Vanillaware brings back one of their PS2 best sellers, Odin Sphere, with fully a remade 1080p/60fps PS4 version, and 720p PS3 and PS Vita versions.
Price: $59.99/$49.99/$39.99 (PS4/PS3/PSV)
Platform: PS4, PS3, PS Vita
Release Date: June 7, 2016
The world of Erion has been fully redrawn and its combat upgraded to bring a great Odin Sphere experience. If you’ve never played Odin Sphere before, this is a great opportunity for you. If you played games like Dragon’s Crown (also made by Vanillaware) and Muramasa, you will enjoy this game as much as I did.
You play as five different characters, all going through different adventures, battles, and emotions, with every one of them fighting for their own kingdom. Each one of them has its own fighting style, skills, and abilities you can unlock.
The story of the game is told like if you were reading a story book, or fairy tale, in chapters and acts, with every scene fully voiced. The game will start off with you playing as Gwendolyn, the Valkyrie, who is seeking love and acceptance, or at least that what she thinks she wants. Probably one of my favorite characters just because of how fast she is, and her gliding ability, which is pretty fun to use.
At first glance this might look like a mindless button masher, but once you dig deep inside the combat system, the alchemy and the cooking, you will find yourself spending a lot of time trying to get high combos, discovering new potion recipes (some of them I never used, or never found a use for them), and finding every secret treasure in every level, or, if you’re like me, getting S rank on every battle on the hardest difficulty.
Potion making always sounds like trouble, but it’s as easy as having an empty bottle, and adding literally, ANYTHING. The game starts you off by giving you simple recipes of a bottle and a mandragora, which are… walking vegetables? that you will find around the stages. Add some food to it, and it’s grade or level will increase. You don’t need recipes to make potions, so you can experiment with anything you have. Bottle + item (add as many as possible if you want) = profit. Most of my 999 chain combos happened thanks to offensive potions.
Cooking is just like potion making, except, you don’t make the food. Either you get it from the traveling restaurant by giving them the ingredients needed, or you buy it somewhere. But, if you want to use the traveling restaurant, you will need to find recipes for the dish. I wasted all my phozons planting seeds for food, and buying ingredients for recipes, just because not only do they give you HP, but they also increase your max HP, and you get tons of XP. So cook as much as possible.
If you played the original Odin Sphere, you might remember your POW meter would run out and you’d stun yourself if it reached 0. In Odin Sphere Leifhtrasir, your POW meter is used for physical skills, and instead of going down after every attack, it will go up for every hit you land. Really fast paced action is what made me keep playing for hours, trying to juggle every enemy from the ground, to the air, and taking them back down to keep my combo going was my favorite thing to do. Combine regular attacks, with physical skills, followed by magic skills was my go-to combo, and like I mentioned before, throw in a deadly potion like Cyclone or Killercloud in that mix, and you will have almost every enemy not being able to touch you. Offense is not the only thing though, and I learned that the hard way (pun intended. Get it? Because I was playing on hard difficulty?). Some enemies are obviously tougher than others, some are faster, some you can’t even attack without shining a light on them! Dodge. Dodge as much as possible if you see someone getting too close, or, a good old sliding attack will help you get enemies who are blocking your attacks.
Bosses and mini bosses are a different story though. Most of them, even if you’ve juggled them for a while, will instantly go back up and stun you, so one more time, be ready to dodge or block attacks. Now imagine all this, times 2. Yes, expect it, because it will happen.
If all of this sounds great, but you still want to try another challenge, Odin Sphere Leifhtrasir includes a Classic Mode, which will let you play the original PS2 version of the game with its new beautiful graphics. Try it out, and you will see a big difference in gameplay.
Did I mention this review was made with both a PS4 and PS Vita version? I kept jumping from one console to the other thanks to the cross-save feature included, my only problem was I had to re-unlock some trophies that I had unlocked in the other version where I got it.
Being one of the games I will recommend the most for side scroller fans, Odin Sphere Leifhtrasir gets a score of 8.5 Mandragoras from me.
Odin Sphere Leifhtrasir will be released June 7th in North America for PS4, PS3 and PS Vita, so be sure to pick it up so you can try to beat my 999 chain combos. Let us know what you think about the game and our royal heroes over @NerdworkTweets.