I’m not entirely sold on the visual design. It looks good, and some of the details and concepts are inspired, but the overall “magic machines” thing, so familiar from Final Fantasy, doesn’t really excite me.
Whereas Blue Dragon was an extremely slow burner, Lost Odyssey hits its stride well before the opening title. It opens with a bang, establishing the main protagonist as a kick-ass, experienced soldier, a far cry from the JRPG standards of a kid grown up in a remote village with parents who aren’t his real parents. All of this firmly grabbed my attention. And while it’s all JRPG cliches, the writing is a cut above the norm.
After around an hour you get to the first dream. There are supposed to be lots of these. They are memories from the hero Kaim’s past – Kaim is immortal, see, and suffering from amnesia. The dream sequences are skippable and pauseable and composed entirely of slightly animated text over a simple background. They are pretty long, too. To my surprise, I found myself being moved by the first dream, coming close to tears. The subject isn’t very surprising, but it’s just written very well.
The gameplay is JRPG standard, with prerendered screens and random, turn-based, guys-in-two-rows fighting – all very normal. The mechanics feel sound. Nobuo Uematsu’s music is up to Final Fantasy standards and something you’re probably going to notice right away.
Can’t wait to get back to this.