Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Mistwalker and feelplus Inc.
N Amer - 01/01/2008
E3 2007 Preview
Japanese developer Mist Walker is possibly one of the most important developers for the 360 today. Developing exclusives like Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, Mist Walker’s pedigree (Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and composer Nobuo Uematsu) speaks almost as loudly as their games. The latter title, Lost Odyssey was on hand at E3 2007, and showcases a title that could very well supplant the Xbox 360 on the map when it comes to the Japanese RPG game genre, showcasing phenomenal graphics, and some great gameplay elements.
Lost Odyssey takes place in a world where three kingdoms are at a constant state of war. Thirty years before the events in the game, a magic power arrived in the world, setting the next stage in evolution. You play as Kaim, an immortal who has lived for 1,000 years, yet cannot remember anything of his past. Other elements of the story were pretty slim, but look to offer up a tale on a very epic and grand scale, as we all know Sakaguchi is capable of.
The battle system will immediately feel familiar to anyone who’s played a Final Fantasy title (VII through X, specifically). It’s all turned based, requiring you to select through attacks, magic spells and items before making a move. The game also features a precision aiming element, with works in real time and requires you to hit a button at just the right time in order to maximize your attack damage. However, if you connect too late, then you only perform a little damage. Other than this element, the combat system is pretty par for the course for an RPG game, so fans of the genre will instantly feel at home.
Along your journey, your group will be composed of nine different warriors, a few of which will be immortals like Kaim. Wait a minute, you may ask, if Kaim and the others are immortal, does that mean they can’t die in battle? Well, yes and no. If Kaim or another immortal hits zero they will fall in battle, for a short period of time, that is. Therefore it is up to you to keep your other characters in the party alive until Kaim gets back up. However, if your whole party, including Kaim, are on the ground, then it’s picture wrap.
Graphically, the game is a gorgeous and fully-realized adventure, thanks to the Unreal Engine 3 that is firmly in place. The character models have realistic and dynamic facial expressions and details that change as their mood shifts. The environments are sprawling as well, with some truly phenomenal art direction and attention to detail.
Lost Odyssey is shaping up to be a great Japanese RPG that is in very capable hands at developer Mist Walker. Look for its release before the end of the year.