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Odin Sphere

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wow, i've really come around on this game. first i loved it because it looked pretty, then i played it for the first time and was disappointed.. after i gave it a 2nd shot and played far enough in, i'm glad to say my $50 wasn't wasted after all.

i'm watching my gf play it, it looks like she likes it quite a bit. she's picked it up pretty quickly after watching me for a bit and going through all of the tutorials. some of the tutorials were a little frustrating, like the material0 + seed -> material1 one. having full bags at the time certainly didn't help things.

the last thing i did was open up the kitchen and cafe, and did a little grinding to get some items for recipes. i'm pretty far in the first character's story, shouldn't be long to beat her and open up the next. i'm fascinated about how the game will play with other characters, as well as how the story plays out from their points of view. that aspect reminds me of Seiken Dentetsu 3.

i guess that when i finish the valkyrie's story, i'll have "beaten the game" and i guess that means i don't really have any reason to continue playing with her. that's a little disappointing, but at least they distract you with what, 5?, other characters to play through. i'll know how i feel when i get there.

the action felt too fast-paced to me before, i complained, but i just wasn't used to that. now that i have, i wouldn't have it any other way. i think the fighting mechanics feel a little too simple, i'm hoping (but doubting) that there's more to the melee fighting than a simple combo and air attacks. you can use attacking potions, and the Napalm and Blizzard (or ice whatever) are very effective, but with the limited inventory space, you can't really stock up on them too much.

limited inventory space. you can buy extra bags to expand your space, but i still find myself getting lost in the item rings, even after i've sorted stuff with R2. i didn't like item rings in the Seiken Dentetsu series, and i don't like them here in Odin Sphere either.

growing stuff is cool. it sounds so dorky, but i think its great. i played harvest moon on snes - and enjoyed it - and this isn't quite the same, but it shows i'm not scared to farm in my vidja games. [ed's note: that harvest moon with fighting should be neat!] heading out to a field to hunt for seeds to grow plants that will bear the fruit (or sheep?! yes you can grow sheep from a plant [grin]) for you to use in a recipe that will crank your HP Level up pretty quick.. thats novel to me. i enjoyed doing that for a half hour this afternoon.

the eat-food/hp-level-up thing is a good change from the classic rpg method, as well. i've always said that ff2 and seiken1-3 had the best idea for levelling up stats: use the damn skill to make it better! now you can't "use your hp" and i get that, but it makes more sense to me to eat good food to increase your health and stamina, than to beat up on monsters endlessly. an interesting spin i just thought of on the food thing is to have candy or burritoes which are obviously bad for your health but could boost you in other ways, like making you hyper or giving you bad gas (which you could light on fire for a nice limited-time area fire effect... [wink])..

but yeah. ff2 was about taking damage to increase your maxhp. makes perfect sense to me. odin sphere is more akin to River City Ransom though - eat food to improve stats. [editor's note: RCR fekkin RULS~~!!~11] and i'm down with that. chicken's one of the best things i can use for HP exp right now. which is friggin' hilarious.

oh, and the game's right pretty. and the dubbing ain't too bad, but the japs do it better. head to the kitchen or cafe and tell me the jap sounds worse. i'll kick your ass if you do.

if you decide to take a chance on the game, make sure to play into the game at least a couple of hours. don't play through the first chapter and make a decision. you're missing out on a bunch of stuff they don't show you right up front. definitely rent this though.
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>[ed's note: that harvest moon with fighting should be neat!]

Check out Rune Factory. It's a harvest moon game with a sword. For Nintendo DS:

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