This time on TheXboxHub’s looking back at 10 years of series, we take a look at Lost Odyssey – the JRPG adventure that still has players craving for more all these years later.
During the week of its release on these shores we saw Disney pushing out both Miley Cyrus and her Hannah Montana persona to their innocent viewers – something you’d never see these days – whilst the music scene had Michael Jackson’s Thriller 25 album selling by the hundreds of thousands. Those following the football were witness to Fernando Torres running rampant for Liverpool and Portsmouth still struggling around in the Premier League. Oh how times have changed! As for gaming, well, Lost Odyssey’s release was joined by the classic RPG adventure Dark Messiah of Might and Magic on console.
Lost Odyssey originally released exclusively in Japan under the name Rosuto Odessei, before arriving in Australia, North America and Europe throughout February of 2008 under the Lost Odyssey name. Developed by Mistwalker – the team behind the fabulous Blue Dragon that arrived just a year before – and coming from the mind of famed Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, Lost Odyssey released to critical acclaim.
As you would probably expect with the Sakaguchi name behind it, the game is very much a classic Japanese RPG adventure in the truest sense of the term, with gameplay focused around the storytelling and vast amounts of traditional turn-based combat. Plenty of classic RPG mechanics were included, particularly random encounters, a world map, character levelling and party management amongst others which require a vast amount of time and planning if you’re to make it to the end of the lengthy adventure. And that’s not to mention the visuals were fantastic and continue to age well even today.
The story of Lost Odyssey is set in a world in which a magic-industrial revolution is taking place. Magic energy has always been an important substance within the world, but in the thirty years before the game begins, it has become much stronger and now affects society greatly. Via the use of machines called Magic Engines, the energy can be harvested for lighting, vehicles, robots and all manner of communication amongst its many uses. For a long time only a select few could harness this magic directly, however many now hold the ability to utilise it. With the magic energy becoming so powerful, two nations have used its progress to develop new weapons of mass destruction, and now the kingdom of Gohtza and the Republic of Uhra have become a fearsome prospect.
In this epic tale, you play the role of Kaim, an immortal soldier who walks away from a devastating battle in the Highlands of Wohl after a meteor wipes out the majority of the forces in battle from the nations of Uhra and Khent. Kaim is a lonely being and a man struggling to remember thanks to unknowingly having had a negative magic energy cast upon him from the power hungry Gongora in a bid to repress his memories. After finding other immortals, Kaim begins to uncover his memories during conversations, all of which are enough to bring a tear to the eye as they are unveiled. After some progress in the adventure, Kaim and the other immortals head to Grand Staff – the giant magic engine under construction in the region of Uhra which Gongora wants to utilise to conquer all – in a bid to stop him.
Whilst it may have been a fairly predictable tale, there was very little to fault in Lost Odyssey. It had emotion via way of the memories and the feeling that Kaim was a desperate man in search of himself. It also had the evil villain in Gongora and his selfish plans, it had the battle for greater good as the protagonists fought for the safety and peace of the land, and it had tense action as the story progressed further through each disc adding depth and insight into each character and the reasons behind why they needed to fight on.
These days it can be difficult to find a game that brings all of those things together in one package, but with Lost Odyssey now available on Xbox One, there is still plenty of chance to enjoy such a defined experience, especially if JRPGs are something you enjoy.
Unfortunately, as great as Lost Odyssey was and remains to be, it hasn’t been quite as fortunate as the rather similar Final Fantasy series and to this day, despite the wishes of all who jumped into the adventure, we’re still yet to see a sequel for Kaim and his gang to partake in.
That said, Lost Odyssey hasn’t been forgotten, and back in September 2016, Kaim’s adventures were made available for all to enjoy on Xbox One thanks to the Xbox Backwards Compatibility program, before later being made available digitally for the first time in December 2016, being offered as a free download for players until the end of the month. This was where many who missed out first time around on what was originally a four-disc adventure – something unusual for an Xbox game given that the DVDs were dual-layered – got the chance to discover the incredible and heartfelt journey of the immortal Kaim and his many memories.
As for the future, and well, it’s hard to say if we’ll see another exquisite entry for Lost Odyssey, especially with multiplayer games taking a keen focus over single-player adventures in recent times. But we can certainly continue to voice our wishes to the powers that be, and with E3 2018 on the horizon we’ll hopefully hear from Hironobu Sakaguchi that he’s coming back with a second adventure for Kaim.
What did you think of Lost Odyssey? Would you like to see a sequel? Have you recently dived back into the lengthy adventure? Let us know in the comments below or via our usual social channels.