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In Odin Sphere, players enact the story of their world's end. A great kingdom named Valentine was brought apart by natural disaster and internal strife. As war broke out, the once-great nation became a wasteland. As a demon lord named Odin schemes to conquer it, a far-off sorceror plans to use ancient magic that will bring an apocalypse. As the nations struggle for control, the world steadily slips unknowingly toward its demise, ancient prophecies are ready to be fulfilled -- unless a young princess named Gwendolyn can stop the bloody feud between nations and fight for unity.
- Intense side-scrolling action
- Gorgeous hand-drawn artwork and animations
- Fully-voiced dialogue
- 5 playable characters in all
- Fantastic bosses that tower over the protagonists
- Unique, in a fantastic way
Odin Sphere is a fantastic game.
The gameplay is fast and exciting, and the storylines are epic.
Those reviewers complaining about a lack of depth in gameplay (I believe someone likened the combat to "mash mash mash") may not have experienced everything this title has to offer. The actual sword-swingin' is a little weak, but that's because it's really only a tenth of the overall gameplay. Sure, in the lower levels, you can mash an attack button and do all right. As you move on, however, you find that this tactic will result in a loading screen.
As the difficulty advances, you'll find that you need to manage attack, defense, mobility, magic, seed growth, health, food recipes, leveling up, and potions - all in real time. To make matters more interesting, many of these mechanics contrast each other.
Do you eat the apple in your inventory, thereby gaining immediate health, or do you keep it and use it later on in a larger food recipe? Do you allow the enemy crystals to be absorbed into your planted seeds, thereby growing new food items, or do you absorb them immediately to power your magic?
Quite a far cry from the easy "mash mash mash" you may see on earlier levels.
The game displays innovation in every category. Other reviewers have covered the system information (planting seeds, eating to gain health and health XP, etc). I've never played any other game like this one, and found it amazingly fun.
* Gameplay depth
* Crisp, beautiful graphics
* Innovative potion / health / recipe system
* Tradeoffs between magic and food require planning and strategy
* Ability to retry any individual map instantly, no loading
* Ability to restart any area with current XP and items (if the area is too hard)
* Boss fights are extremely diffcult compared to basic storyline
* Managing potions, food, and recipes can be overwhelming...more info
- The End of the World Times Five
Lately, I've been really disappointed with the PS2's RPG offerings. Final Fantasy XII was the logical evolution of the graphics over gameplay mentality, a game that basically played itself. Valkyrie Profile 2 had some neat ideas but completely dropped the ball with its unbalanced difficulty and messy battle system. Almost six months after the console has become obsolete along comes Odin Sphere, the RPG swan song I've been waiting for.
The story of Odin Sphere tells the tale of a war between the Odin and his Aesir against the Vanir, the fairy people, to control a device known as the cauldron. It follows the journey of five different characters over the course of roughly the same time period as the events that herald the end of the world come to pass. Their paths all converge at the end when they take part in one last, futile battle against the beasts of the apocalypse. Even if the individual stories of the characters do lean a bit towards the melodramatic, they are excellent, interesting, and develop the characters well. All five stories fit together nicely like pieces of a puzzle.
Its story alone is enough to cover quite a few worts that gameplay has as far as I'm concerned. For one thing, Odin Sphere is a throw-back to older games in difficulty as well as its visual design. Odin Sphere is a 2D side-strolling action game primarily with RPG elements thrown in. Watching it is like a seeing a gorgeous painting come to life. It is almost mind-blowingly difficult at times. At first, the difficulty level almost had me hating this game. Odin Sphere has a terrible learning curve that has to be overcome to find the gameing goodness within. For one thing, the player must learn that mindlessly attacking will get you killed quickly. Secondly, you must learn that given the limited space in your inventory, items are meant to be used, not stockpiled. Dropped items are plentiful so you can easily find or make another one. Thirdly, the character must use the food cultivation system to gain levels and healing items. The food you grow at first doesn't heal you up very much and you are open to enemy attack should you need to consume it in the heat of battle which makes it nearly useless. A bit later on you'll gain a healing potion alchemy mix which you can synthesize at any time and at last the game becomes bearable. Also I don't think it helps that the starting character, Gwendolyn, tends to get stuck in long combo animations that leave her open to attack. I found it to be a ton of fun after I learned the ropes because, rather than being a mindless hack and slash you can just plow through, Odin Sphere requires some smart thinking and quick reflexes. I also don't think that it helps Odin Sphere's case at the beginning that the first character's story arc takes place the latest in the time line and feels like it has large gaps in it, which are actually covered in other characters' scenarios.
