What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this fighting game is rated "Teen" instead of "Mature" as there is no blood. The player will use a sword or magic to defeat enemies in a turn-based fight mechanic, meaning the combat move is selected and the action plays out without gamer involvement. Enemies -- which are human, creatures, or spirits -- can be stabbed in a dramatic fashion, but it isn't as graphic as other Xbox 360 role-playing games such as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Some characters are shown as drunk.
What's it about?
Created by renowned Japanese designer Hironobu Sakaguchi of Final Fantasy fame and penned by award-winning Japanese novelist Kiyoshi Shigematsu, this lengthy single-player adventure follows an immortal warrior, Kaim Argonar, who has lived for more than 1,000 years but doesn't remember his past. War between dueling nations is about to reach a dangerous climax, where might and magic are being used to fight for supremacy. The turn-based combat will be familiar to seasoned RPG fans, but it's handled very well here. When it's their turn, players select an opponent to fight against, which battle command to use (such as Attack, Spell, Item, Defend or Flee), and then players watch as the action unfolds. An \"Aim Ring\" system adds extra power to those who wear special rings, causing more damage to human or non-human enemies.
Is it any good?
This story is decent, as the longhaired lieutenant struggles to unlock his memories and shape his future, but it's the character development, dialogue, and movie-like sequences that will keep players intrigued throughout the course of the tale. This game world is so big it ships on four DVDs, and takes place between many locations, though they're mainly clichéd RPG environments including towns, forests, and caves.
While LOST ODYSSEY showcases gorgeous graphics, complete with very unique "costumes" worn by characters, the frame rate – referring to how smooth the onscreen motion is – stutters quite a bit during busy scenes. Also troublesome is having to sit through many load screens and swap discs to continue the adventure. These technical shortcomings remind you you're playing a game and detract from the overall experience, but they are not enough to give the game two thumbs down. Lost Odyssey feels derivative but even so, it is a very good fantasy role-playing game that should satiate demanding fans of the genre.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether long load times distract from the gameplay. How do you feel about turn-based combat? Is it the combat or the role-playing that draws you to this title?