+Amazing graphics that have lived up from the game since the PS2 days
+Rich and enjoyable RPG mechanics
+Combat feels smooth and well paced on PS4 and Vita
+Frame rate doesn’t drop at all allowing for smooth combat and gameplay
–Literally zilch at this time.
When developer Vanillaware learned that Dragon’s Crown was a diamond in the rough
Ever wondered if a game could be a hit a second time around? Developer Vanillaware definitely decided to do so. You may remember the hidden gem on the PlayStation 2. With it back, bigger, better, and more beautiful than ever – the game is a must have for JRPG Side-Scrolling Platforming enthusiasts.
When it come’s to Vanillaware developed games, you know their games are gold, they are also games that are built with a certain… Je ne sais quoi. Having been a long time fan of Vanillaware, I wasn’t one to hesitate picking up Odin Sphere after having played it back in 2008. For many of us we would be dumbfounded by the question of why this game was remade and if it was worth picking up. The answer? That’s why we’re here.
When looking at remakes, we’re critical on if a game can live up to its celebrated remake. With buttery-smooth 60-frames-per-second framerate of side-scrolling action that plays just as smooth as it sounds. With improvements upon the games combat and RPG mechanics, one would wonder if this game could be one of the best experiences possible. Truth is? This is one of the best experiences I’ve had in a long time for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. As one would expect, the game runs equally well on both platforms, graphics don’t even feel compromised in any form of matter. While many would expect it to run a bit chuggy on the PlayStation Vita, the game runs crisp, clean, and even looks as good as one would expect. For those of you who played Dragon’s Crown, expect this kind of performance without the touch-screen gimmicks that take away from the experience.
Unlike the PlayStation 2 version. Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir runs splendidly due to how the overall upgrades the game received. If you’ve played the PlayStation 2 version, you’re familiar that the game would come to a screeching halt as a brontide of groans came from fans during moments of high combat animations. With beautifully accentuated performances, the new one also offers up a new experience with a new combination of weapons, allowing for a unique blend of combat. With new special attacks, and alchemic potions in the mix, everything works quite well with one another and offers up a unique twist in combat.
As pretty and uniquely made as the game was when it first released, the new one is much like Dragon’s Crown where players can find themselves distracted quite easily with each minute that passed while playing. Much like previous titles of them, the game made me run circles in order to keep playing through each place while candlelight’s, torches, sunbeams, and even vibrantly-colored plants sprawled across my screen. If there’s anything that I couldn’t stare at? It was the flashing blue light on the side of my PlayStation Vita when coming back from my loops of distraction and appreciation for the games artwork.
When adventuring on through each scene, it was nice to be able to find myself lost in the game that you’d have been sure was crafted carefully by hyperactive adults who needed a way to become focused on the goal at hand. With five characters at the helm for players to enjoy, players will find themselves wanting more and more when they step away from the game. With each map carefully crafted, characters feel alive, enjoyable, and even immersed by the world around them. With action being constant and unrelenting, players will be able to find themselves entranced while swapping between their basic attacks before using their spell abilities known as “Phozon Skills” that alow magic to be used in order to assault their enemies. Thank to this, players can go from freezing enemies in front of them before tossing out a fiery bomb in front of them from their inventory thanks to their alchemy.
As one would expect, combo’s come in hand while maneuvering between aerial attacks, spells, and potions. Doing so makes higher combat rankings come in at an easier pacing while moving forth through the game. With the end of each battle easily approaching, victory loot becomes essential in order to take out harder to defeat enemies from giants, to dragon’s to elves, to fairies and even more. Some enemies will test your ability to platform due to attacks that come in forms of ranged barrages, long-reaching spider like legs, and even spells that could knock a player around like a rag doll.
Much as one would expect, the game lives up to its genre tag rather well as an action RPG with rich elements of both. With a large array of diverse weapon skills from characters such as Gwendolyn’s capabilities as a caster, Oswald’s abilities as a bone-crushing warrior, and even characters such as Pooka Prince Cornelius who bring the game to life with brooding-comical. With skills being upgradeable by collecting Phozon Prisms, players will find themselves immersing in the RPG like elements in order to make their characters more powerful.
Thanks to carefully designed maps and pieces of artwork, Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir is an enjoyable game where players will find themselves using food in order to boost stats, and conveniently move between warp points to remove the use of tedious backtracking. Anyone that’s played any side-scroller knows this can become a rather troublesome ordeal thanks to worlds growing rather large. Players that explore, however, will find themselves digging through rather large nooks and crannies for improved gear, items. Even large stashes of hidden treasures become available for those that take time and effort to do so.
Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir – PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), PlayStation Vita (Reviewed), PS3
Price: $59.99/$49.99/$39.99 (PS4/PS3/PSV)
Release Date: Available Now
While each story shares a similar theme, each one is unique. Such as Oswald, Gwendolyn, Velvet, and even Mercedes who bring this very world to life. While each character, as stated, has their own story arc that is creatively incredible, I’d have to say each comes with a nice twist of fates as they intertwine into one large story arc that will leave players jaw dropped. With how well it’s crafted, one could easily call it Vanillaware’s very own Odysseus as it will definitely be a game that’s around for years to come. With musical tracks such as Ringford Forest’s where players will find themselves humming a long at some point with the games percussion’s that come to life. With talented voicing from actress Karen Strassman, players will find themselves hooked for hours to come thanks to the amazing talents across the board. If you’re one for original Japanese dubbing, you’re in for a treat as it can be found within the games option menus.
Overall, Vanillaware’s Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir is here to stay and runs without a hitch. With such an artistically creative masterpiece that takes art, music, and voice dubbing to a whole new place – consumers won’t be disappointed from the moment they boot up their game and move save files across both PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
Our review is based on a copy provided to us by the games publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 10 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.