TGS '07: Lost Odyssey Impressions

Hironobu Sakaguchi gives us an updated look at his second major Xbox 360 title, the RPG Lost Odyssey.

by

Today at TGS, we were able to sit down with Hironobu Sakaguchi, famed creator of Final Fantasy and producer of Blue Dragon, to take an updated look at his latest Xbox 360 RPG, Lost Odyssey. While the game isn't going to reach North American shores until early next year, it's currently expected to ship in Japan before the end of the year, so what we saw was a game that was nearing the end of its development cycle.

If you haven't been following our coverage of Lost Odyssey, it follows the story of Kaim, one of a very small number of immortal men and women who live alongside normal mortals. Given that Kaim is over 1,000 years old, he's obviously been around the block a few hundred times, but as the events of the game approach, he finds himself swept up into the political upheaval that erupts between his world's three main kingdoms as they all proceed toward a simultaneous magical/industrial revolution. As with Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey is shaping up to be quite a large game, with 40 or 50 hours of gameplay that'll have to be spread across four DVDs.

More details of the combat system were revealed in this latest look at the game, including the precision aiming system. In the game's menu, you can equip onto each character one of around 150 combat rings that you'll be able to find around the game world. These rings have a variety of power levels and elemental affinities. If a character is wielding a fire-based weapon, you can match him or her up with a fire-based combat ring for a little extra oomph. During combat, you can use these rings by holding the right trigger while attacking. If you do so, you'll see two large rings appear on the screen, the larger of which will quickly shrink to overlap with the smaller. If you let go of the switch just as the two rings overlap, you'll be able to execute a more powerful attack than you normally would.

Another new system involves the manner in which powerful characters can protect the weaker party members. As in other RPGs, this is represented by having the powerful melee characters stand in front of the weaker magicians and ranged characters. However, there's also a meter in the upper right-hand corner of the screen that indicates how well the forward characters are protecting the rear guard, which apparently goes up as the forward characters take and deal damage, and drops as the rear characters take damage. It's unclear precisely how the system works, but it seems that the higher the meter goes, the more effective the protection is, which presumably lessens the damage the weaker characters take. Sakaguchi claims that this system is inspired by the MMORPG concept of tanking, wherein heavily armored characters attempt to take damage and distract enemies from weaker characters.

Apart from the combat mechanics, we saw a few new cinematics and areas during the demo. As befitting a game from the man who created Final Fantasy, many of these were gritty industrial areas, where high technology and magic uneasily melded. At one point, Kaim and the rest of the main characters in the game (they numbered six or seven) were trapped on a huge platform that was collapsing into the ocean. After they escaped by jumping to a ship that appeared below, they were accosted by a group of six wizards that called themselves "The Darkness." They're apparently evil and completely unaware of trademark law, but although they attacked with powerful magic, Kaim and his group managed to dispatch them after casting numerous flashy spells.

As we mentioned, Lost Odyssey won't be arriving in the U.S. until after the New Year, but it already has a full English voiceover. Oddly enough for a Japanese RPG, the characters are being lip-synched to the English voices instead of the Japanese. However, if you prefer to hear the Japanese voices, both tracks will be available on the disc (or discs, rather), and you'll also be able to select subtitles for the Japanese voices. You can expect GameSpot to have more coverage of the game as it nears its American release date, so stay tuned.

Discussion

202 comments
b33zy
b33zy

this game is going to be soo k0oL!!! :D i hope the battle system is similar to the legend of dragoon

WhiteGangster
WhiteGangster

I hope this game is good. square REALLY sucks when you say enix after it. Probably because they kicked out Sakaguchi. everything they've made is like an embarrasement to the final fantasy series. I have high hopes for a good game from sakaguchi again.

sampateman
sampateman

Sounds cool. I just hope it isn't overly-cliched. If it's as good as Final Fantasy, this is going to be epic.

KALHETMAN
KALHETMAN

If turn base system in this game is like FF VII;VIII and IX - cool and I buy XBOX 360 only for this game. I think about this looking for Blue Dragon - but after see... not for me (simple and short for babe's or new in genre - if game not have hundret hour's playability not interesting for me) LOST ODYSSEY have adult look and nice detal - good graphic - but the MOST IMPORTANT is STORY. If comming with extras for targeting - something like Shadow Hearts - very nice - I liked. See enemy's before fighting - better. Only one thing what I dont like in old FF VII,VII,IX is alternative encounters. (I LIKE ONLY FF 7,8 AND 9 - BEFORE NO ATRACTIVE GRAFICS (1,2,3,4,5,6,) LEITER IS NO ATRACTIVE STORY (10) OR NOT TURN BASE (12). LOST ODYSSEY is for me like BIG HOPE for revive the best moments with "interactive entertainment" in my life. I HOPE SO - HAVE GOOD STORY. I BELIVE IN MASTER HIRONOBU SAKAGUCHI. HI SO DES.

Cruorem
Cruorem

EsquiloVoador, the point of Japanese RPGs is not to create really innovative gameplay but more to create an entrancing story.

DoomBringer2010
DoomBringer2010

MASTERCHIEFUSMA "Another great game for the 360, I can hear the Sony Fanbois crying now can u? Man that is true when sony starts to recover even a bit microsoft crushes them back down.Just wait 2008 microsoft will rule the concole empire

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

[quote="Matthew Rorie"]...that called themselves "The Darkness." They're apparently evil and completely unaware of trademark law...[/quote] :lol: I wish it was releasing here at the same time as it does in Japan. It sounds interesting.

mingfu
mingfu

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mingfu
mingfu

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mingfu
mingfu

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mingfu
mingfu

Fantastic game!!!!!!!

mingfu
mingfu

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mingfu
mingfu

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mingfu
mingfu

Fantastic game!!!!!!!

daxacid
daxacid

i am sooooo glad that more RPG's are being developed for consoles. i am getting tired of all the medievel settings. i love the space RPG's, but Lost Odyssey looks really good. if the story is good, this should be a "10".

buffyguy27
buffyguy27

RIZDRAVER Finally a Japanese RPG without a pretty-boy hero with a ridiculously large sword! I'm looking forward to this. : ) LoL (final fantasy x rocked) any versions after that not so much.

