Lost Odyssey

The gameplay doesn't look as good as the pre-rendered stuff, which is to be expected, but that wasn't really the problem. No, the problem was that the action instantly went from chaotic madness to Final Fantasy-style menus and turn-based attacks. Given that the game is by Sakaguchi - better known as the creator of Final Fantasy - that's not unwelcome, but after seeing your badass character pull off acrobatic flips and kills, seeing him run up and slash enemies the same way, over and over again, is anticlimactic.

The gameplay finished with a boss fight against one of the giant enemy robot-things, which was a little more exciting, and then it went back to another movie. As Kaim dispatched the robot, enemy soldiers surrounded him. Then the sky went black. With a rumble, the dark clouds parted and something overhead started to crack like a volcano. Lava and gigantic stones then rained down onto the battlefield, killing everything and everyone with apocalyptic heat. We watched as soldiers tried desperately to run from the magma and robots were covered and melted. Finally, the lava overwhelmed Kaim as well - although in the ashy aftermath, replete with corpses frozen by the lava, he picked himself up and walked away without so much as a first-degree burn. Then it was back to gameplay, with Kaim exploring the new wasteland, and then the demo ended.

Based on what little we've seen so far, our impressions were as follows: "wow, movie! Meh, gameplay. Wow, movie! Meh, gameplay." Lost Odyssey's story and production values are phenomenal, but the gameplay looked comparatively dull after we had our expectations built up, and we're afraid the game might be something we end up suffering through to get to the next delicious cinema. We'll know for sure, however, when the Tokyo Game Show opens this weekend and the playable game goes on display.

September 20, 2006

Mikel Reparaz
After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.