Lost Odyssey - first hands-on

The playable demo begins with an epic pre-rendered battle scene, and then cuts to Lost Odyssey's charismatic hero, Kaim, before seamlessly transitioning to the real-time graphics. We honestly didn't see much of a step down in quality in going from one to the other, and as the battle continues all around you, even as you enter your first fight, there's a great sense of continuity.

Speaking of continuity, the battles continue the traditional turn-based system which the Final Fantasy games - whose "father," Hironobu Sakaguchi, also helms Lost Odyssey - helped to establish more than 20 years ago. Granted, the game isn't finished yet, but there's really nothing new in the Lost Odyssey battle system. What hasn't been seen before is this level of scale and depth.

The first mini-boss is actually a large crane-like vehicle - your initial attacks will only inflict damage on the front of the machine, but gradually, as it weakens, attack animations show Kaim sprinting to the top of the crane and plunging a huge (naturally) sword into its eye. Yeah, it has eyes - don't all construction machines? Anyhow, all the while, down below, there are two armies fighting a battle in real-time, and more characters on-screen than it's possible to count. And at the same time, Nobuo Uematsu - the soundtrack composer, also no stranger to RPG scores - is mixing it up at the sound desk something special.