Why I Love Lost Odyssey, It Deserves To Be Remastered
If there’s one game I will always look back on fondly from the 360 era, it’s Lost Odyssey. While it’s nothing groundbreaking, or even that new, it’s the perfect reminder of just how good JRPGs can be. The 360 hosted a few decent JRPGs. The likes of Neir and Resonance of Fate being worthy of mention, but Lost Odyssey stood out.
Developed by Mistwalker, Lost Odyssey’s core structure was typically JRPG . Drama, war, family and a feminine long haired male lead. Even the setting was nothing all that new, with the game’s setting involving a newly reached magic-industrial revolution, which, of course, is under threat by a powerful figure wanting world domination. Typical in every sense, but it’s Lost Odyssey’s soul that proves to be one of it’s key features.
As someone who was long since jaded with JRPGs, Lost Odyssey was my last punt at the genre, my very own make or break. After the disappointment that was Blue Dragon, I didn’t hold too much hope Mistwalker’s second 360 title. The day was cold, wet and windy. I boarded the metro and made my way to town to pick up my copy of Lost Odyssey. Upon reaching the shop, the untouched nature of the shelves struck me as odd. I took a copy from the shelf, leaving the only space on that whole area, and took it to the till.
I can even recall reading the back of the box on the way home, each word setting in a steady case of buyers remorse. Starting up the game, hearing the music, witnessing the opening cut scene…was this excitement? Was Lost Odyssey sowing the seeds for a truly memorable experience? 40 hours later, and the impression was made.
From the beginning, all the way up to the very last second, the sense of character Lost Odyssey displays is staggering. The plot centres around Kaim Argonar, an immortal who has lived for thousands of years but has no memory of the life he has led. With two of the biggest factions in the land involved in a magic-fused weapons race, Kaim is tasked trying to keep the peace. The story itself is compact, well rounded, and engaging.
Kaim as a character ticks every JRPG box in the book. Handsome, typically feminine, long haired and broody. His generic design and traits do not stand in the way of his development into a sympathetic, at times questionable, character. Filling in the blanks from his past life quickly becomes a truly magical experience. Each memory provides motivation and desire to complete Kaim’s story and history. He may of started off as a rather generic character, but he grows into so much more.
Lost Odyssey’s story is pretty standard. Themes of oppressive hidden forces, organised evil masquerading as a greater good. Its adequate, but not all that brilliant. The cast of characters is what drives the game forward. While not entirely innocent of using a few typical JRPG tropes, the cast is organic and likeable. Interactions produce moments of laughter, concern and intrigue. Forming relationships between each character, ally and enemy alike, was what carried the overall story.
It may not of reinvented the JRPG genre, but that was totally fine During a rough time for JRPGs in the Western market, Lost Odyssey was a perfect reminder of how good they could be. No gimmicks, no tie-ins to other media, just pure JRPG goodness. It still remains as one of the 360′s best exclusives, even if it’s became somewhat under appreciated.
Solid mechanics that allowed combat to feel reactive. Interesting character and party building, neatly tied with a wonderful interface. Lost Odyssey was sheer quality, even at it’s worst. Fantastic visuals, accompanied by some beautiful original music, gave it that extra special touch. To do this day, Lost Odyssey feels like the ‘real’ Final Fantasy evolution. If Final Fantasy 13 represented everything wrong with trying to make JRPGs appeal to more Westerners, Lost Odyssey showed how to do it correctly.
If there’s one game that is begging for a remastering, it’s Lost Odyssey. It’s a selfish request made out of sheer hope, rather than realistic thought. The current generation of systems is solely missing JRPGs, Lost Odyssey could fill that gap. The chances of it ever happening are slim to none, but I implore anyone to at least try the game. For a cult classic, it’s not too hard to get a hold of. Beautifully crafted, with a genuine soul, Lost Odyssey is just as good now as it was back in 2007.