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    dkirschner's Lost Odyssey (360)

    [November 24, 2012 02:33:29 AM]
    Finished yesterday. Quite epic game. Best Final Fantasy game I've played in 10 years.

    Everything wrapped up nicely, great story, some interesting revelations. The Thousand Years of Dreams are still my favorite thing. I'd like to find a collection of those stories elsewhere, or of that author's other stories. Unfortunately there's no way to roam around after you beat the game, and I stupidly overwrote my pre-final-boss save. Even if I find a collection, I still can't read them like in the game with the elegant presentation. Oh well! The internet has an answer I'm sure. But the way that the game handles character development and touches on these big existential themes through the Dreams is really freakin awesome. Now I am obsessed with thinking about the trials of living 1000 years, why it would be awesome, why it would be terrible, and what it would be like to watch 1000 years worth of people, nations, events, places, etc. go by. I'm glad every game isn't this heavy.

    Another thing I really liked is that, like a lot of old-school RPGs, you get a ship (or 2) to travel around and explore. There are lots of secret places and a metric ton of things to do before beating the last boss. Basically when you start disc 4, it's like "Hey, here's your ship. The world is your oyster." And you can spend forever just doing what you like, leveling up, finding magic, completing side quests, getting ultimate weapons, fighting secret bosses, doing the secret dungeon, etc. etc. But this amount of extra stuff and the freedom to travel around finding it is just awesome. RPGs like this tend to be so much more structured than some of the old ones I remember so fondly.

    The final boss battle sequence is very cool. The person you have to fight is really wicked, so it's nice to see him go down. The ending wraps up various character subplots, mostly to do with their relationships. Your party in Lost Odyssey is quite incestuous. They're all either related or in love with one another, except Tolten, who seems tacked on. The characters were all really good. The only one I was iffy about was Jansen, the womanizing jokester. He's the #1 source of comic relief, and it usually works. One area it doesn't is when it's mixed with his womanizing. For instance, he falls in love with Ming (which is the only relationship in the game that seems impossible - why would she like him?), and wants her the first time he sees her. They have to rescue her from Gongora early on. So he breaks into her room, casts a spell to knock her unconscious, and carries her off. His character makes this a really rape-y scene. But yeah, when he's not being a creeper, he's likeable. It does suck that Ming ends up falling in love with him. Queen Ming is an immortal and a queen. Jansen is...just some silly guy. I see no real reason for this besides the fact that he's a bit of a bumble and the player is supposed to be like 'aw, yay, she likes him too.' But to me, that just makes it seem like the nice guy gets what he wants if he pursues it. Again, creeper implications that I read into it.

    That's pretty much it. I actually did a bunch of the side stuff, which is rare for me. But it was so fun and seemed reasonable that I just kept on doing more side things. I killed over half the special bosses, collected like 90/100 seeds, got several special magic spells, did the Kelokon tournament, went and found all the music boxes, found a bunch of the royal seals. I'm just so glad there was so much cool stuff to do! I really liked this game!
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    [November 19, 2012 11:05:50 PM]
    Lost Odyssey is a really fantastic RPG on the 360. It's a traditional turn-based one and feels very old school. I haven't played anything this "normal" in a long, long time. I'm about 20 hours in, on the second disc (of four). So far I'm just blown away by the whole presentation. The visuals are excellent with cool enemies and character designs. Actually this is my first real RPG on the 360, so I've never played one that looks this good. The music is also really good and reminds me of Final Fantasy music. I think several people who are famous for various Final Fantasy games worked on this one.

    The story is good too. It's set in a world beginning a "magic-industrial revolution." They've found out how to tap magic energy and are harnessing it to progress technologically. Neat idea. You play as Kaim, an "immortal." He can never die, but he's recently lost his memory. You find more immortals (there are a handful) and they all have lost their memories too, but you find out that one of them named Gongora is bad, didn't lose his memory, and is behind all of the others losing theirs, as well as masterminding some political plot to cause wars and take over kingdoms and acquire all this magic power for reasons so far unknown. Gongora is sufficiently menacing, mostly because he's really manipulative, pretending to be in the service of this or that person, and then subtly destroying them. Basically there was an old royal monarchy, recently ousted in favor of democracy. I think that Gongora sees an opportunity to restore the old monarchy before democracy really takes hold, take power and treat the royal family as figureheads without any real power. So he recently had been brown-nosing the guy who would have been next in line for king, worked to restore some power to him, poisoned him, then kidnapped and enslaved his sister, the queen (she's an immortal) to use her as his pawn to restore the monarchy. Anyway, I rescued the queen and she's in my party now. Right now, I'm on my way to seek help from another country to stop Gongora's plans.

