Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 28, 2014, 12:20:38 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
RPGFan Community Quiz
Next Quiz Date: January 11, 2014
Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
For more information click HERE!
327543 Posts in 13410 Topics by 2169 Members
Latest Member: KopeAcetic
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  RPGFan Message Boards
|-+  Media
| |-+  Single-Player RPGs
| | |-+  Lost Odyssey
« previous next »
Pages: 1 ... 11 12 [13] 14 15 ... 18 Print
Author Topic: Lost Odyssey  (Read 38687 times)
Prime Mover
Posts: 2791


All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio

Member
*

Shattre
View Profile WWW Email

Ignore
« Reply #180 on: March 08, 2008, 03:48:25 PM »

I actually have to agree with Damien on battle system, the nuances like the wall system and the ring system did very little to add to the gameplay. The wall system is practically identical to the final fantasy "back takes half damage" system. Even if it's not technically the same, the result is the same: both the enemy and you are much less likely to attack the back row. I have a few other gripes about the battle system too, but overall, battles are a smaller part of this game than with most RPGs these days, so I'm not going to rate it down. Anyway, some of my favorite games have weak battle systems.

As for story. There's a problem. The problem is that most of the greatest literary and cinematic works of all time have rediculously standard storylines. Half of Shakespier could be considered soap opera, the other, bland political intrigue. What makes it great isn't the plot, it's the writing and the human character interaction. I can't stress this enough. In fact, I find that the more serious the writing, the simpler and more standard the plot are, because the writers chose to concentrate on dialog and depiction, rather than coming up with "neat" plot developments... which are a dime a dozen in dime novels, I'm afraid.

Where LO excels is in its writing, which is top notch. Kaim might be cold as a brick, but the other characters, notably most Jansen, Seth, and Cooke have wonderfully casual dialog, much more witty and true-to-life feeling than we've seen in a long time. Each character really exudes their own personality without feeling strictly like "generic architype A dialog" and "generic architype B dialog". I particularly like the abundance of talkative characters who aren't afraid to try to get a word in edgewise, here and there. The game shines, not when it's trying to be ultra-dramatic or emotional, but the little bits when the characters are bickering and emoting about little things. I liken it a bit to the Firefly series, of which was all about the characters' interactions, and plot was allowed to take a back seat.

I'll also give a nod to a few plot points as well. It seems that few have taken notice of the fact that our protagonist, while a bit on the dull side, contradicts about every jRPG cliche. He's old... really old. He's been married countless times. He has had children. Two of his grandchildren are  playable characters. and...

Code:
his wife is alive and well, and you fight beside her later in the game


Now, I've just gone off and said that plot isn't very important, but I will give the game major props for being, litterally one of the first games to completely deny the main characters of any innocent properties. I'm sure there are a few games out there where the main character is married. But I've never played them, and they're very few and far between. Hell, I can count on one hand the number of playable characters who are wed and have children.

It's a taboo in the jRPG world because main characters are supposed to be free and not tied-down. If they're married with children, it means that they've already grown up, and come to terms with who they are, which is what 95% of jRPG and adventure games are about. In this case, Kaim has already gone through all of that, it's just that he's forgotten, and really, he's only forgotten the anecdotal parts of who he is.

In literature and cinema, these may not be huge departures. But I think it warrents some praise as a first (or possibly "one of the first") within the jRPG genre.
Logged


eelhouse.net
- order the new album

Currently Playing: Metroid Prime 2, Trails in the Sky, Bioshock: Infinite
Currently Listening to: Devin Townsend, Dream Theater
Watching: Star Trek: TOS, Slayers, Doctor Who (as usual)
Eusis
Administrator
Posts: 11792


Member
*


View Profile
« Reply #181 on: March 08, 2008, 04:30:31 PM »

DQV beat it, I'd think.
Code:
Actually, I haven't played through the game, but what I have played has the main character start as a kid, then flashs forward by something like 10 years after a major plot event. As I understand it, this continues in that you can pursue one of two women to be your wife, then the game will advance forward again, adventuring with his twin children.
Logged
Sensei Phoenix
Posts: 1306


Member
*

Sensei+Phoenix
View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #182 on: March 08, 2008, 05:45:40 PM »

I'll agree that the casual dialogue for the NPCs, Jansen in particular was novel. And I did find the fact that Kaim spoiler spoiler to be very novel, just not enough to make me see it as enough of a departure from the norm.
Logged

DIGIBOOTY AHOY!
Parn
Posts: 2339


Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #183 on: March 08, 2008, 11:01:54 PM »

Oh no, did someone give an RPG an average review.