In the end, Odin Sphere is a wonderful game, but its only going to appeal to a select audience. If you love RPGs and hard action games, your ship has come in because this blends the best of both into one package. If not, its probably only going to make you frustrated....more info
The day of the boring, lackluster RPG is done. Atlus, a company with whom I have played with for quite a while, has usually given me mixed results. Their latest entry, Odin Sphere, bucks the standard by providing a racing soundtrack, intense graphics, and a wonderfully challenging and powerful interface. You command one of five heroes in an epic struggle to prevent Apocalypse from ravaging several warring nations. Just when you think you get the gist and succeed through several levels, the challenge ramps upward and onward. Aside from some technical quirks and a dreadful slowdown in frame rate, Odin is an action-packed and delightful title. If anything, whack some Unicorn Knights to get out your aggression. Well worth it!...more info
- Such a beautiful game, but such lousy game play
I really tried to make myself like this game but aside from the being quite pretty to look at, and listen to this game has nothing going for it other than its somewhat original approach to the RPG genre.
The inventory system is completely inane and does not allow you to stack the majority of items when given already very limited inventory space. The combat is fairly difficult but is made even worse by the fact that each area you enter typically consists of about 6-7 sections before it is complete, completely resets if you leave, and you can only heal by using food items that are quite expensive considering the small amount of money you may or may not receive after each section...or you can grow your own food in the middle of battle but if you let it grow too long it becomes over ripe and no good...and also it steals Phozons (which are basically like your experience points and Magic Points in one) to grow.
Monsters will sometimes drop treasure chests when you kill them but you have all of about 5 seconds to knock it open before it disappears.
You can equip ONE item at any time, but this item still takes up inventory space even when equiped for some odd reason...
A lot of people seem to honestly enjoy this game, you may be one of those people but I'm not. Rent it first and see for yourself before you drop 40 bucks....more info
- Geat Game, Horrible Lag.....
This game had some of the best voice acting on any platform, the graphics are very good even for the PS2, gameplay had the right idea along with the story.
The "BIG" thing that holds this game down is the major slowdown during battles. This really irritates me along with many others that witnessed this themselves.
When you are up against many enemies at once its like the game suddenly went into slow motion. You are dragging beating all your enemies untill the screen is all clear of them.
This game would have been a 5star for me if it was not for this.
Game's like this would make a lot more money and have many more fan's if developers took the time to fix things like this. Even if they have a deadline to release their games.
"The more effort you put into it, the more you will get out of it"...more info
- Game of the Year 2007!!!
Odin Sphere is the Game of the Year for 2007! While it may have a few gripes in terms of gameplay, and is on a last-gen system; one thing stands out the most with Odin Sphere that doesn't with all other games this year: you have absolutely NEVER played a game like Odin Sphere before. Vanillaware has produced a game that blends gameplay, graphics, and story together so strongly and intricately that it is nothing short of amazing. You will play Odin Sphere to build and develop your character, you will play to witness the amazing story that is being unfolded for you through the eyes of 5 different characters, you will play to fight the next AMAZING boss that lies in wait for you. Odin Sphere isn't simply a game, it is an experience! Like Okami, Dragon Quest VIII, and Shadow of the Colossus before it; Odin Sphere is an epic experience that will make you treasure the fact that videogames exist. ...more info
- Odin Sphere gets it all right
Odin Sphere is a triumph of game design, plain and simple. The hand-drawn art and character designs definitley take the cake, as every screen of Odin Sphere is lush and gorgeous. But add quality voice acting, beautiful music, intuitive gameplay, and 40+ hours of gameplay with 5 charming playable characters to an already impressive game and you've got an absolute classic.
Odin sphere is a unique sort of action-RPG which definitely requires tactical thinking. You aren't just going to mutton-mash your way through this game. As you enter a new level or approach a boss you've got to think about your inventory and how you can make what you've got work for you-- or go back to previous levels to gather more items (you can combine items to create healing as well as destructive potions; or plant seeds that grow into healing edibles). And since inventory space is limited, you've really got to pay attention.
