Odin Sphere May 20, 2011 12:55:07 GMT -5
Post by Bytor on May 20, 2011 12:55:07 GMT -5
Stunningly vibrant, the colors will absolutely jump off the screen at you. I actually cannot recall a 2D scroller that had this much life in both the colors and the attention to detail in the characters, both enemies and allies. The images are certainly cartoonish, but after all, this is supposedly all taken from a children's book, so it is rendered as a child might imagine it upon reading the story. The various enemies are especially well done, most especially the dragons, they simply come alive in a splash of color and personality. The backgrounds themselves however, are not so good. While they are also alive with color and certainly vibrant there is also a definite limited amount of scenes and they all (what few there are) repeat themselves again and again and again (more on that later). Now I understand because of the story line you are forced to revisit the areas but still, it is with different characters so just maybe the view could have been a bit different...still, overall it's a joy of a game to look at.
The voice acting itself is done fairly well. Even the NPC's for the most part are vocalized and each slightly different enough that the obvious repetitions aren't that big of a deal, I especially loved the various merchants, great accents on them, lol. The music is also very repetitious although to be honest I started ignoring it rather quickly now that I think about it, that tells me two things, it's nothing that really stands out but it's also obviously nothing that really sucks, so it doesn't add much but it also doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the game (game play itself does a fine job of that on it's own). The biggest issue though with the music is the (nonadjustable) volume. I swear it's like being at a (bad) rock concert. The volume simply overwhelms everything. Strikes me as some seriously bad programming on someone's part.
The game, while having a RPG background is at heart a side scrolling hack and slash. And in this aspect it absolutely fails miserably. You will never, and I mean never experience death in so many cheap ways as you will throughout this game. For starters enemies will attack you from angles where you will find it near impossible to attack back an/or block. To make matters even more fun some enemies will throw or conjure objects which will injure or incapacitate you and they will not even be on the scree.. Then of course there are the enemies which will materialize right on you or better yet jump from somewhere out of view and land on you. And if that wasn't bad enough often these blows will take off half of your hit points and just to add insult to injury stun you or poison you or even turn you into a #*^% frog, that one is real fun BTW. I don't mind having challenging battles but honestly some of these battles are simply silly in the sheer amount of things going on at once and your lack of ability to really do much about it. Because...if this all wasn't bad enough there are two more major issues with the game mechanics. First of all the controls are extremely unresponsive. Do not,m and I repeat do not, attempt to do any kind of fineness attacks, bottom line, you will fail miserably, once you are set to a course of action the controls will not allow you to deviate until that action is complete, and with the screen absolutely full of enemies you are going to want and attack non-stop, which will result in your demise and you will get pummeled while attempting to land blows of your own. The second glaring issue is the slow down. And this is no exaggeration, in some of the larger battles the game will grind almost to a complete standstill. Combine unwieldy controls with super slo-mo and you can imagine e the battles are tough enough, let alone once you add in the "cheap" attacks by the enemies. The inventory system is also very annoying, and unfortunately it could have been really interesting. Basically you can only carry so many objects, and I don't mean so many of each object I mean so many objects, and this depends upon how many "carry sacks" you own as each will hold a certain amount, and no way is the amount near enough. You will spend way, way too much time re-doing levels simply to get more items to synthesize into napalm (for instance). This system insures that leveling up and healing are simply entirely too time consuming and monotonous. Honestly, I can't think of many things the gameplay got right...if you can overlook these glaring issues fine...I couldn't.
Once upon a time (a yes, this is a kid's fairy tale) the kingdom was all bliss. But now Erion is torn apart by different factions battling for control of the Crystallization Cauldron, an ancient artifact they believe will grant them superiority, but which will instead likely destroy the world. The interesting aspect of the story is you get to play as different characters and experience the story from each viewpoint, this adds an interesting twist as different perspectives, motives and desires are revealed. The story itself is nothing new but it is told in a slightly different and interesting way.
It's a shame, the game has such potential. An interesting system (in theory) that fails horribly in practice. A decent story that is told in a rather unique and fun way and beautiful artwork that is spoiled by boring and repetitious backgrounds. Many love the game but they are very obviously over looking the gameplay mechanics and they believe the bad overwhelms the good...I'm just not one of them.