Games: 8,115 | Reviews: 7,247 | Previews: 8,830 | News: 16,632 | Images: 210,948 | Videos: 14,937




If you're a mature gamer and can appreciate a sophisticated yet enjoyable story, then this game is for you.

8.5

Superb
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Solid"

Summary

Remember back in the good old days when the single player experience was valued more than the multiplayer? When developers would weave an intricate tale that all of us could fall into and love...Though I myself enjoy multiplayer titles from time to time, NOTHING beats a game with a great story and likeable characters. Odin Sphere is that kind of game.

Story

The story reminded me a lot of Suikoden 3 in that you will be observing a set of events from the perspective of multiple characters. Some people may be put off by this kind of story telling, but I personally found it very cool and helpful considering how hard the story would be to follow without this feauture.

The setting for the game, which consists of Valkyries, fairies, and dragons, was also pretty fresh for me. I was not very well acquainted to the rich mythology that is behind this game, so it was a pleasure learning about it all as I experienced the game events first hand.

The characters in this game are also VERY good. Sure some characters are definitely more one-dimensional than others, but most of the cast are fairly well-developed and for some reason, extremely likeable. Let me just say that you will change your "favorite character" more than once throughout the game.

Gameplay

The gameplay is very good, but it's still Odin Sphere's weakest link. First of all, the learning curve is a bit heavy for this game and the first character you play as is rather difficult to control. So my advice is to keep the game on EASY (I know I know, just swallow your pride and do it) and slowly learn how the gameplay mechanics are supposed to work. Once you get how to plant seeds, upgrade your psypher/health, and mix material with ingredients, you'll be in pretty good shape to bump the difficulty back to normal.

Sadly, after you've mastered the game mechanics and have become very adept at taking advantage of the system, the game becomes a bit repetitive. Yes, all five characters play differently for the most part and the action is pretty satisfying, but you'll be growning the same seeds, making the same decisions, and plowing through the same environments. The great story does remedy this quite a bit, but it is a definite weakness for the game.

Graphics

The game actually gives you a pretty bad first impression in terms of graphics but as the game progresses, you'll learn why so many people praise this part of game so highly. Though the initial battlefield background is banal and empty, some of the other levels host backgrounds that seem to belong in a art gallery. The character animations are also lovely to say the least. I LOVED the chick/chicken animations btw.

However, there are some performance problems with the game especially when you attack a lot of enemies on screen. This is especially an issue in one particular environment, which i found very unfortunate since it is one of the more interesting locales. Other than that though, the overall graphics and the amount of DETAIL they put into this game truly make it seem like a real world.

Sound

The music too grows on you over time. At first, I thought the tunes were a bit too epic or too playful, but after visiting the environments numerous times, I have to say the music fits almost perfectly to their respective locales.

The voice acting too is very well done and really makes the characters more likeable. You also have the choice of playing the game with Japanese voices in the game, so if you're an anime junkie like me, you'll like the kind of voice acting presented in this game. However, the English voice cast also does a splendid job and definitely keeps up with Atlus's tradition of finding great voice talents for their games.

Value

This is a LONG game. It took me about 25 hours to beat this game and i admit i switched the difficulty to easy around the middle so I could get through the game a lot quicker (I have a fairly busy summer). Overall, it was time well spent with the game and I am very glad to have played it.

Conclusion

After becoming tired of half-cooked single player modes of current gen titles, I have to say Odin Sphere was a breath of fresh air. Though its not perfect by any means, the story it tells and the characters that drive it definitely make it a worthwhile experience. And considering how affordable this game is now ($10-$20), it's a steal for anyone who wants to dive into a rich new game world they can fall in love with,




This game should only be played by whoever designed it. It is the crappiest, biggest piece of garbage I've ever played.

