Odin Sphere Leifthrasir Review | The Game Grinder

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir Review | The Game Grinder

Sometimes I really have to scratch my head
about my choices in gaming.. What I play, and when. I’ve known about this game since it was
released. A close friend of mine was all about it, showed
it to me and everything and I thought it looked sweet. That was eleven years ago. Some years ago I bought said copy of Odin
Sphere from said friend. I was going to sit down and play it a couple
times, but then I heard about this HD remaster and I decided to hold off again. I played this back in the fall of 2016, but
with The Cartridge Club covering this for their game of the month for February 2018,
I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir. Church here, and welcome to The Game Grinder. Today we’ll be reviewing Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir. Odin Sphere and its HD remaster were both
developed by Vanillaware, and published by Atlus. Vanillaware have some highly praised releases
under their belt, with the most notable being Muramasa and Dragon’s Crown besides Odin
Sphere itself. Odin Sphere was originally released in 2007
for the Playstation 2 and the HD remaster was released for the Playstation 4 in June
of 2016. In the land of Erion, there is a prophecy
of an impending apocalypse, the end of the world as we know it. A once powerful kingdom of Valentine was once
destroyed by a creation of great power, the Crystalization Cauldon, which has caused the
many regions to go to war fall into war of this device. So begins The Cauldron War. Odin Sphere is a 2D action RPG. In its simplest form, it’s a side-scrolling
beat ‘em up, with a leveling system focused on attack skill acquisition, with a strong
narrative direction and story focus. Throughout the game we’ll play as various
characters with stories that intersect. As each character, we’ll play through a
series of chapters, 6 each as well as a prelude and epilogue. Each character’s tale covers different events,
sometimes with a cause and effect to others, and once completing all character’s quests,
they’ll merge into an epic conclusion. Let’s briefly meet our cast of heroes. We’re introduced to power struggle that’s
consumed Erion as we first meet the forces of Ragnanival, under the rule of The Demon
King Odin, as Gwendolyn, Valkyrie warrior, and daughter of Odin discovers her elder sister
has fallen during battle. In the Kingdom of Titania, Prince Cornelius
wishes nothing but to be with his love, a witch of the forest, but finds himself in
the underworld now in the cursed form of the Pooka. In the fairy forest of Ringford, the young
Princess Mercedes has no choice but to take her place as queen when her mother falls. Oswald, a shadow knight, serves under Melvin,
the advisor for Queen Elfaria, and finds his life has been traded for the power he wields. Lastly we’ll play as Velvet, the orphaned
daughter of the destroyed kingdom of Valentine, who seeks to end the coming destruction of
the world. Game-play consists of visiting the various
regions of Erion. Each region is layed out in a series of sections. Sections have branching paths that we’ll
use to progress through. Some sections are shown as a circle, which
wraps infinitely until we use an exit, and then we have straightforward square rooms. We’re free to proceed through the areas,
and backtrack at will. We can also revisit and leave the areas as
well. Within the sections, some are shown with crossed
swords. These are the battle stages, and where the
main bulk of our game-play will happen. These usually involve a few waves of enemies
to dispatch and depending on how well and fast we do this, we’ll get an overall ranking. S, and A through F. S rankings will reap the
most rewards, experience, items, and Valentine Coins. It’s ideal to do big combos, utilizing skills
either power based, or Phozon aka magic. Phozons are a huge part to the game’s story,
magic casting, and leveling as well. Phozons are gained from defeating enemies,
and sometimes we may find plants that will allow us to draw Phozons to grow other plants. There are also Phozon Butterflies that can
be absorbed, and we can even craft Phozon potions. Besides gaining experience to level up, Phozons
can be used on various seeds we find during the playthrough, which once planted will bear
fruit. This fruit can be eaten for large chunks of
experience. We can also use the fruit, combined with recipes
found to order meals from the Pooka Chef, for even bigger experience rewards. Phozons can also be spent on the skills we
unlock to boost their level of effectiveness. Of course leveling boosts our overall performance,
damage, defense, health, magic and power, but also yields a power points that can be
used on addition character perks like faster movement, special passive abilities, or discounted
shop prices. Each character has a pretty large skill tree,
with abilities unlocked by completing the battle stages, or finding chests hidden throughout
the regions. These are either power based skills, or magic. The power skills basically use stamina, which
will slowly recharge. We also have the magic abilities. The magic doesn’t automatically recover
like stamina, but we can craft potions to restore it, or as we gain Phozons, the meter
will fill. There’s a pretty wide variety of skills
to make use of, and the game enables us to set a series of button commands to pull these
off, but were limited to a set amount of combinations using the circle button and the analog sticks. This adds a level of strategy and customization
to our playstyle. I mentioned items so let’s run through that. Odin Sphere has a large focus on crafting
potions, but it’s not the tedium of many crafting games. We’ll find empty potions that we can then
add a series of vegetables to, and even other potions, food or even items to change what
they do, or the effectiveness. It’s a very simple and straightforward system
that will have to be relied on to make it through the game, creating our healing items
or status effect items whether attack or defensive. We can also purchase items, potions, components,
food, and the essential area map from vendors we encounter in the various places we visit. Lastly there’s the Valentine Coins. These are given as reward at the end of combat
rounds and can be spent at the Pooka Cafes. Just like the Chef, we can get huge experience
from the food items, and there’s one additional catch. The game really has two endings, a good and
bad, but the good ending has additional scenes to show if we collect all the Valentine coins
by finding all hidden chests and getting S ratings across the board, as well as finding
all the recipes and lore notes. I got the good ending myself, but didn’t
get all the hidden items. Fortunately there’s Youtube. At the beginning of the game, we’ll start
in what appears to be an attic, filled with books. Here’s we’ll find a young girl Alice,
and her cat Socrates. This acts as a game hub of sorts. Each of Odin Sphere’s main characters have
a book. Once completing one storyline, another book
will appear. Alice will read the books to access each story,
and previous ones can be accessed again. Also, on the bookshelf we can browse lore
notes, and food and alchemy recipes we’ve found. This is really just a novel (pun intended)
presentation for a menu system, but the thoughtfulness into something a little more is definitely
appreciated. I’m not going to any great detail about
Odin Sphere’s story, as with each playable characters quest intersecting and affecting
events all throughout the region, there’s a lot to cover. Despite it’s heavy focus on the game-play
itself, Odin Sphere has a very rich and deep story to tell. Though some elements may be superficial on
the surface, this is a story of the end of the world. There’s betrayal, intrigue, conspiracy,
war, and destruction, but even in the face death itself there’s hope. The cast of characters are fully voice acted,
and maybe a bit off at times, I felt the actors did a fine job, and made each personality
stand out. For a the first few hours of the game, I’ll
admit I felt a bit confused taking in this massive war, and the significance of all the
players involved, but as I progressed and pieces started to come together, I found myself
more and more enthralled in the story, and wanted to see what would happen next. Visually I’d say the game was gorgeous to
look at. The hand painted art style of the characters
and scenery were detailed are definitely one of Vanillaware strong points. You’ll revisit almost every region with
each character, and though the areas didn’t necessarily change to any great extent, I
never found myself tired of looking at the backgrounds. There’s a lot going on and I really enjoyed
that. Masaharu Iwata was the composer for the soundtrack,
and his pedigree definitely shows. He’s well known for his soundtracks in Ogre
Battle and Tactics Ogre, along with Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics. The orchestral music used fit incredibly well
into the scenes and moods as needed, and there were some very stand out songs for me. Along with revisiting the same regions multiple
times, with that we’ll hear some of the same music many times, and I had no problems
with this. It’s always great when there’s a game
you’ve heard nothing but good things about for many years since it was released, and
when finally playing it meets pretty high expectations. Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir brings a fantastic
game into the new generation in full HD, and with it’s visual style that’s pure eye-candy,
interesting unique characters, a winding and twisting story, beautiful visuals and music,
there’s no going wrong. The combat does get a bit repetitive, but
I didn’t experiment much with the skills, so that could just be my own fault. If you haven’t played it already, I’d
definitely recommend Odin Sphere as a must play. Now if I can make the time to play the other
Vanillaware games. Lastly I just wanted to again mention The
Cartridge Club. Think of this community as a book club for
games. Like I said, they’re covering Odin Sphere
for February 2018, so they’ll have a wrap up podcast with guests and will be talking
about the game in depth. I’d encourage you to head on over to their
site and check things out. Maybe following months will have more games
you’re interested in getting involved with. Thanks for checking out my review of Odin
Sphere Leifthrasir! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked what you’ve seen or heard,
please give the video a like, a share, and subscribe to see future videos. I’m on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as
well, and post a lot of other great game related content there, and of course links are in
the description. Until next time on The Game Grinder.

