Odin Sphere Leifthrasir Review (PS4)
Developer: Vanillaware- Publisher: ATLUS
Consoles: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PS Vita
Release Date: June 7th
*Disclaimer* Reviewer was granted a review code for the game
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir tells the story of five different characters, with their own agendas, who come to life thanks to a young girl name Alice reading books in her attic. The story covers the war between Ragnanival, the realm of the Demon Lord Odin, and Ringford, the realm of fairies, over the Crystallization Cauldron, which can create Psypher crystals.
Odin Sphere is as a 2D beat’em up with interesting RPG elements with multiple story arc each with their own protagonist who are all interconnected throughout the story. While players get to experience the game’s vast story across the multiple characters, they (thankfully!) all have a different feel. Their unique weapons, and subsequently attacks, all feel different and can lead to fun and interesting combos. Blocking and dodging can also be used in amidst of a combo so your chain doesn’t break.
While players’ movement are restricted to going left or right, with the occasional platforming sequences, the game features a surprisingly deep combat mechanic. While most attacks are restrained to the Square button, mixing it up with the up or down arrow will either start a juggle or destabilize enemies who have an annoy tendency in blocking your attacks. Holding down the button will also launch a stronger attack that can be either used for opening or ending a combo. To spice things up a bit, players can also use found, or concocted, potions on enemies in order to inflict more damage.
As with any game from the RPG genre, the character can level up and learn new skills. Along with the traditional way of leveling up by clearing areas and killing enemies/bosses, players can also gain XP in a variety of ways making character progression a bit more enjoyable. Eating fruits or eating at the Touring restaurants will earn players additional XPs. And for those looking for the ultimate challenge, they can skip these mechanics and try to push through the game simply by leveling up with enemy kills. This will make the game a bit harder as the character will get stronger but not as quick as they would using all tools at their disposal.
Players can create potion thanks to the characters’ knowledge of alchemy. Among the treasures players will find on their quest include Materials; a liquid substance that can be mixed with an array of ingredients to create either healing potions or elemental attacks. Throughout the map’s hidden treasures, players will also find scroll which reveals new potion and the requirements to create them.
Navigating through levels and maps can be confusing at first and does take a while to get used to. Like most RPGs where players are navigating a huge map and investigating every nook and cranny, Odin Sphere Leifthrasir does have a, relatively smaller, world map with six dungeons to explore. Once inside a specific area, navigation is done in 2D moving left to right, with the occasional climbing up or jumping down in order to reach the next area of the dungeon.
To help players find their way, there’s a handy mini map at the bottom right corner of the screen. It can be confusing at first as the map is a circle, and shows the character going around in circles, and the navigation is in 2D. Players can have an overview of the map by flicking up the right joystick.
Each dungeon feature a Rest Area. As the name implies, it’s a spot where players can either buy new items from the merchant or gain a few additional experience points by eating at the Touring Restaurant. The cook will make any recipe players will have found on their quest; as long as they have the proper ingredients. Eating the cooked meal will recover HP and give an XP boost.
Some green aura/doors will be found throughout dungeons; mostly in Rest areas. These nifty portals will allow players to teleport between discovered portals in case they wish to backtrack for missed items or progress by solving a puzzle.
Defeated enemies will leave behind Phozons. They are automatically collected after enemies are defeated or can be “sucked in” the protagonists’ Psypher based weapons by holding down R1. These little purple sprinkles are the key to improving the characters and can also be used to help planted seeds grow. Luckily, seeing as Phozons are quite useful in Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, they are a few ways to obtain them. There are purple butterflies hidden across each map which can be sucked dry, certain potions can also be turned into purple sprinkles, finding a Rosemile plant at a Rest Area or planting a Rosemile seed.
During the protagonist’s quest, players will obtain Phozon Prism. These little gems will unlock a new skill for use in combat. Once acquired, players are taken automatically to the Skills screen where the matching upgrade is automatically unlocked. Each new skill can be upgraded by using Phozons. There are also Passive and Attacks skills which can be unlocked by finding Ability Points.
As with any RPG, 2D or not, players are bound to wander (accidentally or not) into higher level areas. Thankfully, the game’s perfectly balanced difficulty won’t make things too much of a chore for players. The game has a bit of a leeway whereas players can tackle an enemy five levels higher than their current level.
After defeating enemies in a set battle arena, mini-bosses or bosses, players are graded from S to D: The higher the grade, the better the rewards.
PlayStation Vita owners will be glad to know that the game plays perfectly via Remote Play. With the lack of uses for the L2 and R2 buttons on the PS4, it ensures players won’t screw up by touching the back side of the Vita. The game also shares a cross-save feature with the PS Vita version. Mix this with the possibility to save any time and players can play continuously for hours on end.
Unfortunately, the game isn’t without its fault. While nothing major, having all stories intertwined, players will have to face the same bosses and revisit on multiple occasions. Make senses seeing as all stories are interconnected, but can understandably be a turn off for some players. Thankfully, each book can take about 6-7 hours to go through meaning players have a bit of chance to actually “forget” the battles and maps.
The game features beautifully hand drawn visuals. A majestically beautiful fairytale soundtrack will take players on a Disney-esque adventure. Story-wise, the game is told through 2D cutscenes, which can be either enjoyed in English or their Japanese original voices.
+ Simple and addictive combat system
+ Interesting leveling up mechanic
+ Different protagonists ensures a fresh experience
– Repetitive levels/bosses
– Underwhelming dungeons
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is a great gaming experience. While most RPGs are restrained to 3D games, mixing this genre with an old school 2D style makes for something new and refreshing. With a surprisingly deep combat system and a long story arc spread across multiple characters, it will keep players busy for a good 25+ hours of fun. Despite constantly revisiting the same areas throughout the “books”, having a new character with their distinct move set gives the revisited dungeons a fresh experience. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is a must play experience for any RPG fan or players looking for something new.
Definitely for RPG fans
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