The fighting is intuitive, each character with various strengths and weapons that require you to consider your style of attack. Also to be considered is whether to power up your weapons by conserving the energy used in special attacks, or whether to go all-out with powers like becoming immaterial for a short while (giving you time to heal and gather energy, or avoid your enemies), or releasing a surge of energy that delivers massive damage. Again, strategic thinking is required.
Odin Sphere is a sprawling story of nations at war, told from multiple perspectives (a total of 5+ hours of theatrical cut-scenes) and inhabited by characters struggling to make difficult choices in the face of adversity, making for a rich and complex experience that won't quit your imagination just because you've put down the controller.
A must-play for anyone who's a fan of either RPGs or great games....more info
- Great Old School Side Scrolling
Odin Sphere is a great game, fun to play with AMAZING graphics. It feels like your playing a children's painting. The story is well written and draws you in. Even if it starts as the typical RPG fair. At least nobody is missing their memory. All in all a great game, works great on a PS3 too. If you can grab a copy definitely worth a buy....more info
- Beautifully Clumsy and Overrated
While I give this game points for the absolutely beautiful -and unique- graphics, I just can't bear to slug my way through the entire game.
Let's take a moment to talk about the game's most distinguished merit: Graphics. Now, just because the graphics are my favourite part of this game doesn't mean that you should expect the most "advanced" visuals. What is great about what you will see is that you probably haven't seen anything quite like it.
Sure, you've played sidescrollers and seen Japanese-style cartoon characters but screenshots just don't tell the whole story here. The characters have a motion that somehow allows a 2D cartoon character to come alive. Beyond that, there is just an enormous amount of detail poured into the environments that you just don't see in other 2D realms.
That said, there are just a number of flaws that bring this would-be giant to its knees. I'll only focus on the most important: Gameplay. Be prepared to be frustrated. When you first start out, you will be puzzled by seemingly unresponsive button presses. As you play you will learn that presses just don't register while the character is carrying out the current action. What this amounts to is slowly and carefully timing your buttons with the animations, which is incredibly counter intuitive and clumsy- especially when you have five to ten bad guys bum-rushing you at high speed. Your natural tendency is to mash away, which will ultimately result in your demise.
In the end, this game may be worth the bargain price, but only as a whimsical (and short) diversion for those dry spells between major new releases.
Beautiful art meets clumsy controls
-Absolutely wonderful art and animations
-Unique concept of combining action and RPG elements (albeit not masterfully executed)
-Frustratingly clumsy controls
-Repetitive level design ...more info
- oddly fun
the art in this game is amazing. the gameplay is really fun but is pretty hard especially once you get further into it. i have to say though somtimes i found it hilariously weird and found myself busting up laughing at times. things like planting a sheep bush which grows two sheep you can whack and kil for lamb chops to give you health. now imagine all that while your fighting a boss that chases you around looping sidescroller levels while your health is so low if you get hit again your dead. like i said its so weird somtimes its hilarious. overall fun...more info
- Total garbage
What idiot decided to label this abomination an RPG? Because it isn't. It's a mediocre 2-D sidescrolling beat-em-up with some RPG elements poorly integrated into the game engine. And by 2-D, I mean really 2-D. You can move forward and backwards, and jump. You can't move up and down, something that has been standard in beat-em-ups since the NES.
Sure, the graphics are good, but that doesn't mean anything when the game is monotonous and annoying. The game engine is hardwired for contradictory goals. To get more HP, you need to use healing items. But to get good items from a level, you must win fights without getting hurt, which obviates the need for healing items. I also never saw any results from levelling up my weapon.
The game was also shipped with what I consider a showstopper bug. Neat trick: Go into a tutorial that involves picking items up with a full inventory. Since your inventory is full, you can't pick anything up, so you can't progress in the tutorial. And since you're in a tutorial, you can't drop anything. You're stuck.
I played this game once, put it on a shelf, and traded it for store credit against Growlanser: Heritage of War a month later. I find the fact that Sony refused to publish Ys I & II Eternal in America because it was 2-D when it allows 2-D games like this, which are inherently inferior, to be an insult....more info
Wow and more Wow. The animation and visuals for this game are top notch. The story is also pretty good. Not all may like how the lvls are setup but if high res highly animated 2D visuals get you excited then you wont be disappointed....more info
- Wanting is better than having...