    To get to this other country, I had to go through a cave, which was guarded by an evil sorceress. My favorite part of the game are the backstories and the whole treatment of memory. Throughout the game, Kaim is haunted by a memory of his daughter jumping off a cliff as he and his last wife (he had a lot over 1000 years) grab for her. Turns out the evil sorceress is his wife, tormented by her own memory of the event. There are lots of emotional and dramatic moments in the game. Some time before finding your wife, you find your daughter (apparently she survived the fall - actually Gongora had something to do with it), and meet your grandchildren, who are in your party. So at this meeting, when you rescue your wife, it is also your granchildren's first time meeting their grandmother. Very sweet.

    There are these short stories collectively called "A Thousand Years of Dreams." Sometimes interacting with a character will trigger one, or setting foot in a particular spot or whatever. See even though Gongora wiped the immortals' memories, the memories are slowly coming back. So the Thousand Years of Dreams sequences are short stories presented sort of like a graphic novel, text against pretty backgrounds that change color and stuff. They are amazing to read. I found out that they were pinned by some famous Japanese novelist. No wonder. But they are memories of Kaim's past. Once I discovered a memory of another character. But it's just clips of him meeting various people, the impacts he had on others' lives, stories about journeying, about hope, about judging people, about truth and lies, about all kinds of topics. The stories are beautiful, especially accompanied by the music and backgrounds.

    As far as combat and stuff goes, it's totally solid traditional gameplay. Your party can have 5 members, which is big. Right now I have 7 characters. They level up like in a strategy RPG. Instead of an ever-increasing XP number, each level requires 100, and the farther below the enemy level you are, the more XP you get for killing it. That makes it very easy to keep everyone relevant. The game uses front row/back row. So put high HP characters in the front, physically vulnerable casters in the back, duh. There's something called "Guard Condition" which means that your front row protects your back row - back row characters don't take as much damage. GC has a value, which is the sum total of all the front row characters' HP. As front row characters get damaged, GC decreases. As GC decreases, back row characters become less protected and take more damage. Also there are two types of characters, immortals and mortals, who learn skills differently. Mortals learn skills when they level up. Immortals learn skills by linking with mortals. So you can't just have a party of immortals, or else they'll never learn any skills, except from accessories. So far everyone has been keeping up learning like every skill.

    I've been trying to figure out good party combinations. Basically there are 3 types of characters (so far). Melee, magic and combination. Characters are quite cookie-cutter and fit into one of these, and are nearly identical with other characters of the same type. This makes them easy to swap in and out, especially since keeping relevant levels is easy. But there's this tension between having a higher GC by putting more melee characters in, or having a complete powerhouse with more magic users but being more vulnerable to attacks. Tough choices. The only other sort of different thing is the ring combat system. When you do a regular melee attack, this circle pops up on the screen and it gets smaller and smaller, and you're supposed to hold the right trigger and release it when it fits right on top of another circle. It's just a little timing incentive to do and do more damage if you get it perfect. Like a poor man's Shadow Hearts.

    That's all for now.
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    dkirschner's Lost Odyssey (360)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 11 November, 2012

    GameLog closed on: Friday 23 November, 2012

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Loving this. Traditional turn-based RPG, tons of cinematics. These 'dreams' are wonderful too. Ring/timing combat system sort of like Shadow Hearts. --------- Best Final Fantasy game I've played in a decade.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See dkirschner's page

    See info on Lost Odyssey

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Lost Odyssey (360) by Chris Carlsson (rating: 5)
    2 : Lost Odyssey (360) by Koruwa (rating: 5)


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