10 thoughts on “Odin Sphere Leifthrasir Review | The Game Grinder

  1. Church reviews Odin Sphere Leifthrasir for the PS4.

    The Cartridge Club: https://www.cartridgeclub.org/

    Check out my unboxing of the Odin Sphere Leifthrasir Storybook Edition! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jrxBk8VTLU

    Game site: https://atlus.com/osl/

    Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/thegamegrinder
    Twitter! https://twitter.com/The_GameGrinder
    Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/thegamegrinder/
    Youtube! https://www.youtube.com/c/thegamegrinder

    Check out the podcast I co-host, available on any podcast app:
    The Game Tenants Podcast via Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/the-game-tenants
    The Game Tenants Podcast via iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-game-tenants-podcast/id1158484206?mt=2

    Motion graphic design by Ian Peters
    Castlevania II: Monster Dance cover by a friend

  2. i love this game. its a really great improvement from the original wish started out stupid hard and took forever to level up. this one really added alot more and it feels alot more fluent as well.

  3. This game looks silly, oh wait, faeries in bikini bottoms? Shit just got real. It looks like some hack and slash fun, at least for PS4 owners : I like the art style here. It looks flat at first glance, but the animations make them seem more fleshed out than I originally expected. Lots of "fleshed" out characters… Very cool. But yeah too bad this is just a tease for me and my PC only ability. Great video, Church. 🙂

  4. Nice review! I have the Vita version of this game. I haven’t played it yet, but I look forward to doing so. Subbed to the channel.

  5. Your story at the beginning is exactly my situation (Still.) I love vanillaware games. Beat Dragons Crown a couple times with the fiance. I really need to get to this. I've had it on PS2 for many many years now.

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