When I first saw advertisements for this game, I went over to my local GameStop and immediately pre-ordered it. Fellow gamers waited with bated breath for it to come out, magazines like Play and GamePro were practically crapping themselves with anticipation, constantly running articles about how beautiful the graphics are, etc.
You know what? Now that I've actually played the game, I don't really see what all the fuss is about. Now before you all come after me with your torches and pitchforks, let me first state that it isn't bad, and in fact has many good points. The graphics, for one. The visuals are absolutely stunning. The music was also phenomenal. It was very beautiful and fit the game perfectly. The voice acting was great, and could probably be the best I've ever encountered in a game. I know all you super nerdy otaku out there will probably lynch me for this, but I really enjoyed the English voiceacting, and thought it fit the game better than the Japanese voices. I also thought the story was pretty interesting. A tad cliched perhaps, but I liked how each of the characters was affected by the events in their own way, and how they all fit in together. I thought it was cool how it was told out of chronological order as well, and you had to finish each character's story to get the full picture (kinda like Pulp Fiction.) All-in-all, Odinsphere is a feast for the senses.
Now on to the bad parts. *puts on riot gear*
The gameplay can get pretty repetitive after a while. All the characters go to the same places, fight the same enemies and bosses, etc. It got pretty tiresome after awhile. Also, the game is pretty hard. Sure, there's a difficulty setting, but I'm pretty sure it's for decorative purposes only. I'm telling you, never have I wanted to hurl my controller through the t.v. screen more than while playing this game. Money is hard to come by, health items are hard to come by...oh, since we are on the topic of health items, let me voice some concern about those godforsaken seeds you are constanly getting. See, alot of the time you have to actually grow your own health items. You plant a seed, and these sparkly orbs called phozons that are released when you defeat an enemy go into the seed and make it grow. When the seed grows to fruition, you have a nice, sparkly health item. But not only do these items restore hp, they also give you exp. The problem is, you also need those phozons yourself to perform powerful magical attacks. I found myself having to choose between magic and hp/exp. VERY irksome. Also annoying was the lag. When battling against a large group or just one particularly huge boss, the entire game slows to a crawl. It's like fighting while completely mired in molasses.
So to summarize my long, rambling tirade, Odinsphere is a very beautiful game, but is severely lacking in the gameplay department. If you really want to play it, I strongly suggest you rent it first....more info
- The most fun I've had with a video game in a long time...
Odin Sphere is simply a great game. This side-scrolling, hack and slash, RPG, is one of the best games for the PS2, if you like that sorta thing. The 2D graphics will take you back to the good ol' Sega Genesis days, and thats not a bad thing!
Its strengths are its gameplay (if you like side-scrolling hack & slash/Action RPGs), the music & sound in the game is very good. Odin Sphere is very original in many aspects and a very odd game, which is a good thing, its different and I like that. (example: During, after or before a battle you can plant seeds so they can grow into trees so then they can produce fruit for you to eat, which gains experience...) The boss battles are simply awesome, most of the bosses take up nearly the whole screen and are difficult to beat. As the story progresses, you'll eventually end up using 5 different characters, which have different skills and weapons. You can even make potions in the game, which will help you in battle.
I have only a few dislikes with Odin Sphere, which prevents it from being 5 out of 5 stars. At times it can almost be too difficult, and has no difficulty option. I consider myself pretty good at games, in general, and there has been times in this game where I would die nearly 6-7 times in the same stage, having to restart the stage each time. It can be frustrating to lose in a stage where there is a ton of monsters, because you'll have to restart the stage when you die, which means having to battle the same monsters all over again. My only other complaints are that I wish the stages were longer, that there were more stages/areas/levels, and more boss battles.
All in all this game gets 4 stars overall from me. I hope to see a sequel to this game. ...more info
tHIS GAME HAS GOOD GRAPHICS AND IS FUN TO PLAY. BUT IT REALLY NEEDS A STRATAGY GUIDE OR SOMETHING TO USE TO GET STARTED....more info
- One of the last great PS2 RPGs
Even though RPG's tend to be more "nerd"-centered, I always find playing them more funner than fighters or sports games because they always centered around an engrossing story. Sure a lot of them are far from innovative or new, but they're all the more interesting anyway. The story, presentation and the characters in Odin Sphere are quite memorable and it's surprising how fast you get suckered into the world. But like a lot of games, it's the gameplay that gets it knocked down a tad and while it's not an ever-present flaw, it's still one of those things you have to suffer in order to get to the good stuff.