Here's my take on Lost Odyssey so far: when I got Mass Effect, I couldn't get enough of it.  I already beat it three times.  With Lost Odyssey, while I don't dislike the game, I find myself just playing it in sessions on and off, as if it were just keeping me occupied as I wait for the next game (Smash Bros. Brawl).  I would definitely consider it a C+ if I were to give it a grade, though I haven't finished the game yet.

Quite frankly, JRPGs tend to be full of terrible writing when it comes to anything dramatic.  Lost Odyssey is no exception to this, as the characters say unbelievable things and act unnaturally in such moments.

Code:
The segment on disc one with the flowers, the two really dumb looking brats, your party, and the I-need-flowers-so-I-can-get-laid-tonight soldiers is a perfect example.  I found myself rolling my eyes and groaning in disgust as an artificial problem was created.  Soldiers conveniently rode in, made asses of themselves for no reason other than to fulfill a typical JRPG/anime stereotype, and then comment about some stupid flowers that they somehow have never seen before, making you wonder why they rode that far into the ruins in the first place if that were the case.  Your party stood there like a pack of lifeless morons while they bullied the two kids who were willing to put their lives on the line for freakin' flowers.


That is, until it was time for a boss fight since it's important to have those, no matter how stupid and pointless, every two hours or so.  This stuff is totally unbelievable.  It was like I was playing Xenosaga again.  I hate JRPG melodramatics.

It's not all bad though.  The Thousand Years of Powerpoint are exceptionally written, and helps to keep me from giving up on things.  But I'm having a hard time taking some of the dramatic scenes seriously for one reason or another, and town NPCs never have anything interesting to say.  Oh well.
Logged
Robert Boyd
Posts: 624


Member
*


View Profile WWW

Ignore
« Reply #184 on: March 09, 2008, 01:48:31 AM »

I guess I'm just surprised at how weak Lost Odyssey's reception has been in the media in general.  I'm finding Lost Odyssey to be exceptional - in many ways, it's the next generation FF6 that I've been waiting for ever since FF7 was announced.  Maybe it's just a case of people outgrowing the traditional JRPG format: games like FFXII and Persona 3 changed the formula around and met with great praise, Mass Effect came out a few months ago and was lauded, plus more and more non-RPGs are adding RPG elements to their gameplay.

I will admit that Lost Odyssey isn't perfect (the ring system in particular seems tacked on to me), but I defy anyone to name a better traditional JRPG out at the moment.

And the Wall system may seem like just the standard back row takes half damage system that we've seen so many times, but I've found it's resulted in many changes in my strategy that I wouldn't otherwise have made.
Logged

Tenchi-no-Ryu
RPGFan's MMO Junkie
RPGFan Editor
Posts: 1355


Member
*

TenchiNoRyujin
View Profile
« Reply #185 on: March 09, 2008, 08:25:45 AM »

I'm working on a review of the game myself (hopefully to be finished with it in the next week) which should provide a nice counterpoint to Damian's view, if you have the stamina to read an epic.

All criticism aside, a review is, at its core - an opinion. It doesn't have to be something you agree with, and everyone is entitled to their own view. I think Pat said it best when he suggested you beat the game and write your own reader review. Personally I rather enjoyed the game for my own reasons. While I do disagree with some of Damian's points, I will defend to the death, his right to voice his opinion. The more information and perspectives a player can get about a game, the better their chances of making an informed decision when it comes time to plunk down that $60.
Logged
everluck
Posts: 1245


stay positive!

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #186 on: March 09, 2008, 09:30:14 AM »

Quote from: "Tenchi-no-Ryu"
All criticism aside, a review is, at its core - an opinion.

Reviews are meant to be objective, not subjective. Allowing personal opinion to cloud your judgment weakens the overall piece. Too many people I find use absolutes when describing games in reviews (This game is this... this game is that... It will make you feel this, etc.). Nothing is as absolute as that.

Bringing opinion into it makes it into sort of an editorial.