1.0

Abysmal
Difficulty:
Very Hard
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Disastrous"

Summary

This game is extremely repetitive. It gets boring right away. All the characters have a long learning curve with their moves. You can't stop and turn in the middle of a blow. It is like a continuation foul in pro basketball. Once you committed to hit a monster in front of you, any other monster can really hurt you from behind. It is quite tedious the way characters increase their HP. Most of their magic (psypher crap) is quite useless. You could basically break your system while playing a character such as Mercedes. That damn reload crap cannot allow you to obtain a good rating most of the time. I wouldn't recommend it at all. I tried playing patiently, but I finally got very upset with it after trying to eliminate a boss named Beldur who you have to hit from behind but the sucker keeps teleporting and constantly using magic. Mercedes is soooooo slow to react and can easily get dizzy, burned, frozen, poisoned, and etc. that is quite unbelievable. So, I broke that damn game. Atlus and Criware really sucked on this one. Do not buy nor rent it this game. Just ignore it and save yourself some money and sanity.




Yes, visually stunning but fails to deliver a solid gameplay.

5.0

Mediocre
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Almost, but not quite"

Summary

Odin Sphere is an action rpg game with great visuals. Everything you see on screen is handdrawn, which gives the wonderful anime feeling to the game. Just like the producers said; 2D is not dead yet... However, the moment you start to play, its losing all of its magic.

In Odin Sphere, you will have the chance to play the same story with the perspective of 5 different characters. Their paths are crossing eventually with eachother. I didn't have a chance to finish it, but as long as I played it, it started to get so repetetive and boring.

The fighting system is not turn-based. It's more like side-scrolling. You're exploring a linear path, then enemies are coming, you destroy them and keep on to the next linear area. That's what you do most of the time while playing, but after a while it gets alot boring. And that's when visuals don't help you anymore to keep playing...

One of the biggest problems with the game that its "slowdowns". When there's so much going on in the screen, game's fps drops down and it causes a huge letdown for a game like this.

As an anime fan, I truly loved its style. That's how all the 2D games should have been. But gameplay wise, it really needs a lot of improvement. Also the story is not that interesting to make you keep playing it. If you love animes, you'll enjoy Odin Sphere. But keep in mind that it's not a title for everyone...




Hey, if your an avid game player, espially if you play action RPG's this is a great game, try it dont deny it

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
100 or More Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Mixed reactions"

Summary

im an old school RPG player and i would have to say this game has alot of potential,its fun and its inovating,its like a hack and slash game but its alittle slower but to a good sence..... it gets you very involved into the story and its action pact and hard as funk"THAT IS IF YOU PLAY IT ON HARD MODE FROM THE START LIKE I DID" this is not a game you should pass up,if you get dome fools saying this game is bunk then obviously they only play halo.people think they know whyt about good games and good gameplay,this game is original and has beautiful anime graphics and will blow your mind,dont waste your time with the petty bullshyt and buy this game,you can fin it used at almsot any gamestore for 15 bucks these days and its worth every penny, trust me,im a freak of a game player...granted its not for everyone but damn its a great game dont miss it peoples





Odin Sphere doesn't quite have the "spheres" to compete with the stronger action RPG's on the market.

6.5

Fair
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Mixed reactions"

Summary

And so, here I sit with Odin Sphere, Vanilla Ware's brand of stylish 2-D action RPG, finishing the final hours and reflecting on the experience as a whole, questioning which side of the fence I sit on. It ultimately should boil down to whether or not I'm satisfied with what I just played, but contradicting thoughts are cycling through my head and clashing like Greek gods. On one hand, I had a good time with the no-holds-barred, chaotic action and certainly feel my eyes digesting the sheer elegance of the visuals, looking quite simply to the fact that I played a good game. On the other hand, I have a sour taste in my mouth from all those moments of frustration beckoned by insidiously difficult enemies, cheap one-hit kills, and utter lack of freedom and binded gameplay. So you see where I'm coming from now, right? Do the positives outweigh the negatives at this point, or is Odin Sphere an old dog with too few new tricks?

Odin Sphere hearkens back to old school action RPG's like Zelda II and Castlevania, putting you in a mythological world of Scandinavian lore under the kingdom of Odin. The plot would have been more interesting to me if I cared about any of that, as the story doesn't seem to take any risks or set one foot outside of the boundaries it set for itself, seeming tried-and-true in essence. Voice acting accompanies all the game's chatter, and its done very well along with the medieval dialog, which sets up a solid mood for the game's world. Everything is aesthetically striking (even though the world at its core is pretty generic) and quite simply executes 2-D visuals beautifully in an era thats been 3-D for a while now; there's no deliberately pixelated, retro appeal here, and the visuals simply push the limits of 2-D graphics to their fullest, richest, and most vibrant. At first, the cartoony characters seem much too far-fetched and quirky to fit with the largely serious scripting, but it all ties in over time and you can see the game's presentation shine in the most charming way.