Story: You play a young girl who is reading books up in her attic. We then go inside the book's story and find ourselves in the world of Erion where the kingdom of Valentine fell victim to a creation of its own, the Crystallization Cauldron. Pretty soon, the Ringford fairies and the warriors of Ragnanival want it and are at odds. The game is separated into several books with their own chapters and acts and different characters.
Graphics: I'm not kidding when I say this is probably one of the most loveliest and beautiful looking 2D games I've ever seen. With detailed sprites, bright color palettes and background animation meant to breathe life into the environment, the game is quite something to see in motion. The only problem comes when there's too many activity on screen and the sprites are a little bigger than usual (some are literally the height or length of the screen) so the game has slowdown.
Sound/Music: Done by Hitoshi Sakamoto, the game is has some quite nice and memorable tunes which is kind of surprising because I wasn't too impressed with the Final Fantasy XII soundtrack. Also, a nice plus for those who love VA is an option for either English or Japanese. Even though the game in Japanese makes me think of a anime, I like keeping it in English which is good since, despite some occasional awkward readings, it's a solid job.
Gameplay: This is where the game takes a dip. Done in a 2D rotating map where each section on the level acts as a 2D outline but really you're just going in circles, it's kind of neat to find a 2D RPG after so many 3D ones. It's pretty once you get the hang of it and the controls will eventually feel more comfortable. However it's the other parts of your character that are a nuisance. For example, now and then you get special items you can equip which can either net you more EXP when you get Phozons (kind of like MP in a way where you can fill a meter to unleash a special attack), or more attack power, or better chance for items being dropped. But you can only do one at a time and they're not separate from your item list so these things can take up space and since enemies can easily stomp you silly, that's not a good thing. Be prepared to throw away/use a lot of items to make room for others.
Speaking of tough enemies, this game can easily hand you your *** if you're not careful. Sometimes they really pack a wallop or they can break your combos by somehow breaking through your attack and getting a lucky shot in. Then there's the bosses which can easily fill up a screen. To help in your fight you get special skills such as Phozon skills, items like Napalm. But some items hold special abilities such as different kinds of seeds where, when planted, will absorb surrounding Phozon which'll grow and bear health-giving fruit. Only sacrifice is that the Phozon charges your meter allowing for special attacks so it's kind of a trade off. Also another skill you pick up is Alchemy where you can combine items to create a better item or one with more potency.
A game like Odin Sphere is like a lot of games that near the system's life cycle where barely anyone knows about it, let alone played it yet there's a group of people who played it and loved it. Odin Sphere might not get massive amounts of fans but we're just glad we have a great RPG to play, even if people are playing games on the big boys....more info
- A surprising story and game
I bought this game expecting to like it enough to play for a while and put aside. What I received was an ingeniously presented story, some of the most lavish art I've seen (I love sprites, which also helps), and a really enjoyable combat and level system. Telling too much about the game will spoil some of the joy, so I'll keep this brief. I have loved this game since I put it in; the story has kept me going - and the novel way they have you uncover it! - and the graphics are desperately pleasing to the senses. The music for the game is also a gem - pause on the "start" screen for a short bit and an "intro" video will play with the main theme song featuring vocals.
All told, this is one of the best games for any system I have purchased, and I greatly enjoy it. It is a story, an RPG, and a visual symphony....more info
- Good game hampered by an aging system
While the gameplay can get a little repetitive, I didn't really mind. The story is good and the voice acting doesn't make me lunge for the mute button like many other games do (Disgaea, I'm looking at you). And the graphics are simply amazing - partly because they look great, partly because I can imagine the effort that went into making all those 2D sprites.