This thread seems like it's being derailed, though, so I'll say something Lost Odyssey related: Finally got to play the game, on a friend's X Box, and I can't wait to get my hands on it again.
Logged

[/url]
Parn
Posts: 2339


Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #187 on: March 09, 2008, 01:08:19 PM »

Quote from: "everluck"
Reviews are meant to be objective, not subjective.

Nope.

When I take a pear, put it to my mouth and take a bite of it, I enjoy the taste of it.  When I take a mango and do the same, I spit it back out and never buy mangoes again.  We can be objective about nutritional value, consistency, crispness, price, and whatever else comes to mind all day long.  In the end, it comes down to a personal opinion that ranges from "I love it" to "I hate it".  When personal opinion is removed, it becomes a synopsis of features.  If people want that for games, they can go visit a game's official website and get a list of all the features, or read previews.
Logged
Eusis
Administrator
Posts: 11792


Member
*


View Profile
« Reply #188 on: March 09, 2008, 04:58:08 PM »

Quote from: "everluck"
Reviews are meant to be objective, not subjective.

They're supposed to be both. A reviewer should give me an idea of how the game functions, admit to faults even if they really love the game yet recognize them as such, and the same to what things a game does right. These are video games, and even the problems one has with a game may not be so for another, though they should be noted if they CAN be a problem (case in point, Shiren resetting you to level 1 and wiping equipment upon dying). Hell, most of what there is in a game to like/hate is subjective, the only things objective are technical aspects. Bugs, loading time, graphical performance, that stuff.
Logged
Akanbe-
Posts: 2752


Cheap? I paid a lot for this hat!

Member
*

----- 4237981
View Profile WWW

Ignore
« Reply #189 on: March 09, 2008, 05:56:35 PM »

At first I agreed with everluck with the subjective/objective part, but then after reading parn's statement about it, I follow his logic.

Quote
With Lost Odyssey, while I don't dislike the game, I find myself just playing it in sessions on and off, as if it were just keeping me occupied as I wait for the next game


Again, I feel the same.  I like LO, but something allows me to only play so much of it before I'm bored.  It's not like Persona 3 (or even FF12) where I could play all day and still want to play more.

Quote
Quite frankly, JRPGs tend to be full of terrible writing when it comes to anything dramatic


This seems to be a common complaint by a lot of people on this board.  It makes me wonder sometimes why people even play jrpgs in the first place (never found gameplay to be that engrossing except for persona 3's).  Some of LO's dialogue is indeed odd, but so far not enough to really stick out as a major "WTF" for me yet.
Logged


"Karma is...secret top tier"~Starmongoose
PSN ID: Akanbe9
calintz
Posts: 454


Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #190 on: March 09, 2008, 06:32:17 PM »

so true: why do people play JRPGs when most of the time they care about storyline and then complain that it's paperthin and not well written...


@ Parn: hahaha - love the comparisons!
Logged
everluck
Posts: 1245


stay positive!

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #191 on: March 09, 2008, 08:16:38 PM »

Quote from: "Eusis"
Quote from: "everluck"
Reviews are meant to be objective, not subjective.

They're supposed to be both.

To measure the quality of something, you should try to remain as detached as possible.

Parn makes a good point, but it's not what I think most professionals would agree with (I've worked with several in multiple fields; theatre critics, journalists, and restaurant critics).

Opinion deserves a place, but it shouldn't influence the review. Someone who's jaded against something shouldn't admit that openly and then say their results were what they predicted. You shouldn't go into something thinking it's going to disappoint or be mediocre or whatever.

But then, no one's getting paid for reviewing on this site, correct? So like I said earlier, does it even matter? The "professionals" doing the reviewing aren't doing it as a job or a career- it's just a hobby. So who cares if it's just opinion?

In the end, I like this website because it of the opinion involved. I'm not saying the review was bad, but I disagree in saying it was professional.

edit:
In regards to what Parn brought up about the features and all that: you're right about a personal opinion in the end coming down to "I like it or I dislike it." You'll notice that on Gamespot's review they have a judging scale called tilt that brings that into account. But most of their reviewing is done on the technical aspects- and that's what I believe is most important.

Say you're a person who doesn't like fruit. You bite into a pear and find that it's quite similar to other fruit; it's juicy, soft, and almost melts in your mouth when you bite it. But you don't like that kind of stuff. You don't enjoy the consistency, the juiciness. It wasn't too expensive, but worrying about the nutritional value gives you a lot of trouble. You give this pear a 2/5.

