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Odin Sphere

November 11, 2008

I finished Odin Sphere the other day and I had some serious issues with it. The fatal flaw of Odin Sphere for me is the fact that your healing items also give you EXP. You can’t level your character’s HP up unless you eat all the time, but you need to save your items that you eat to heal yourself during battle. This is totally weird and insanely irritating. By saving items for fights I would be weak during the fight hoping I’d level up before I died. Which i wouldn’t and this set me up for constantly dying if I walked into a situation I couldn’t handle and I’d have to reset the entire game. When I wasn’t resetting the game I was constantly worried about item management and unable to enjoy the story. For instance even if you had items in your inventory you could try to eat them and then get them knocked out of your hand before you got to use them then suffer a beat down due to a dizzy status effect or overwhelming enemy forces or whatever. Another thing that’s weird about the game is that some character’s weapons are stronger than others and some have better range than others. They also implement the run out of fighting juice thing. I’m probably not the only one who hates this “feature” in games because it’s super annoying to be in the heat of battle and then not be able to use your weapon because you’re out of fighting juice. Then you end up getting mobbed and die. In this game it’s called POW and it’s just another thing to manage.

They intentionally set the game up so that you’d have to go back and grind. I’m no stranger to grinding, and I do it quite often, but I think it should be a choice to grind. You shouldn’t have to be forced to grind in order to get healing/EXP items that were unavailable in the first run trough a story, and then by proxy having to go through the same character’s story over and over. I wouldn’t have minded it if they had made the way you get EXP through fighting like every other RPG ever, but combining the EXP with the healing item made me so angry I almost couldn’t stand it. It was unacceptable. I made me not care about the character or the story or the game and I was almost going to give it up and waste my 40 dollars then I decided to get a save from Gamefaqs.

After I got the save it was a whole new game. I was using the healing items as healing items breezing trough the first four chapters of each of the character and then fighting somewhat challenging battles towards the end of each characters chapters. After I started to enjoy the game I could see its good points. The story for one thing is excellent. You play as five different characters and each of the characters stories connect in some fashion with the other characters stories making a large epic story in a wonderful fantasy world. The second thing that was great about the game was the sound It was fully voiced and the music is beautiful some of the songs are epic, others are whimsical, and others are dark and haunting with a lot of Celtic instruments that fit with the theme of the game. Finally, the art in the game is gorgeous. Everything from the background and forefround scenery to the characters to the smallest items is superbly crafted. Eye candy dosen’t even begin to describe it.

In the end I can’t say I’d recommend Odin Sphere to people who are looking for a normal RPG unless you are willing to put up with intentional grinding and frustrating item management and sometimes irritating controls. If you’re willing to look past that then the story, art, and music are equal to the frustration. Not worth the frustration only equal to it or you can do what I did and get Qimbhal’s save, thanks Qimbhal, or some other save and make the game give up it’s awesome parts without the frustration.

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