The only downside is the slowdown that happens when too many characters are on the screen at once. Apparently the PS2 is very bad at drawing semi-transparent sprites. A worst case example: at a few points in the game you take on Odette, the queen of the dead. But you aren't just fighting her, you're also fighting her horde of small ghost minions and the resulting 2 frames per second the PS2 is able to display. I wish I was exaggerating here. 2. Frames. Per. Second....more info
- Vastly Underrated
This may be the most beautiful game ever made. The art is like none other and is so detailed it's amazing. There are less than a dozen areas to visit in this game, yet every time I returned with a different character, they never got old or repetitive. The same with the bosses. Each of the five characters are a different experience to play, although they are all in the same overall plot. Areas are set up as "stages" connecting together shown on the map as circles and are rated by difficulty from 1 to 5 as well as shops and bosses. I liked this set up because it was simple and told me exactly what I was getting into before I got there. The option to play using the original Japanese voice track was a big plus for me as well. I was skeptical of the growing and cooking food aspect of this game at first, but it is actually fun and easy. The only minuses are occasional long load times and slowdown. There is one boss battle where the slowdown is huge, but the battle is still doable on each character. Likewise when there are a lot of enemies on screen it can slow a little. It's a little annoying but is only a real problem with that specific boss. Odin Sphere follows a linear path so that you never have to guess where to go next which makes it easy to play and yet still challenging. It's a shame that this game hasn't gotten all the recognition it deserves....more info
- Holy Crap!!! A great side-scroller!!
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the best 2-D side scroller since Castlevania Symphony of the Night. Talk about a welcome relief. When you get tired of all those first person shooters or huge combo-centeric 3-D adventures, this is the game for you.
Graphically, there hasn't been a better game on the PS2. I play this on my HDTV through my PS3 and it looks stunning. The gameplay is easy to learn, but surprisingly deep. It has those RPG elements to it, but the game doesn't get bogged down by these. All of this provides for some very smoothe gameplay.
Throughout the game, you play as five different characters whose stories are divided into five separate books. They do play in the same levels with many of the same bosses. This isn't such a bad thing as each character is fundamentally diffeent and this keeps the gameplay active.
I spent about 30 hours playing this game and found this to be time well spent. Playing this will evoke imagery and feelings of the games that were played in the NES era, but on a beautiful, sweeping scale....more info
- Great artistic game.
Odin Sphere is beautiful and fun. It also contains a well written storyline.
I would recommend it for anyone because it is a game you can't miss....more info
- One of the most beautiful games I've ever seen...
I'm not joking, either. Odin Sphere's graphics are second to none, and the story line's nothing to laugh at, either.
This game is actually about a small girl who finds some story books in her attic. All of the stories are intertwined, but each book is about one of the 5 main characters in particular (save for the last, which involve all characters). The setup is unique. Unless you play through all 5 of the books, the story is filled with plot holes and time gaps.
The story follows the war between the Aesir (the Valkyries) and the Vanir (the Fairy folk), both attempting to control a device known as the Crystallization Cauldron and its ultimate role in the destruction of the world. The main plot follows the paths traveled by five main characters: a Valkyrie cast out of her nation, a prince turned into a beast, a fairy who would succeed her mother as queen, a knight who's soul resides in darkness, and a princess from a nation long since destroyed by the Cauldron.
To watch the game is to watch a masterpiece come alive. It's a 2D side-scrolling RPG, something unheard of on the PS2. It can become incredibly difficult at times, particularly so if you get caught in a mass of enemies attacking from both sides. Item space is also limited. It's a hard lesson to learn that items should be used, not saved for later. But, since dropped items are commonplace, you don't have to feel so bad about using that healing potion now instead of saving it for the boss fight. The food growing system can either kill you or save your life, depending on how you use it. You can eat food that you grow to regain lost HP, but you leave yourself open to attack. This choice can be difficult to make if you're near death. Finally, the alchemy system has 26 recipes for you to learn, which means Gwendolyn (the first character you play as) won't have as much of an edge as Velvet (the last one).
Some people will find this game just as frustrating as others enjoy it. If you enjoy tactical adventure/RPG games that require some quick thinking and fast reflexes, then you'll absolutely love this game. Otherwise, you may only find yourself frustrated. I highly recommend this game to anyone who even thinks they might enjoy it....more info
- Repetative yet Rewarding
With the raving success of Disgaea, a score of similar RPG-infused action and tactics games were seen fit to localize by Atlus and other game developers. But success of these hand-drawn, anime-reminiscent, high-fantasy games has been spotty at best. Odin Sphere is a solid action-RPG release, hearkening back to classics like Valkyrie Profile. It's a beautiful, story-rich, side-scrolling crafting game disguised as a battle between fairies and demons.