A perfectly good fruit, with exceptional technical aspects. But you didn't like it, so the score goes down? Wut?

Imagine a review of Halo lauding the gameplay, the level design, the AI, and the story. 100% is the final score. Lovely, right? But the review makes no mention of the repetitive level design or repeated environments. The reviewer was too enthralled in the game to notice. That's a sign of a bad review: to get a really clear picture of something, you need to take a step back. You need to consider the whole picture to figure out if it was really as good as you thought it was.

Many film critics watch movies two or more times before reviewing them. The first time is to enjoy it, the second is to dissect it. I know many games take too long to afford that freedom, but I think the same general rules should apply.

edit again:
Ah, fuck it.

I don't read most professional reviews anyway, I think they're shit. I'm totally with you on having to put a measure on the heart of something.
Logged

[/url]
Parn
Posts: 2339


Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #192 on: March 09, 2008, 08:38:10 PM »

Quote from: "calintz"
so true: why do people play JRPGs when most of the time they care about storyline and then complain that it's paperthin and not well written...


@ Parn: hahaha - love the comparisons!

Glad I made you smile, heh.

Old habits are hard to break, I guess?  But there are instances of JRPGs that don't have terrible writing.  Phantasy Star IV is what introduced me to console RPGs in the first place, and aside from a handful of cheesy lines in the last few hours, it remained fairly solid.  Panzer Dragoon Saga didn't have any cheesy dialogue whatsoever, and maintained its seriousness from start to finish... it was the Mass Effect of JRPGs without the branching dialogue trees, if you will.  Skies of Arcadia had a simple charm to it, and though Vyse rode dangerously close, he managed to avoid crossing the line of being too optimistic to be believable.  I suppose I'm biased in that these are all Sega titles, but they too are guilty of bad writing (see: Phantasy Star Universe).

Japanese writers are very capable of delivering a solid story without resorting to cheesiness.  I look at games like ICO or Shadow of the Colossus, and I see amazing works of art that convey a really neat story without having to resort to gobs of unbelievable melodrama.  There's the examples I gave in the previous paragraph.  Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance was pretty good about delivering a political story without getting too weird with things, even if one mercenary group thrashing army after army is a bit farfetched.  It was all in good fun.  But then you have games with dialogue that try to get preachy (Tales games and their constant reminder of how racism is bad, yes, we get it), pretentious (the entirety of Xenosaga and its seemingly random references to religion in the name of "depth"), or downright stupid (Wild Arms 4 and its "WAAAAAAAH ADULTS SUCK").

I continue to buy JRPGs in the hope of running into another diamond in the rough, so to speak.  They're there, we just have to keep digging and tossing the rocks aside.  Some folks might find value in those hunks of obsidian and marble that I cast aside, but the search continues nonetheless.
Logged
Ashton
Contributing Editor
Posts: 5039


Lawful Asshole

Member
*


View Profile WWW

Ignore
« Reply #193 on: March 09, 2008, 09:57:42 PM »

Quote from: "everluck"
Opinion deserves a place, but it shouldn't influence the review. Someone who's jaded against something shouldn't admit that openly and then say their results were what they predicted. You shouldn't go into something thinking it's going to disappoint or be mediocre or whatever.

So let me propose this question then: If the review had said something to the extent of "I expected to be disappointed but was instead pleasantly surprised," would anybody be complaining that the review was 'too opinionated'?

Opinions are what make a review. There are egregious examples like GameInformer's infamous Wild Arms 4 review, but in general opinion is a critical part of the review process. Without it reviews would be worthless.
Logged

eXaX
Posts: 99


Member
*


View Profile Email

Ignore
« Reply #194 on: March 10, 2008, 08:25:43 AM »

I've been reading alot of reviews/opinions etc and LO looks like a love/hate kind of thing.
Some people seem to either adore the story, characters and themes of the overall game whereas other people tend to criticize the exact same things. An example of this are the reviews posted on RPGamer.com - there LO received really good reviews (4.0+ out of 5) praising the story,characters and writing. And then you've got (almost) completely opposite reviews, like the one here on RPGFan and Gamespy.

I haven't been able to buy it just yet, since my local gamestore hasn't received their copies (for whatever reason) so I haven't played it just yet but I definitely will.
Logged

Pages: 1 ... 11 12 [13] 14 15 ... 18 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!