Review by wolverinefan
"Working Design fans need only apply"
Several things sadden me about Albert Odyssey. The fact that it's the third part in a series but yet it's the only part to hit the United States. Or it could be the fact that it's painfully mediocre in almost every aspect or it could be the scary price I paid for such a mediocre title.
The Saturn seems to be known for it's small wonderful RPG selection though so I just had to grab this title up. Hell it's the reason I bought a Saturn and I am a big enough fanboy of Working Design to own almost all their games.
A young boy grows up in a town of angel like people. One day a man in a cloak comes to steal a gem. The hero's "brother" is turned to stone so you take it on yourself to find someone to cure him and like in any title before it in this genre it all leads up to the fact that you need to save the world.
The plot follows the stereotypical plot outline for almost any role playing title ever released. What really brings the game to life is the wacky dialog that Working Design is known for. Sure they have produced a few stinkers here and there but this has some truly witty dialog and it flows really well.
It also helps that they used a really interesting voice cast which enriches these dialogs even more. While it is not always good voice work; it does do a fair job of bringing some life into the cliched characters and their ever so boring personalities.
But that is the only thing the title really has going for it. The battle system is really kind of simple. All battles are random. You have a little hub to select commands from. Attack, magic, run, items and I believe one more but for some reason I cannot remember what.
And see this is where the problem lies. The battle system is not only simple but it's too damn easy. There is easy and then there is this game. See that enemy, if your attack hits (90% of the time it will, otherwise the enemy blocks) the enemy will die. It takes one hit to kill every enemy. Even bosses drop in one hit and it's not like I was over leveled because I just fought every battle I came into.
Just like any other role playing game you gain levels and get new party members who randomly join with you. As I played this I could not help but draw comparisons to the PSP title "Popolocrois" which shares the same humor and simple battle difficulty (but their battle systems are different).
The game does have a full blown world map that you travel and there are random battles but it's so linear that it gave me a headache. At the start you need to travel to the next town well it's the only place to go. Now you cross a bridge which is the only place to go and then from there your path is blocked so you find a cave, go through it and exit outside the blocked path. The entire game continues along that path and it's extremely dull.
The game is actually really short as well when it's compared to other role playing titles, and with it barely bringing in 13 hours for my single play through and I rarely saw, if any at all, side quests which usually extend a role playing game.
In all honesty the only thing that drove me to finish this game was the writing by Working Design and the pleasant 2D Sprites. Nothing else in the title really stands out and the linear nature of the title and simple battle system really hurts it. To the novice role player this might be an ideal game but it just is not worth the time or price to find a copy. If desperate I had rather recommend the before mentioned Popolocrois title on the PSP.
Story - 6/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 6/10
Control - 9/10
Game Play - 6/10
Replay Value - 3/10
Final Score - 6/10
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 02/27/08
Game Release: Albert Odyssey: Legend of Eldean (US, 07/31/97)
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