First Impressions: Odin Sphere

23 06 2011

So it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. I’ve been playing a lot of PS2 games recently and I had the chance to borrow Odin Sphere from KXSakuraba.

This game was not for me. At all.

Odin Sphere is the perfect example of a game that has all the right ideas, but implements them in all the wrong ways.

Graphics: 10/10
I’ll start by saying I LOVED the art in this game. Everything from the backgrounds to the colorful characters. This game looks beautiful. Unfortunatly, looking nice can’t save a game from sucking hard.

Gameplay: 4/10
I can’t completely fail this game in terms of gameplay because, lets face it, its not completely broken. The basic controls are easy to grasp, attacking, movement, and jumping can all be done with relative ease. Skills are done basically the same way most sidescrolling battle RPGs (like Tales) tend to do them, so I really have no complaints with this. Point is given that selecting items and skills pauses the action so that you aren’t attempting to avoid enemies AND use skills. That would suck.

Items on the other hand feel slow. The animation of your character eating food is cool, but takes too long in a fast paced battle. That you can only have ONE piece of equipment on at one time is really limited and feels like a fake attempt to add strategy to an otherwise shallow game. The fact that you can only have one piece of equipment also makes the loot you get from beating levels relatively pointless. I know I prefer to get loot that I can use to upgrade my character, but in Odin Sphere I feel like I’m just getting money that I really can’t buy much with, and scrolls, which tell me things a tutorial really should have. This makes the levels really feel unsatisfying.

Story: 3/10
There’s a story?

No really, you start the game only to take control of a girl with her cat in a room. No explaination, no story, no tutorial, and no one telling you what the hell is going on. You can wander and sit in a chair, that’s it. Took me a good 5 minutes to realize I had to pick up a book lying on the floor. Reading the book takes you into the game’s main story.

Basically what I got out of the book story is that the kingdom of the Valkyries is at war. Dunno who with, dunno why. I never really cared to play that far. For a game that seems like it prides itself on story, its rather dull. Nothing about the story made me care what was happening. Cutscenes were short and just served as introductions to the button-mashing action levels. Voice acting was at least passable.

Music: 5/10
Music was good, but nothing too catchy. About average for an RPG. Nothing I’ll be humming later.

Overall: 4/10
I can see fans of games like Riviera or Yggra Union or even fans of the Tales series of games liking Odin Sphere, but I probably wouldn’t reccomend it to anyone else. It LOOKS pretty, but really, that’s all it has going for it.

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