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Compared to the cute and cartoonish world of Blue Dragon, creator Hironobu Sakaguchi's other RPG, Lost Odyssey, is looking positively X-rated.
After previewing his old-school throwback at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, Sakaguchi surprised us with a sneak peek at some of the cutscenes from his darker, grittier epic. The first depicted immortal hero Kaim riding a train into a radiating, sunset-drenched metropolis that could rival anything seen in the latest Final Fantasy. Even the familiar mix of magical fantasy and sci-fi technology was noticeable, with futuristic vehicles and glowing crystals sharing the same streets and plazas.
And while the heroes of Blue Dragon are wide-eyed with innocent wonder, Lost Odyssey's hero just seems depressed. In fact, Kaim didn't do much in this movie besides stare at the floor moodily with a single strand of black hair hanging dramatically down his face. Squall Leonhart would be proud.
Things got more interesting, light-hearted... and adult... during the next scene. Kaim and a female party member are waiting outside a tavern when the third member of their group finally emerges, unmistakably drunk and with three ladies on his arms. Who are we kidding? These blonde triplets are basically prostitutes, fawning all over the guy until the female hero throws them some coin, at which point they suggest that she join them inside. Full of revealing outfits and suggestive humor, the entire clip was surprisingly racy coming from the guy who just showed us a pure-hearted kid having fireside chats with his parents in Blue Dragon.
This second movie was also taking place in real-time using the Unreal III engine and, besides some unfinished character lighting, looked fantastic. The English voice acting was also very good and sounded much more natural than the anime-style performances we heard in Blue Dragon. The drunken hero's slurred speech was particularly impressive.
Lost Odyssey is currently scheduled for simultaneous worldwide release near the end of 2007. Stay with us for more sober coverage as the game progresses.