I say it's a crafting game, since a good 50% of your time will be spent crafting food and potions and otherwise managing your inventory. Your character has two channels for character development: weapon level and hitpoint level. The monsters you kill yield phozons, which you can absorb to level up your weapon. Or you can leave the phozons floating around, and they will be absorbed by seeds you collect and plant. Your planted seeds become fruit (and sheep!) trees. Eating food is the only way to level up your hit points. Later in the game, you can collect different types of food and bring them to the pookas - a rabbit-like people. For a small fee, the pookas will make your food into delicious meals with better stats.
The battles are a little tough, and require some coordination to fight in every point of the 2-d plane. Monsters will come at you in enormous groups and they won't conveniently stop, split up, or take cover. You do have to manage your power - if you attack too frequently, you can run out and become exhausted, which renders you unable to fight or act for a short period of time (and those monsters won't stop coming at you while you're exhausted). Leveling up your weapon gives you new magic skills in addition to making your basic attacks more powerful. You must gather phozons to cast spells, so dedicating all your phozons to growing food isn't a great idea. Battle actions aren't instantaneous, so if you need to heal or gather in the middle of a battle while the monsters are coming at you, it's generally a good idea to run a good ways away first. How well you do in battles determines what treasures drop at the end of each level.
There are 5 main characters in Odin Sphere. All live within the same world and time period, and their stories meld together nicely. Each character has their own special weapon and different kinds of attacks. Every character moves differently, too: some characters have wings, some fight solely in melee range, and some have special jumps. The stories are compelling and grand, though a little humorless. I appreciate that the characters aren't always the most noble or heroic warriors. It's often the case that a boss you fight within one story becomes the next character you play.
The major criticism that can be leveled against Odin Sphere is repetition. For 5 characters and 5 story lines, you visit the same areas with the same monsters over and over again. New game mechanics are not introduced in subsequent characters - you learn them all with your first character. This is a great way to develop cheaply and focus your resources on the story and art. For Odin Sphere, it's pretty obvious that this is where all the time and care went into the game. However, your characters are different enough that the game remains fresh between the stories. You get new food and potion recipes all the time, and the recipes you learn don't vanish when you start playing through another character and story.
The result is that by your second or third character, you know how to control your character and the best way to defeat certain monsters, so the game becomes a kill-and-collect fest, regularly interrupted by stunning art and story. The combat may be a bit too shallow for some. The collection may be too tedious for others. But I appreciate eliminating a screen full of poisonous frogs with my fairy-gun in three seconds flat, and being rewarded with lamb chops and a story of treason, dragons, wizards, and intrigue....more info
"Odin Sphere" has garnered a LOT of acclaim. Indeed, it's graphical design has made for a unique game, as the colorful 2-D images come to life like no other I (or anyone else, judging by the stellar reviews) have ever seen. The game has a deep story.
Unfortunately, it's not very fun to play. Moreover, it is incredibly difficult. Now, difficulty isn't a bad thing in a game, but this one really takes the cake in that regard. Some bosses are absolutely murderous, forcing the player to power up incessantly (both to increase strength as well as garner funds for powerful items). Moreover, running back and forth on a 2-D plain, slashing at enemies attacking in the air and on the ground, isn't exactly an original idea.
I don't want to spoil any of the story, as it was strong and often helped an otherwise poor offering. But all in all, I would wait for this game to hit the twenty dollar bin. At fifty bucks, it just doesn't deliver....more info
- Beautiful game with one huge flaw...
To start off, I'd like to say that I loved Odin Sphere. I searched all over my town for a copy of the game and I was elated when I finally got my hands on one. When I first started up my game, I instantly fell in love with it, and enjoyed every moment...until Cornelius' storyline. In his storyline, the boss fights are great and there are enemies everywhere which happens to be the reason this game can't get five stars. The slowdown is AGONIZING. There was one particular boss fight that involves a dragon that spits out trash and sucks it back up. This fight was the reason that I gave up on the game and traded it back in, it is THAT BAD. I recommend that if you plan to buy this game, either get a PS3 or a boatload of patience, because you will need it. Otherwise, the game is great. The story is very intriguing, the characters are deep, and the music is wonderful. If you can deal with the excrutiating slowdown, I recommend giving this game a chance....more info
- Expected more storyline
From the advertising and hype one would think this game had a bit more storyline.
Very (big emphasis on very) loosely based on the Norse mythology of Odin and his Valkyries, the game would have been a lot better with more storyline and a better weapons and potions system. After completing "stages" the game advances and you see flat 2d renderings of a rather brainless story.
