Odin Sphere: Leiftrasir Review

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It feels like certain game developers have gotten lazy. Rather than try to be innovative and create a new titles, they seem to find it easier to release older titles with improved graphics, and nothing more, in order to cash in on the popularity it had in the past. Others, however, have gone a step further, adding new elements, or creating ported versions of games that never saw a release outside of Japan. Odin Sphere: Leiftrasir isn’t just an HD remake, but a whole new experience that is better than the original in so many ways.

Odin Sphere: Leiftrasir adds a whole new level of enjoyment to a game that, honestly, felt lIke it couldn’t have been any better. Originally released on the PlayStation 2 back in 2007, Odin Sphere was a mix of action-adventure that Vanillaware have become known for today. For example, games such as Muramasa and Dragons Crown all feature beautiful hand drawn animations, impressive gameplay mechanics, and a well-rounded yet complex story based on different types of mythologies.

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It was really surprising to see that Vanillaware went the extra mile for fans. You aren’t getting only one gameplay experience, but actually two. For those who enjoyed the original Odin Sphere on the PlayStation 2, you can enjoy “Classic Mode” which includes the gameplay system of the original game. It’s fun knowing that I can jump back into the old game, complete with the new beautiful visuals without needing to pull out my PlayStation 2. It’s almost like a whole new experience, but where the game really shines is with all the amazing upgrades added in.

I really enjoyed the story the first time I played through the game, and almost nine years later, it’s still as good – if not better – thanks to the improved visuals and sounds. Everything is told through the perspective of five different characters, and what really caught my attention is just how little the characters actually interact with each other. They may talk or fight, but it’s not until you go through each character’s story that you really learn more about them, and it is done in a great way. While some of these changes are great, sadly, others aren’t as good.

In some ways, the game felt easier, although it is still a challenge. In the original version of the game, you had to space out your attacks, since attacking non-stop would tire your character out, leaving you vulnerable. Well, in this iteration, you are free to attack non-stop. It adds a nice change of pace and lets you create some insane combos (I found myself at 600 before getting knocked back) with the help of alchemy created spells. I didn’t mind this change so much since the fast paced option was fun. There are actually quite a few other changes, the biggest one being a new skill tree system that wasn’t present before.

Players now have more control over how their character fights, since Vanillaware included brand new skills that players can unlock by acquiring items, known as Psyhers, which can be earned by completing certain challenges, and defeating bosses. This adds more depth to characters, and unlike the first game, allows you to customize how they fight. Sure, you could do it in the original game, to a certain extent, but now, the possibilities are endless. Leveling up also plays a different role, as you can now level up by defeating enemies, or even eating! Each level gives you an ability point to unlock atributes that will help you in the game. It’s up to you, from there, to see how your character will grow.

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It’s easy to spend hours on each character – fighting and exploring – although the game does get repetitive, since your doing the same thing over and over again. It’s easy to dislike repetition, but it actually never bothered me once. Sure, I was visting the same locations five times, but each time was different, as I fought how I wanted to with each character, challenging myself. In the end, it was more fun than forced.

Vanillaware has always done a great job with their titles,  as it’s the beauty of their games, the solid gameplay, and story that have kept me hooked since the beginning. Odin Sphere: Leiftrasir is a game that proves that HD remakes aren’t just quick ways to make money, but instead, a great way for fans to enjoy an excellent game once more.

Odin Sphere: Leiftrasir Rating: 4.5 out of 5

NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.