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Albert Odyssey

Publisher: Working Designs Developer: Sunsoft
Reviewer: Silverwolf X Released: 07/97
Gameplay: 80% Control: 85
Graphics: 90% Sound/Music: 95%
Story: 90% Overall: 88%


Albert Odyssey was one of Working Designs' greatest translation project way back in the time of the Sega Saturn. Albert Odyssey was, simply put, a traditional RPG with good sprite animation, character development and story.

Albert Odyssey is something of a side story. The intro tells of the legend of the Eldean family and their battle against Vlag and the events that unfold after it. There are several instances relating to the original hero Albert but in Albert Odyssey The Legend of Eldean, our hero is Pike. Pike was orphaned when his village was attacked by Goblins but was saved by his father's sword Cirrus, and both he and Cirrus were later found by the Harpy, Laia, who takes Pike in as a brother. Ten years have passed and Pike has grown into a young man and leads a peaceful life with his adopted family. However, an attack on the Harpy Village results in Laia being turned to stone and Pike is soon given the task of finding a way to save his sister. But soon, Pike will be embroiled in an adventure bigger than he can imagine as evil forces start a hideous plan to resurrect a long sealed evil...

The game is divided in two average length Chapters, at the end of each Chapter, Pike and his friends face a powerful boss. The first Chapter starts with Pike setting out to find a cure for his sister Laia and meets up with the Singer Eka, Cleric Leos, Dragonman Gryzz and Birdman Amon and together they set out to bring a final climax to the Eldean legend. Chapter 2 takes place a few months after Chapter 1 with Kia asking Pike and gang to help look for her grandmother. However, they soon get embroiled in a journey to stop an insane Priestess from resurrecting an evil goddess. On they way to the final battles, though, you can expect some dialogue and interesting story elements, not to mention Working Design's trademark humor which will put a grin on your face. The best joke to look out for is the dialogue selection for Pike after he rescues Guy in Chapter 2. It's pretty fun to select the second choice!

Battles in the game are carried out in the traditional way. Characters on one side and enemies on the other and turns come to whoever has the highest speed. When it's your character's turn, you simply choose one of the options for him/her and watch it being carried out. Simple don't you think? The rest of the game is also rather linear and there seems to be fewer dungeons to fight through, which is good if you think of the high monster encounter rate in this game! The only dungeon in the game that is long and frustrating is the last one but all in all, anyone can complete this game in less than 50 hours.

The graphics in the game is largely 2-D. Characters are represented by clear, well drawn sprites and look very nice. Towns and dungeons retain their 2-D look but are simply well-designed and varied. The only part of the game that looks remotely 3-D is when you are traveling across the World Map. Spells all utilize special lighting effects and are all well animated and fast. The game may be mainly 2-D, but we are talking about 2-D like you have never seen before! I guess seeing is believing.

The music is splendid and varied, not to mention you can pop the game CD into you CD Player to listen to some of the tunes! The melodies in Towns, Villages, Castles and Dungeons all fit in to their environments and really add atmosphere into the game. Sounds are quite good, battle cries and death cries are all simple and spells have their own unique sounds. Now if only there was a more complete soundtrack for the music in the game...

Controls are simple and anybody who has played an RPG can jump into this game with relative ease. There are no complicated systems to master and almost no learning curves, so Albert Odyssey is typically an RPG for anyone who doesn't like the hassle of learning many new mechanics in a game.

Overall, Albert Odyssey is a great classic and one of the few great RPGs that were fortunate enough to be translated on the Sega Saturn. A real recommendation for traditional RPG fans, if they can find it...

Silverwolf
X

Spells are all hand drawn, as are the characters and backgrounds.

The mixture of 2-D sprites and convenional battle system give Albert Odyssey an old-school feel.







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