles the main character's past; as this one gets you more depth into the story but only if you really like to read as it shows only texts.
I like to say more things about this game, but I want you to experience it yourselves, bring back the hardcore gaming of your childhood; and also just a little bit more of encouragement, the game was developed by some guys that left Square-Enix to form a new company Mistwalker, so you're assured of the Final Fantasy quality if that's what you need to know; but for everybody else that's a JRPG fan or an RPG fan this is really a good game to try, heck if you're really an RPG fan I'm mostly sure you've already played this.
Lost Odyssey is exclusive for the Xbox360. I'll say it again, best JRPG for me in the 360 and I'm still looking for a game to beat it, I'm looking at you Final Fantasy XIII.