Odin Sphere is a good game, but you’ll always find yourself giving up midway, and coming back to it some time later. After a two year lapse, I decided to pick up Odin Sphere again last week. After one week of gaming, I decided to keep it frozen in storage again for probably another year or two.
This game is an RPG, but entirely different from the Final Fantasies and MMORPG that we are all familiar with. It’s a side-scroller beat-em-up meets Action RPG kind of hybrid. Overall the game isn’t bad at all. You play 5 characters, each with a unique storyline and fighting mechanism. They also keep the game fresh by using alchemy system, where you can create potions to be used in battle. You can also level up your HP by eating at a restaurant, kind of similar to Adventure Bar Story. The player’s movements are decent, a little rigid, but not too bad.
The storyline is similar to the movie Vantage Point, where you see the whole picture after piecing the scenes from each character storyline. Odin Sphere also provided a scene catalog so you can watch the entire storyline in chronological order. This is absolutely perfect for gamers who return but forgot what they were doing back then. Gamers like yours truly.
The scenes and music are great. It creates a grandiose atmosphere fit for a tale. This is one of the few games where you won’t mind listening to the BGM over and over.
So why do I put it under the Cold Case category? The leveling mechanism is absolutely flawed. For any typical RPG, the most important element to keep endgame going is the fact that there is a chance to create a killing machine. That is why in MMORPG many players would actually spend real money to buy items to boost their stats.
The problem with Odin sphere is that the chance of creating a maxed out character is almost absolutely impossible. In this game you have 5 characters, and each character require maxing out both HP and psypher. Meanwhile, the max level for both HP and psypher is 99 levels. 99 LEVELS!! Now consider this, the levels are not interchangeable between characters, and the characters do not gain experiences concurrently. This means you have to max out one character, then moved to another character just to repeat the SAME PROCESS again and again. No wonder I put it on ice. Not to mention, the level scheme is similar to an MMO, where experience requirement is growing exponentially, making all this nearly impossible.
To put this into perspective, I took me around 31 hours to play one character’s story twice, (That’s right you have to finish the story to unlock another character, but it also resets your own character’s story) with only level 91 psypher and level 30-ish HP. Imagine doing it for 5 character! It is a bit too mind-numbing for me to consider.
So all in all, STAY AWAY IF YOU’RE A COMPLETIONIST!!
Story and music: S (Pretty good, one of the saving grace of the game)
Actual Gaming: A (A little awkward, but good enough to avoid discouraging players)
Character design and Background graphics: A+ (It’s actually impressive how well done the game is consider it is a 2-D side scroller)
Leveling mechanism: F (Horrendous, just horrendous…)
Overall: B or even B- (I love the game, but a bit of me do wish I never found out about this game in the first place… This game will definitely get hard-core gamers frustrated. Back to the cold-case it goes)