I never managed getting around to Odin Sphere when it first came out on the PlayStation 2 so I was excited to try it out when it arrived for the PlayStation 4 as the remastered Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir! What caught my attention right off the bat was the stunning artwork on the cover that featured gorgeous mages and adorable creatures called Pooka. I decided to purchase the Collector’s Edition that included a bunch of goodies and I haven’t been disappointed since opening it.
Fairy Tale Painted Graphics – Odin Sphere shows promise with its magically graphical presentation. The backgrounds and stages are brought to life with an awe-inspiring enchantment as if it was straight from a gouache painting. This title blends vividly bright colors and dark shades to incorporate the beauty and tragedy of the war that entangles and plagues the country of Erion. Beautifully-crafted character designs only help to further the appeal to Leifthrasir and appear seamless against the backdrop to never feel out of place while players fight through waves of enemies. It’s unique and the gorgeous graphics make you appreciate it despite being a remaster of its PS2 version.
Six Paths to Walk – Leifthrasir’s main story-line takes you into the life of six characters each with their own struggles and infliction in this enraging war. Characters will often appear as opposing enemies to each other throughout each campaign but no one character is more righteous than the other and this is what makes the story-lines so dynamic and engaging for the player. Despite some characters being on two sides of the war, their objectives focuses on the betterment of those close to them while at the same time flourishing as individuals. Players will go through emotional roller-coasters while finding out more about those who appear spoiled, heartless or narrow-minded at the beginning of the game experience and then some tragedy that helps them develop understanding within themselves.
Lords Out Swords Out – What’s fun about this game is that each character is equipped with their own particular weapons tailored for them. Each weapon has its own combo moves along with strong abilities that are gradually unlocked through the collection of Prisms. Prisms are necessary to unlock strong attacks and attributes design to strengthen your characters attacks. Gamers will feel the thrill of learning these new abilities and then assigning them to button shortcuts for faster/easier access. These abilities do cost Phozons or Pow (Stamina) which adds a layer of complexity to the game-play as they will need to choose wisely before unleashing a flurry of combos. Remember that you don’t have to depend on brute strength to tip the scale in your favor, the game introduces a very fun and simplistic alchemy mechanic that allows you to craft health tonics and offensive concoctions (like Volcano and Blaze to name a few). Pairing weapon and potion casting makes battles fun, chaotic, fast and wonderfully addicting.
Eat Up, Kids – As every standard RPG game goes, completing battles/quests awards you with experience points (EXP) necessary to level your character to enhance their almighty power, and this game is no different. However, despite gaining EXP from fights, Odin Sphere presents an original system that depends on eating delightful meals (in-game) in order to rapidly gain levels. As you progress, players are introduced to an adorably plump Pooka named Maury, a wandering chef whose only joy in life is providing hearty meals to adventurers, for free he might add! When it’s your first time trying a new recipe, you’ll be delighted to discover the extra bonus EXP you get for your hard work. Leifthrasir adds variety for players to enjoy by giving them the decision to either conserve their ingredients for these recipes or to use them in alchemy production.
Rinse and Repeat – Despite the variety of game-play with six characters, each plot-line has you fighting through the same levels with the same enemies and bosses each time. The only difference that ever occurs is in the circumstances that transpire which initiates the fight sequences and, only occasionally, does one protagonist face a boss that another character has not. This results in the game tending to feel drawn out and repetitive, which really dampens the overall experience as players want each story-line to feel significantly different from the other. Their separate fighting styles are great but it feels like a Mario game where you pick different characters to replay a level.
Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir is not just a beautifully animated hack n slash, it also engages the player in complex game-play that can enthrall them for hours on end. Its only drawback is that enemies and levels are rinsed and repeated for each story but it doesn’t terribly effect the gamer’s experience as the artwork and mechanics more than make up for it.
- Graphics - 8/108/10
- Gameplay - 9/109/10
- Controls - 9/109/10
- Sound - 7/107/10
- Replay Value - 4/104/10
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Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir was developed by Vanillaware and published by Atlus. It was released on June 7, 2016 for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita. Games are scored on their individual merits and our rating system is explained here.
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