Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

7 Overall Score
Graphics: 9/10
Gameplay: 7/10
Sound: 7/10

Looks great | Gameplay is easy and responsive

Too long | Lack of variety

Game Info

GAME NAME: Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

DEVELOPER(S): Vanillaware

PUBLISHER(S): Atlus

PLATFORM(S): PS4, PS3, PS VITA

RELEASE DATE(S): June 7, 2016

It looks like the age of video game remasters rolls on. Every couple weeks it seems that a new HD collection, compilation, remaster or remake is announced. I don’t see this trend ending anytime soon so we might as well just jump right into the next classic upscaling that appears before us. Today we will be looking at Vanillaware’s Odin Sphere Leifthrasir. Originally released in 2007 for the Playstation 2, developed by Vanillaware and published by Atlus, this 2D action RPG was well received by the public.

The game looks fantastic; colors are bright and the artwork just seems to pop given the new high definition resolution. Characters move smoothly across the screen and there is little to no slowdown that takes place, even when several characters crowd the screen, a toll that nine years ago the hardware struggled with. Moving at 60 fps with all the bright and vibrant graphics makes this game a joy to look at.

Odin Sphere

 

The game plays as a little girl reading books. Each of the five main characters have a book dedicated to them that all crossover into one another, uniting into one single story from various angles. Once in a playable chapter, you will be given control of your character, moving about like that of a board game. Rooms interconnect and will serve a different specific purpose. There will be fighting rooms, rest & shop rooms as well as some travel rooms. With the game taking place in 2D, the rooms either go straight across, up and down, or the rooms rotate circularly where you keep running forward to make a loop. Additionally there are multiple platforms to jump on, and several hidden areas to find as you are traversing the world and gaining experience.

Leveling up takes on a different unique form in Odin Sphere; throughout the game you will collect phozons. Phozons serve multiple purposes in the game play, they can be used to level up your weapons and skills you unlock, or they can be used to make plants grow to produce food. Food allows you to eat or use in dishes, but will also net you experience points and help increase your level. Food dishes usually net you more experience than eating the fruit straight off the plant, so you will have to think of how you want to use your phozons as you progress. Would you like to upgrade that new fire spell you unlocked, or would you like to grow some plants to help to make a food dish and get another level? It is up to the player to decide how they want to build their character and spend these phozons.

Odin Sphere

 

Controlling your characters in battle is pretty easy. The square button performs your regular attacks that can be influenced by using different directional presses while holding down the button. The circle button controls your magic and power moves, which also can be set up for different attacks using the d-pad/control stick. It plays similarly to some Tales games. The controls are pretty responsive and make for easy transitions between moves. Attacks are tied to two different meters: POW and PP. They will use of one of these two resources and refill over time and battles. You will want to manage your meters the best you can to avoid dangerous situations. Overall it’s an easy system with some depth that lends itself well to the game.

While the game plays pretty well, the lack of variety in Odin Sphere is disappointing to say the least. You can get by using the same three or four magic attacks through the entire game. Once you find what works for you there really is no reason to change up the formula, and the game never really gives you a reason to either. The characters arch over themes are interesting in concept, but fail on some of the delivery. The stories run as one coexistent piece, so that means you play through the same areas repeatedly through the game. You see the same enemies and fight the same bosses, and maps may get bigger but the content stays pretty much the same. You get different dialog scenes and the characters play differently from each other, but overall it has a repeating feeling to the game that makes the time drag on.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

 

This game is at least a 25 hour or more journey on the normal difficulty. With a lack of variety, the game starts to drag after the first 12-15 hours, with having seen most of the places and having fought some of the same bosses. The game starts to feel like a chore, which is never a good sign. Seeing an area map that is pretty big made me feel deflated because I knew what was coming next. The plot does an okay job of making you want to progress, but doesn’t really do anything noteworthy to suck you in. While most dialog is covered by notable voice acting, it still dives into the realm of cheesy.  Overall the game just feels too long and doesn’t really do anything to make you feel like the longevity of it was worthwhile.

It may seem like I am coming down hard on Odin Sphere, I don’t want it to come across harshly. It is not a bad game and it does some things really well with good concepts. Had the game been shorter with more variety I probably would have enjoyed my time with the game more. It is like a long car trip home: there are pretty sights along the way, and some fun times to be had, but near the end you just want to be at home and done with the trip.

Odin Sphere Lufthaisnir

 

A PS4 digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review.

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Author: Brandon Z View all posts by
Brandon has been a gamer ever since he can remember playing Super Mario Brother 3 on the NES. Playing them ever since he is now trying to branch out and start writing about his experiences with games. You can find him lately running around the world of Dark Souls trying to "Git Gud."

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