Odin Sphere Leifthrasir – Review
Follow Genre: Action RPG
Developer: Vanillaware
Publisher NIS America
Platform: PS3, PS4, PS Vita
Tested on: PS TV

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir – Review

Site Score
9.4
Good: Story, Graphics, Sound, Pretty much everything
Bad: Clunky inventory, Cooking throws you back into the menu after one dish
User Score
10.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Gamers that were already active during the PlayStation 2 era, and who loved RPG games probably have heard of a beautiful picturesque title Odin Sphere. This title was already quite well received during its generation and as it’s seemingly common to rerelease or remake titles during our current wave of consoles, it comes as no surprise that Odin Sphere was brought back to life. Nonetheless, if we’re completely honest, this is one of those remakes that we were eagerly looking forward to. We almost forgot how beautiful the world of Erion was, and how sad the fate of some of its inhabitants was.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

Story

You’ll start off as Alice, a little girl that just loves reading books and luck has it she has found some interesting ones. These are the books of heroic characters that lived in Erion, god knows when. Together with her adorable cat Socrates, she starts reading the books, in the right order, to hopefully learn what has transpired in the world of Erion.

The first original quirk about this game is the fact that you won’t be treated to one story, but actually five that intertwine one way or another. You’ll start off with the daughter of the Demon Lord Odin, afterwards a prince from Titania who has been turned into a Pooka (a rabbit-like creature), and so on. While each have their own sad story which they must battle through, one thing remains rather consistent for all tales. There is one item in Erion, one with that much power to pretty much destroy the entire world, namely ‘The Cauldron’. This was originally a tool of the king of Valentine, but when his entire city was suddenly destroyed, with all of its inhabitants dead, the item became a feared weapon and those in control could easily conquer the world.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir 1

While the characters themselves struggle with their own inner demons and actually don’t really care that much about The Cauldron, they are lured to it, in order to achieve some of their goals, or simply to get help from those who need The Cauldron themselves. Nonetheless, the flow is very pleasant, and while the stories may intertwine and happen simultaneously, every ‘book’ feels like its own properly finished story.

Graphics

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir will give you the feeling that you’re opening a beautiful 2D story book, which gets prettier with each page you turn. While the story follows five characters, you’ll notice that they all roam around the same world and lands, thus some inhabitants or bosses will cross your paths multiple times and for the most part this is not a bothersome thing, as it’s fun to take a look at certain animations again. Nonetheless, the game is quite limited when it comes to enemies and bosses, but yet again, it suits the entire picture perfectly.

The backgrounds and stages are beautifully made and feel like paintings that come to life. The colors are sometimes a bit faded, making it seem like everything was hand drawn rather than computer animated. If you’re into fairytales, this graphical style is right up your alley.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir 2

Sound

The game has a great adventurous soundtrack, which goes hand in hand with the fairytale and mythological theme. While the story does change during different situations, it’s again the voice acting that reigns supreme in this title. You’ll be able to choose between the original Japanse voices and the English dub. Even though the latter proves to be qualitative, it has more awkward pauses during some of the dialogues than the Japanese version. Nonetheless, both versions have their merits and all in all, the experience is top notch.

Gameplay

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is an Action RPG, that combines very traditional RPG elements with hack and slash combat and other fun mechanics that were actually quite modern in the PS2 era. Nonetheless, you’ll mostly be running around enjoying the story, chopping up your enemies and crafting many different kinds of foods and potions. The crafting in this game is rather massive, yet even for those who do not like crafting, a lot of fun.

Seeing every character follows nearly the same rules when it comes to how they play, we’ll keep things simple and sketch a general view of things. The game itself is in 2D, which means when roaming through cities or the active battle stages everything is viewed from the side. Simply put, Leifthrasir is a side-scroller with platforming elements but also a hefty fast paced combat, along the lines of fighting games or hack and slash titles.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir 3

While things never get overly complicated when combating foes, it’s still trickier than you’d expect to hit proper combo chains. In many ways you can simply button mash your main attack, and hope for the best, but when things get harder or when you play on higher difficulty settings, things will slowly turn in the favor of your enemies if you try to tackle every battle by sticking to your normal attacks. Before you know it your arsenal is getting stronger with skills which either use PP or POW. The latter regenerates quicker and are often linked to stronger physical attacks. PP is used when you use spells, and as these are commonly a lot more powerful, the PP points tend to regenerate a lot slower, namely when killing enemies. If you wish to become even stronger in combat or vanquish a boss before it kills you, you’ll also require the aid of potions, which can put your enemies on fire, poison them, boost your own attack power or simply heal you when the time desires. There are many potions to find and all of these can be crafted as well, if you have the proper recipe and ingredients to do so.

The aforementioned skills are easily unlocked, seeing most can be found if you explore the battle stages completely. Buying the map from the merchant in the first ‘rest’ area, might help, as it also marks certain Phozon Prysms (which unlock skills) in specific rooms of a dungeon. Some are trickier to be found and might actually require you to replay certain levels if you wish to find them. Unlocked skills can be upgraded with Phozons, which are extracted from every foe you defeat. These Phozons will not only serve as a tool for upgrading your skills, but also as the essence of life for growing plants. These plants will bear fruits which you can eat to heal, but also gain experience. This game is not only about gaining experience through combat, but actually by gaining the bulk of experience by eating and gathering resources for cooks to make you grand meals, which will boost your level accordingly. This is why it’s actually quite fun to mess around with ‘crafting’ as it helps you gain a lot of experience, and it motivates you to collect certain resources.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir_20160218151514

In truth there are only two things that break the otherwise fluent gameplay, and those are the inventory system and the cooking menu where you can only prepare one dish at a time. The inventory feels a bit clunky and very slow to work with, but things are organized properly nonetheless. Cooking tends to take up a massive amount of time, seeing you can only prepare one dish at a time, which will always throw you back in the cooking menu, to have to go through some speech again and again.

Conclusion

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is one of those games you simply should add to your collection, if you’re into RPGs of course. The picturesque environments, the beautiful fairytale-like storylines and the fluent combat system all make for a wonderful experience. Fans who missed this game on the PlayStation 2 will have a chance at playing this modernized version, but also those who have fond memories of the original will surely enjoy revisiting this gem.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir_20160218172222

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.