#769 Odin Sphere

Posted: 18th May 2020 by Jeroen in Games
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868th played so far

Genre: Action/Role-Playing
Platform: Playstation 2
Year of Release: 2007
Developer: Vanillaware
Publisher: Atlus

It feels like the Playstation 2 era is one of experimentation, a time where a lot of different variants of the game are created, made possible by better hardware while not being big enough to constrain by the size you might get. GrimGrimoire is on the edge of an RPG definition is there, while Grandia II and Dragon Quest VIII play with their variants of the genre and Square had a bunch of other experimentations at the time.

Atlus published its own variants as well and Odin Sphere is one of them, with the way it’s meant to build story. I’m quite keen to try it, if only because i know it’ll bring something different.

Our Thoughts

Playing through Odin Sphere, it’s hard not to be reminded of Muramasa: The Demon Blade. While Odin Sphere doesn’t have as much of a platforming, vertical focus, the paper cut out 2D feel is somewhat similar and the way you run around these levels feel somewhat similar. Here they wrap around, going in a circle, with your focus (still) on fighting off enemies in an action setting, using more powers as you unlock them. The comparison doesn’t hold up for too long, but it’s difficult to ignore here.

The game looks lovely too. I mostly played in the remake’s updated graphics, but switched back and forth for comparisons and they still look really nice. As said, the 2D sprites look gorgeous, and they fit in well with the levels and aesthetic. There’s a bit of artificiality in there, whichย  suits the game being stylized in that part of its play as well.

Another interesting side of the game is that the story isn’t sequential. There are several characters you play with and after you play through one player’s story, you run through another character before and after the events of the earlier story, showing other sides and such. It’s flexible and interesting enough to want to see through later.

Final Thoughts

I was really annoyed that I almost had to give up on this game. Your inventory is limited and during an alchemy tutorial I couldn’t pick up the items needed – clearly the game wasn’t programmed with the idea this could happen and it was quite frustrating to work out how to fix it myself without any prompts. With that, obviously it showed how much I enjoyed playing it and how I wanted to keep up the loop and move forward.