Lost Odyssey Xbox 360

Lost Odyssey Xbox 360
Last month, nerds around the world lost their patron saint, Gary Gygax, the creator of Dungeons & Dragons. Back in the day, before discovering girls, grass and bootlegged beer, I’d while away many a Sunday playing D&D. I may no longer own a 20-sided die — and, in fact, a recent effort to join some friends in a game got me banished after I proved unable to take it seriously enough — but I do play plenty of digital role-playing games, which is where Gygax’s legacy is most felt nowadays. It’s certainly present in Lost Odyssey, a sweeping epic about thousand-year-old immortal soldier Kaim Argonar, who has lost his memories. How sweeping? The game is spread across four freaking discs! Yeah, I know. Much like our own, the world of Lost Odyssey is being ripped apart by an energy war. An ongoing "magical-industrial revolution” has made people’s lives easier but it also threatens to bring widespread destruction. We get out first glimpse in the opening set piece — a Lord of the Rings-style battle that culminates in a spectacular meteor crash. You are the only survivor and, as you soon discover, a sketchy defence minister and magic technology may have had something to do with the apocalyptic event. Much to your chagrin, you are also recovering your memories of the last millennium — these remembered fragments are short stories that roll out in text form, so really only the very patient or super-geeky will scroll through them all. Being alive for so long, and having lost so many friends and foes, wives and children, you have become a lonely existentialist and the entire game is coloured with pain-soaked melancholy. The result is a far more mature offering than the team’s previous game, Blue Dragon. Produced by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and scored by FF composer Nobuo Uematsu, Lost Odyssey is also decidedly old school despite its hi-tech sheen and cinematic ambition. While all videogame RPGs are indebted to Gygax’s vision, it is the traditional turn-based ones like Lost Odyssey that remain most true to it. Personally, I prefer playing the action-oriented RPGs but they do subsume battle strategy in favour of button mashing. Oblivion and Mass Effect have altered the DNA of the modern RPG, but the creators of Lost Odyssey don’t care a whit. This game is intended to help move 360s in Japan and therefore sticks to the proven JRPG formula. So, if you can put up with random battles, convoluted plot and skill micromanagement inherent to the classic Japanese role-playing experience, well, you’ve just found your next Odyssey. (Mistwalker / Microsoft)