Odin Sphere is a good game.
It's wonderfully drawn and animated, reminiscent of Darkstalkers. Details like the character idles are so subtle that you could miss them. Layered backgrounds scroll by like a watercolor with real depth.
This is a game of simplicity, art, and imagination. The story is told in a postmodern style, character arcs occurring out of temporal sequence. The stories are fairy tales, seemingly cliche but with surprising turnarounds. Characters exhibit their own motivations, resisting neat, happy resolutions.
The game system itself is of the eternal recurrence type, bringing to mind Otogi: Myth of Demons. Each level follows the same guidelines, enemies spawn and must be completely defeated. Clearing a level yields a rating based upon time, damage done, damage received, etc. Managing your resources and timing your attacks is the strategy for success.
To illustrate the strange, clever beauty of this game, consider this: You regain health and earn experience by eating food. You can buy certain foods from vendors or earn them as rewards - milk, cheese, the like. Then there are the seeds. You plant seeds. As you destroy enemies, small particles of light are released called Phozons. Seeds absorb Phozons and sprout right before your eyes. When a plant has matured you can harvest the fruit. Take too long and the fruit will drop off the plant and rot. The greatest seed you can find is the one that sprouts sheep, which ripen, then pop off the vine and run across the level.
I would also like to note that the game looks great even on a 50-inch HDTV. I can't say the same about any 3d PS2 game.
I think I paid 35 dollars for Odin Sphere, brand spanking new.
It's well worth it.
The only negative thing I can say about Odin Sphere is that the action can slow down quite a bit when there are a lot of enemies onscreen.
I'm surprised that this happens, even with last-gen hardware. I often wonder if all the attention lavished on 3d affected the development of 2d. There are lots of optimizations for geometry and textures, but does that naturally carry over to animated sprites?
Anyone out there have any information on this subject? Would a game comparable to Odin Sphere suffer slowdown even on current-gen systems?
The same company that created Odin Sphere is coming out with a 2d RTS with the same art style. I have no idea how this will work.
I have confidence that it will, though.