Review by Toxicate
"Fun, fun, and... fun."
It seems lately that 3-D graphics are the latest, greatest thing, but really, 2D games dominated before - and despite its decreasing popularity, a few gems come out that integrate 2-D graphics, and Odin Sphere is most definitely one of them.
A world with dragons, big giant people, and fairies? Yep, definitely fantasy-esque, filled with warring kingdoms, scorching infernos, and a giant cauldron that leaves destruction in its wake, what's there not to love? Each character you play (which will, sadly, have to be played in a sequential order) will add onto the story, giving you more and more backstory, and when it comes to voice acting, that as well is top-notch, whether it be in japanese or english. Everything helps draw you in, from the story, the graphics, and the sheer immersiveness of it all.
The gameplay is kind of a hack-and-slash game with somewhat RPG elements in it. The RPG element of the game is Psypher and HP, which is pretty much the only thing being levelled. Psypher is gained by killing enemies and absorbing "phozons." HP is raised by eating food, which recover health. And that basically sums up the RPG element of the game. Now, onto the hack-and-slash part. You basically go through stages, from forests to snowy mountains, and, well, killing stuff along the way. You also gain special psypher skills to use when you gather enough phozon from fallen enemies. They're basically fancy (yet useful!) special attacks which you'll be familiar with soon enough. Each of the five characters also have different and unique abilities - such as Gwendolyn's blocking or gliding, or Oswald's shadow form, giving him increased attack strength.
This game's difficulty is dependant upon the person playing. Sometimes, it will rip though one player, and be a piece of cake to another. Yes, there is an easy mode, but even that may be difficult for some, and that's because the battles actually take STRATEGY! Holy crap? You normally do not just go running straight into a giant unicorn (note, a giant, killing unicorn), because obviously, its gonna kill you! Take a little time to figure the attack patterns, and death will be a thing of the past.
The graphics are great. It's what makes Odin Sphere Odin Sphere. Without it, the game would be just another... I dont know, game? Hand-rendered characters, impressive, vibrant stages, massive bosses - is there ANY problem? Yes, the framerates. Sometimes, the framerate drops when fighting a lot of enemies, which interferes with gameplay albeit only slightly, but I don't think a decrease in the quality of such beautiful graphics is worth no framerate problems, but hey, it's an opinion.
The sounds are just as impressive as the graphics. Voice acting is superb, music is epic (most of it..), sound effects are relatively normal - definitely nothing here that would downgrade the game at least.
Playtime is quite long in fact. It will probably be 40 hours or so, give or take a few. Each character will take around 5-8 hours most likely, depending on if you spend your time grinding to completely dominate everything with no strategy, which is totally possible, or just play the game in a normal fashion, giving everything moderate difficulty. Luckily, as said before, a little strategy here and there, and sometimes you wont even get hit a single time by a boss!
Odin Sphere is a great game, no doubt about it. With great characters, gorgeous graphics, and a compelling storyline, nothing should stop ANY ps2 owner from having the game on their shelf. Well, besides the inability to find the game seeing as how it's an Atlus game and will be extremely hard to find later and tha- forget my rambling, go buy the game now!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/31/07
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