Lost Odyssey is a masterpiece,another RPG from Sakaguchi(the creator of Final Fantasy and the mastermind who wrote the stories for Final Fantasy I,Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy IX).It's actually in my top 10 favorite games of all-time(and I've played thousands of games)and it's an emotional and intriguing journey from start to finish.
The main character for the game is named 'Kaim',he's an immortal whom has lived for over 1000 years but something caused him to lose his memories.Kaim has to rediscover his past piece by piece and he does that by being in certain places or talking to certain people and it will give him flashbacks and some of these memories are very sad and traumatizing and will reveal many secrets about him.
Kaim's memories are represented either by cinematic style flashbacks or by text with delicate music.The fact I experienced these memories at the same time they return to Kaim made me feel a lot of empathy for him because he discovered very painful revelations about his life and some of them are heartbreaking and involve his love life.
Other characters join Kaim on his journey,and some of them are immortals too who have also lost their memories and some of the characters are mortals(meaning they age like normal people).Some of the immortals are involved in Kaim's past in important ways or have their own shocking revelations.Even some of the mortals are linked with Kaim's past or with the past of the other immortals in very significant ways.
Incase you're wondering,the story does have romance,in fact it has more than one love story and they're both heartfelt in different ways.
There is 8 party members in all and it's hard to give background info on them without giving away spoilers but I'll say some of them are pirates and one of them is a beautiful queen of a well-developed nation and another one was significant to Kaim in a certain way but she's lost her memeories about it and she and Kaim have gone through incredibly painful times together and I won't say what happened during those times but it's heartbreaking.
The characters do have something that makes them stand out,whether it's their personality or past or occupation.
As for Lost Odyssey's gameplay,well it's another turn-based JRPG with a world map/towns/cities to explore and NPC's to interact with.For uniqueness it has:-
-A ring system that allows the characters to buy and equip rings and during battle,a set of rings will appear and if you press a button when one ring is the same size as the other ring,it will do extra damage.
-Immortals can learn skills from other characters.Immortals can also auto revive themselves after they've been Koed for a while.
-To save you time from having to level grind,as you progress through the story you'll level up very quickly for a few levels but after you level up a few levels your leveling up will slow down until you progress throught the story a bit more.
-You can also do combo attacks with melee attacks or spells.You can do double healing spells if you wish.Doing combo attacks requires MPs though.
Back to the regular part of the review.
The game is not an easy game.Some of the dungeons don't allow you to leave them after you enter them and have high random enemy encounter rates and can push your MP supply to it's limits,and to make things even harder,some of the dungeons have puzzles that require lots of memorization(backtracking)and trial-by-error and since you have random enemies constantly attacking you and since you cannot leave the dungeon to restock on potions to restore HP/MP,it almost becomes a game of attrition.Using the right type of attack against an enemy is as cruicial as being highly-leveled.Some of the boss fights are tough,even if you're highly leveled and sometimes the ability of your immortals to auto-resurrect themselves randomly feels like a necessity rather than a benefit but it makes battles more unpredictable.Also,you need to deal with certain bosses diferently,for example against some bosses it's almost a must to have Cooke in your party because she's got great magical buff skills to greatly reduce very powerful magial attacks,but against other bosses,Cooke will be a liability because of her weak physical defense and lower max HP.Some dungeons require you to escape the dungeon within a time limit(just like with FFVII,however when you're doing this in Lost Odyssey it's harder because the enemies are stronger and dungeons are bigger)and the timer will keep going even when you're fighting enemies.
The game also tries to use realistic physics such as it being slippery on ice,heavy rain slows down your walking,security robots can hear your heavy footsteps or if you knock over objects but you can distract them by making an object fall over in another place to sneak past them.
The game has a lot of cutscenes and cinematics and is very story-driven(which is why the game requires 4 discs).
The characters have detailed skin tone and there is beautiful lighting effects at times during cinematics(kinda like with Shadow Hearts Covenant).
The cinematics also show beautiful views of the ocean with a sunset int he background.Some of the action cinematic scenes are very exciting and fast-paced.
However,some of the cutscenes do look a bit rough and rushed.
The world has a blend of medieval as well as industrial and Sci Fi such as flying cars.Some cities look very look beautiful with lovely architecture and white buildings and will be near the ocean and will have details such as nicely paved areas and water fountains.
The tropical places have realistic sea water,sand and palm trees.I like the little details such as seeing sand hills surrounded by sea water and little sea creatures in pools of water.
For atmosphere,the industrial areas have a yellow sky in the background and it blends nicely with the dark-colored buildings.There is also realistic rainfall and heavy snowstorms.
The voice acting has a good amount of expression without being over-the-top.
Lost Odyssey has one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard.The music is composed by people who did music for Final Fantasy games.There is delicate/gentle sounding piano music the emotional moments.There is heart warming love songs for the romantic moments which suit the mood very well.The music for the environments or when you're traveling the world map is great too.I love the music for the boss fights,especially for the final boss because it sounds so orchestric and diabolic at the same time.Sometimes,instead of piano music for emotional moments,you will hear the sad song of a woman's voice singing.
Overall,it's was an incredible experience and although the game will test your patience,I found it to be almost a perfect JRPG experience and on a spiritual level it feels much like a 5th or 6th gen Final Fantasy game,and I can definitely see Sakaguchi's touch with this game.
I will go as far as giving this game a score of 10 out of 10 because there's nothing that I want to change in this game.