Lost Odyssey is a role-playing game developed by Mistwalker and produced by Microsoft Game Studios as well as Hironobu Sakaguchi of Final Fantasy Fame, for the Xbox 360 game console exclusively. The plot is centered around the travels of Kaim Argonar, immortal soldier, and his fellow mortals and immortals on a quest to regain a thousand years of memories that have been stripped from his mind. Make sure you also check our article about The Best Xbox 360 Games Under Twenty Dollars.
Immersive Story, Intensely Philosophical Narrative
The standout strength of Lost Odyssey is in its storytelling – the world is finely crafted and draws more than a few parallels to our own history.
Uhra and the other nations such as Numara and Gohtza are facing a briskly changing future, a world on the cusp of a Magic-Industrial revolution. Citizens on streetcorners tell you their thoughts and feelings on political and philosophical futures, party members converse with each other over the repercussions or possible outcomes of their actions. The dialogue in this title is extremely intelligent and well-crafted.
More than anything else, the Dreams that are unlocked throughout the game are the most unique feature of Lost Odyssey. Later viewable in the “Thousand Years of Dreams” option in the menu as well as at any inns the player might stay at, these dreams are literally short stories that are unlocked as Kaim, the protagonist, encounters similar personalities or sights during his quest across the world.
Each of these dreams has accompanying music, often reflective or emotional, while Kaim remembers a person of note in his life that he loved, feared, or encountered. Each dream raises a philosophical point and counterpoint – A general known as The Butcher is consumed by his own paranoia and hatred, A man born crippled becomes a world-reknowned shoe-maker and treats his shoes as his sons who always return to him with a story, and so on.
Lost Odyssey is certainly not a game for those who do not enjoy reading, introspection, or entertaining philosophical notions.
Though the title often draws critique from professional gamers as being derivative of other JRPG’s, this is a superficial thesis at best. Lost Odyssey offers one of the most intensely intelligent gaming experiences in console gaming to date.
Beautiful Graphics, Score
Utilizing the Unreal engine to it’s very fullest, Lost Odyssey takes great advantage of it’s beatiful graphics engine and showcases a bright decision by developers to include a wonderful colour palette – ensconcing the player in a visual theatre that plays out with their participation. Character models are detailed, some conversations or events feature picture-in-picture action and dialogue, and facial expressions (particularly those of the mouthy, boorish Jansen) can be priceless!
The score for the game is also beautifully composed, with one portion world music melded with a metal edge during boss encounters and even some segments of the world map. The music is suited perfectly to the atmosphere of any given scene, coming to the sensory forefront during the dream sequences in which the score becomes extremely emotional and masterfully composed.
In summary, Lost Odyssey is a hidden gem that, at first glance, appears to be a run-of-the-mill JRPG. Players who make this assumption will find it to their own detriment, however, as Lost Odyssey is one of the most original and thought-provoking titles in a very long time.