The person that said 2-D games are dead did not see this amazing game. Odin Sphere is a beautiful hand-drawn, old-school style action/RPG mixture that is perfect.
When you first play Odin Sphere, the visuals immediately stand out. Gorgeous, not to mention big, sprite characters walk around in an environment of amazing “water color painted” backgrounds. Everything screams hand-drawn goodness. The lush environments and the gorgeous sprites jump out of your HDTV (when using component cables).
Odin Sphere is played through the eyes of five different characters. Each character shows up in each other’s “book”. Each character’s story is played one at a time. The different characters belong to different nations who are trying to claim a relic called The Cauldron. Each character’s story is separated into scenes and acts as the character Alice, a little girl, reads each story. The game is played as if Alice is reading you a book, which she is, as she is the narrator of the game.
Visuals are not the only thing Odin Sphere has going for it. The game play is simple, but complex also. Each level is divided into sub-stages which are circular. Running straight through each stage will ultimately bring you back to the beginning. Each of the sub-stages is connected by a path which you must unlock. Once you clear a stage of enemies or bosses, exits open up leading to different paths that you can take through the level.
When you first play Odin Sphere, you might think it is a simple button-masher. When you play more through the game, elements of RPG games appear. Such as leveling up your weapon, alchemy (combination of items to make new ones), and learned abilities. Once an enemy is slain on the battlefield they release phozons. Phozons are absorbed by your weapon, allowing the weapon to upgrade and you to gain magic levels. They also allow you to recharge you magic bar, which in turns let you do spells for area damage. Phozons also allow seeds to grow. Seeds can be brought and found throughout the levels. These seeds can be planted on the level, and they grow by absorbing phozons. The seeds grow into plants which sprout recovery items.
Odin Sphere does suffer from radical difficulty changes. Some levels are ridiculously easy and then the next will take you a couple of retries to finally clear them. This is not a huge problem, but it can be quite annoying sometimes.
In the end, Odin Sphere is a must have PS2 game for 2007. Beautiful graphics and intense game play is what this game delivers.
Odin Sphere is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes and Use of Alcohol.