|System: X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Mistwalker||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Microsoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 12, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
February 19, 2007 - 2007. It is the year where RPG fans are going get their fill and then some. With so many already noteworthy titles due before the end of the year, Mistwalker is going to do everything they can to make sure Lost Odyssey is not lost in the mix of role-playing euphoria. They won't have to do very much though as Lost Odyssey has already got gamers around the world buzzing, frantically trying to find information about an already amazing looking title.
Mistwalker isn't new to making waves; they are also the company bringing another highly anticipated game to the Xbox 360 this year, Blue Dragon. Lost Odyssey is a different game almost entirely. Enlisting the help of Kiyoshi Shigematsu, an award winning Japanese novelist, to write the story, Mistwalker has almost guaranteed success in the hearts of RPG fans. Art design falls into the very capable hands of Takehiko Inoue, the famed Japanese comic artist. Lastly but certainly not least, Nobuo Uematsu, whom fans will recognize as the man who gave Final Fantasy an emotional depth to the music, has been asked to provide the musical score to the game. The development will be done mostly by Mistwalker, but a portion of the coding has been outsourced to Feel Plus, a subsidiary of Microsoft created specifically to assist Mistwalker. Throw in former Square Enix employees that now work with Microsoft and you can bet that this title is among any fan of RPGs wish list.
Not much is known about the actual story of the game except that the main story will revolve around a young warrior named Kaim. Kaim isn't young at all, however. He has been sentenced to live 1,000 years and the gameplay will focus on the many generations of Kaim. His loves, his losses, and his conflict will flesh out the story Lost Odyssey. The text from the trailer, "A man who has lived a thousand years an eternity dreams that reveal memories of 1,000 years the tears of a man who cannot die," further express this point. Another element of the story seems to be a magical staff. The text also included the line, "The Mystical staff and magical powers that changed history the mystical industrial revolution; magical power-first enhanced, then beyond control." Apparently this staff is the beginning of the technological renaissance in the world of Lost Odyssey.
It has also been revealed that there will be a total of eight playable characters. The names and history of the characters has not been revealed, but the fact there will be a total of four immortal type characters is enough for now. The immortal characters will be able to absorb abilities from others, though the specifics of how this will work have yet to be revealed.
Equally sparse details are available on the mechanics of the game. It has been revealed that Lost Odyssey will be a strict turn based RPG which is both pleasing and unfortunate news. While the turn based style will undoubtedly please older fans of role-playing games, the newcomers may be slightly turned away, due to the recent explosion of action oriented RPGs that cause the player to participate with a rapid succession of button presses, otherwise known as button mashing. Old school fans, who have felt that the newer RPGs lack the strategic elements of old, will appreciate the turn based system right down to the menu with your attack, mana, and item usage selection screens. The other disappointing news is that, unlike Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey will use the fabled random battle system as well. Fans of random battles rejoice, everyone else moans. In addition to the revelation of the turn based system, it has also been confirmed that up five playable characters can be on the battlefield at a time, which will undoubtedly come in handy as you progress throughout the game. Another interesting feature for the immortal characters is the fact that they will not be able to die, seriously. For instance, if Kaim falls during battle he will be instantly revived, the catch-he will only return with a portion of his health points. Depending on how this plays out, whether the portion of life progresses along with leveling if unclear, will definitely be a deciding factor as to whether this is a welcome addition or a nuisance.
Beautifully captivating. Those are the two words to best describe the graphics of Lost Odyssey. Utilizing the Unreal Engine 3.0, Lost Odyssey will be presented in lavish detail, the way all RPGs should be presented. From the trailer, you can already see that this will be apparent throughout the game, as it is noticeably difficult to separate the CG scenes from the actual in-game graphics. Kaim's movements are smooth and unflinching, which adds a definite realism to the already impressively realistic title. The lighting is equally impressive, as it is expected to be, sharply capturing the smallest spark flying off your sword as you encounter the enemy.
Mistwalker expects to releases the game simultaneously worldwide, translating the game into eight different languages, including English, Korean, two forms of Chinese, Spanish, German, and of course Japanese. However, only the Korean, English, and Japanese versions will receive voice acting.
Anticipation growing uncontrollably about a title that so very little is known about is nothing new. Lost Odyssey is one of the most recent examples of this, and Mistwalker is enjoying every minute of it. Setting the gaming-world on edge, eagerly awaiting new information, and increasing anticipation to a point of combustion, are all things the game developers have become known for over the years. It is good to see some things will never change. Lost Odyssey is schedule to be released sometime in 2007 and as more information becomes available over the months we will keep you up to date.
CCC Project Coordinator