Visually, Odin Sphere successfully pushes the boundaries of the 2nd dimension up to todays technical standards, but how does the gameplay fare in comparison? One would want the gameplay to be as promising and rich as the art direction, but unfortunately, its quite the opposite. Most of the time in Odin Sphere you are fighting off slews of enemies, the other large percent of gameplay goes into inventory management, basically. Interesting mechanics come into play, such as planting and waiting for growing trees to release energy clusters into the air, hatching a chick so you can feed it, raise it, and finally kill it for food, or collecting ingredients for recipes that level up your max HP. Repetitive gameplay later exploits these ideas and mere novelty, as there's just not enough to do to keep you tied to the lengthy game.

Even worse, the game's 5 playable characters must be unlocked one at a time, beating the game with one so you can play as the next (and you can't even choose who you'll unlock next). This locks down the player's freedom and in a way, defeats the purpose of multiple characters, because you'll feel like your just playing through the game 5 times over. You won't be able to try out what you might discover to be your favorite character until you've beat it 3 or 4 times already. Games that have a story with intertwined character perspectives, like Sonic Adventure, should allow you to access all the characters relatively early in the game, so you can beat it with the characters you like first for accessibility's sake. Not only that, at the end of the day, gameplay is indistinguishable between each character, because the game is too long, and repetitiveness swirls with unfair enemy difficulties into a tornado of frustration.

It just doesn't flow as well as it should. There is a questionable amount of loading times within levels, which is odd considering how small each section of the level is. Combat, in its own right, is very fluent and dynamic, but it often gets interrupted by the need to manage items to plant a seed or cycle through for healing items. And considering how hard the enemies can get, cycling for healing items just happens more often than it should. Its a petty shame too, as not only are regular battles a lot of fun, but boss fights are pretty exhilarating as well. Sadly, its too often that a boss catches you in a string of claustrophobic attacks that are too hard to avoid or unnecessarily
relentless. The same can be said about regular battles too, though luckily you can change the difficulty of the gameplay at any time through the menu. Of course, its not very motivating when after shifting around the difficulties a bit, you begin to get your ass handed to you and then realize you're already playing on the easiest setting.

As said above, the game is too repetitive for how long and strict it is. This is a role-playing game, but you are given only 2 stats to tinker around with. This isn't really a bad thing though; the simplicity keeps you from having to learn another Junction System or Sphere Grid. Your magic spells and capacity to use them are measured in one statistic, called your Psypher Level, and your maximum health points are simply HP. Increasing your Psypher level is as easy as absorbing energy clusters that emerge from killing enemies and mixing items, which also works as an MP system for you to deplete on some of the games various spells, such as tornadoes or temporary invincibility. Your HP level is raised as you eat some of the game's various meals. You have your standard fruit and breads that help a lot early in the game, but later your HP will almost completely be at the mercy of the full sized feasts you compose in the hub town. The kitchen simply requires you to collect the needed ingredients and bring them back, and the food you consume there usually gives you a very large amount of HP experience points. These mechanics are simple, and occasionally innovative, but they won't prove to be enough of a diversion from the game's dragging pace for everyone.

Its sad then, that I look back at so many hours of gameplay with, for the most part, sour memories. Combat was great but I could find gameplay like that in many other places. The world that makes up Odin Sphere is certainly charming, and you can be assured that it will be one of the moments looked back at fondly. But there were too many moments of frustration that arose from the limited gameplay, strict progression of the story, and frightening difficulty. It just didn't have enough tricks to keep me interested all the way to the end, which is unfortunate, because this game had a lot going for it. Its certainly likable, and others could get more enjoyment out of this than I did, but this is one of those games that gamers should take caution before making a regrettable purchase, rent it fist before you buy it.
7.6

Great
8.3