Game: Odin Sphere Leifthrasir
Consoles: PS4 (reviewed), PS3, PS Vita
Due to the many remastered collections floating around, more slept-on games from the past are getting a 2nd chance to amass a larger audience. Cult classics, such as Darksiders 2, Sleeping Dogs and Valkyria Chronicles have been reintroduced to gamers looking to experience what a small minority revered so highly. Before Vanillaware blessed the PS3 and PS Vita with the excellent Dragon’s Crown, they released a mythical storybook adventure back on the PS2. Years later, this highly regarded action RPG has been given the remastered treatment and is back to claim its former glory. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is the perfect revitalization of game that deserves another opportunity to shine.
Your journey is explained through a number of storybooks that focus on several magical heroes. Each tale connects the plight of five characters as they seek out a solution to their own conflicts and the larger matter that connects them all. It’s easy to become engrossed in the plight of the land of Erion and its many realms. However, completing every chapter is a lengthy endeavor. The game’s long runtime may be great for JRPG fans used to such a genre staple. Gamers of another ilk will likely burn out before they reach the very end.
Graphically, the watercolor visual decor fits the magical tales being weaved through each adventure and they look even prettier than before. Everything about this remaster looks amazing. The lush environments, slick maneuvering of your onscreen warriors and the chaotic battles taking place look glorious in 1080p and 60fps. The strong soundtrack also does a great job of matching the game’s whimsical and magical mood.
If you already gave Dragon’s Crown a spin, Odin Sphere Leifthrasir’s mechanics should be familiar. After all, it was the game that was the precursor to Vanillaware’s multiplayer dungeon crawler. You’ll move in a side-scrolling manner through several environments. Paying attention to the map layout is key as you enter battle arenas, discover treasure and take a break within rest areas. The battles avoid turn-based gameplay altogether. You’ll take on numerous foes and tough bosses in the vein of classic beat ’em ups.
Now that the issue of slowdown has been erased, every battle plays out even smoother than before. Each character comes with their own special abilities to equip and master, which manages to make this brawler deeper than most. However, that inevitable feeling of repetition seeps in the longer you play. The long running plot has an adverse effect on the many battles you’ll engage in. There’s a ton of features to become acclimated with though, so at least there’s some other mechanics to concern yourself with.
This is a remaster after all, so there’s a nice amount of new additions to take note of. Besides the improved visuals, there’s trophy support, new enemies, fresh boss encounters, a wealth of newer abilities etc. Advanced players can test their mettle in the new Hell difficulty, “Xtra New Game” New Game Plus mode and Boss Rush mode. For those of you who prefer to play the game’s former version, the option to play the PS2 edition is available. This re-release currently stands as the perfect way to experience a game that never got a fair shake upon its initial unveiling.
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is a shining example of how remastered games should be done. The art style looks even more refined, the issue of slowdown has been completely erased and additional content makes this revival fuller than most remastered games. The battles themselves are fun, action packed enemy clashes that are as fun as ever, but they do tend to get monotonous the further you move along. And while the story is interesting, its lengthy run time is a sore spot worth mentioning. Nevertheless, this remastered edition of an underrated action RPG should still be revisited by loyal fans and experienced by curious newcomers.
- The new 1080p and 60fps visual upgrade breaths new life into the game’s art style
- There’s a myriad of welcome game system adjustments and additional content
- The beat ’em up combat is still a joy to play and master
- Playing through this game is a long endeavor, which may be off-putting to some
- The combat does get a bit repetitive the further you go along