It's not that the artwork isn't pretty enough in and of itself, it is nicely drawn and has a nice glow but as is typical of a side scrolling game it is flat and Odin and some of the creatures are a bit ridiculous.
Aesthetics aside the potion making portion is fun, however it gets frustrating very fast because of all the items and recipes needed and your item bags get too full to pick up what you need. As a true RPG fan I like to save some potions for later use but with this system it is nearly impossible.
The game also tells you to use your attacks and potions "Strategically" but when your enemies have strong attacks all you can do is jump and slash and hope you don't get hit while recharging your power. It is also difficult to level up or get money to buy things because your points do not come from defeating monsters, they come from items and how fast and how well you finish each stage (which determines the items and money you get afterward.) You also can't make potions in the middle of battle or collect more photons (attack power) after you clear a stage (until you come back) so here is where a larger inventory would be handy. Be prepared to loose a lot of frustrating battles!
Even Tales of Legendia had a better storyline (albeit it dragged on too long) but if you don't care about the depth of gameplay a normal RPG has or mind the flat side scroll it is an ok game to have in your PS2 inventory. Overall I rate it as below average....more info
- A beautiful master piece, when rpgs fuse with action side scrollers.
I did not know what to think of Odin Sphere. There were some good reviews and some bad reviews. Regardless if you think this is just a hack n slash disguised as an rpg you are both very right but also very wrong. I think what endeared me to the game was having the little girl pick up her black cat Socrates while plopping down in the chair with him. In a strange twist Odin Sphere starts you out as a child with a story book. All the heroes of the game are actually the characters she is reading about. See it as a similar situation as being Bastion with the never-ending story.
In a realm of fairy tales the God Odin has declared war on the fairy kingdom. He wants a cauldron to make powerful weapons but if he succeeds the world will end. Ironically enough you start out not as the hero against Odin but as Gwendolyn, one of his Valkyrie daughters who is a hapless pawn.
Actually there are 5 characters in all. There is Gwendolyn's half sister who is a red hooded witch, the dark knight Oswald that can become a shadow beast, a noble prince who has been turned into a rabbit-thing, and a cute fairy archer. All of them have their own motives as well as varied ways of attacking.
As you jump, glide, and attack you can absorb "phozons". These fuel your magic and power up the damage of your weapons for each character. While you cannot hold many items you can be clever in the way you use them. Plants for example normally require phozons to grow and you can actually bury a seed right before battle so any creatures you slay mature the plant with their dispersed life energy thus making it grow life nourishing berries. My favorite weed was one that dropped living sheep that you could bop to turn into lamb chops!
"Alchemy" is another important skill. By mixing potions you can create healing beverages or even warm elixirs that keep your core temperature up in cold environments.
Odin Sphere's story is very intricate and you get to walk in the shoes of characters that are on every side of the conflict. Each time you complete a hero's scenario another book appears for the little girl to read. Each person has a whole tome dedicated to them alone. By that point it is your choice who you want to play as.
Even if a huge boss is too hard fret not. You can always return to your base with all the experience and items you have earned and simply do the level over again. Eventually you will be strong enough to deal with a pesky dragon or traitorous general on your own terms!
Increasing stats is pretty easy. For example just by eating a lot it raises your overall health and absorbing enough phozons will make your weapon stronger.
The character sprites and graphics have a lot of personality and detail. Remember how crono trigger and secret of mana looked on the SNES at the zenith of its' perfection? Well multiply that glory by 2 and you get the picture.
The music and voice acting also deserve praise and set the mood perfectly for each emotional scenario.
Your found maps are easy to read so going from one place to another without getting lost is easy.
The only bone to pick with Odin sphere is when there are many enemies on screen at once it lags to a crawl. In the end however that is not enough to bring it down at all.
In the end you would be hard pressed not to find something to like about Odin Sphere unless you detest all things cute and anime. It has that nostalgic spark found only in the fairy tales of our youth and there is enough item farming mini games and monster bashing to keep rpg lovers and action lovers equally happy!
+Gorgeous 2D graphics
+ Glorious hack n slash action
+ Addictive game play
+Great music and voice acting
+Well told story from the perspective of 5 unique characters
-Lags when too much is going on at once.
- In trying to please both Rpg fans and action fans it may fall short in both aspects thus failing to make either group entirely happy.
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