RIZDRAVER
RIZDRAVER

Finally a Japanese RPG without a pretty-boy hero with a ridiculously large sword! I'm looking forward to this. : )

EsquiloVoador
EsquiloVoador

seems like another frustating turn based rpg, yes i loved ff series and other turn based games, but they need to evolve make bold moves like ff12, reinvent the genre, this is like making more world war 2 fps, its just played out, please brilliant japanese minds, BE CREATIVE, still i am gonna buy this game simply because there is no other game like this now(still playing ff12), next year PS3 RETAKING THE MARKET (i have both consoles :)) by the way D3R1N if you want another jrpg go get persona 3, open your mind to new generation games K?(ff12 not greatest but great)

MASTERCHIEFUSMA
MASTERCHIEFUSMA

Another great game for the 360, I can hear the Sony Fanbois crying now can u?

Scotland01
Scotland01

looks like another great game for the 360

BlkCloud
BlkCloud

As long as the battle system is solid and turn based this game should live up to the hype. I hate it when they mess around with the system and switch it up, ruines the game for me. All in all thos game by the looks of it looks amazing. I`m buying a 360 for this game, so i can`t WAIT!

dannydeadboy
dannydeadboy

this game is looking great, just hope the battle system lives up to the hype cause i agree with D3R1N in as much as FFXII's battle system was terrible, it completely ruin the game for me

D3R1N
D3R1N

I absolutely despise the combat system in FFXII so I hope something relatively turn-based will be incorporated.

RPG_Worshiper
RPG_Worshiper

The battle system looks entirely turn-based, just like FFX, not XII. Unlike X though, and like XII, the player will see the enemy on the map, rather then have any random encounters.

Knightmare_King
Knightmare_King

hellpolice, Sakaguchi said that the combat system might be nearly simular to Final fantasy XII it will be turn based but at the same time it will feel as if its on the level of FF XII also there might be timed attacks in the game as well...for example, when you're fighting someone and you do your usual turn based attacks it goes into a In-game FMV where you see your characters running towards the enemy and you must time your attack button to make your hits stronger... or if you fail your hits are going to be come semi-weak same with magic. which is pretty cool considering. Its hard to explain by telling you, you might have to take a look at the trailer or gameplay movies but it looks pretty damn cool when you see it. its pretty sad though, considering that the japanese are too stubborn to see that Microsoft is REALLY trying to please to them and they are not satisfied its almost to the point that MS is about to give up on them but they are definantly pushing out the JRPGs and that's damn awesome in my book cause its proving that they can do more than just make games of pure blood, and gore...which i'm not saying its a bad thing either..LOL

hellpolice
hellpolice

I wonder how the battle system would be in the end if done well it would bring more strategy into the game. I think I wanna tried since I was pleased how FFXII turned out to be.

Sion_111
Sion_111

Looks nice. Glad Mistwalker ditched the cartoony look of Blue Dragon.

_Alexxxx_
_Alexxxx_

it looks pretty interesting, we'll see how i plays.

arangadillo
arangadillo

"ill piss on your juvenile scorn" great quote from the bad guy.

SmArTaLeC1321
SmArTaLeC1321

I love Eternal Sonata and hopefully this will be even better.

jonobubbles
jonobubbles

Looks good hope theres no flaws to it.

MrHoboX
MrHoboX

This is game looks pretty promising, but seriously in this day and age in-game graphics are more than suitable for cinematics, in some cases better. I can see no real value in cramming in all those pre rendered FMV's. During the PS2/Xobox gen we had amazing RPG's that stuck to that managed on 1 disc... This is supposed to be next gen. Stuff like this feels like a step backwards on some level IMO.

willauqs
willauqs

haha i like when there are multiple discs. it makes it more epic.

Ravi_1900
Ravi_1900

Wish this to be a AAA Jrpg. I am really dying for excellent JRPG. I loved FFX and FFXII also had good moments. Hope the same for this.

KingBahamut
KingBahamut

not on ps3 boo well we get Final Fantasy 13 and Final Fantasy versus 13

dennis8
dennis8

this seems interesting..... the game sounds great so far, and its great how you get to choose the english or jap languages :D *adds to wish list..

gevans1989
gevans1989

cool lets hope that this RPG lives up to the hype, unlike the dissapointing two worlds

Telekenesis123
Telekenesis123

Wow looks awesome. And the 360's selling bad in Japan? Hello, wakeup!

atlessky
atlessky

RPG???I changed my mind...I thought its action-adventure

Virtual_Erkan
Virtual_Erkan

Damn it is not an action-adventure RPG game!

Dryker
Dryker

I can't F'n wait for this game!

borgmaster
borgmaster

even with the standard amount of Japanese crazy, it looks pretty interesting.

cspiffo
cspiffo

This games looks pretty cool. It looks more like what I expected from Sakaguchi. Blue Dragon was...o.k! This one, from the trailer anywy, looks leaps and bounds better.

boozak
boozak

I can see why JRPG get critized for not really evolving but fans of that kinda sub-genre know they don't need to. These kind of games rely on story and presentation to really immerse you into the experience just like MGS4 & the FF series - If it aint broke dont fix it! ;)

vass86
vass86

not really into japanese RPG's. just feel that western ones are doing much better things this gen

Tokinblckgie
Tokinblckgie

It would be nice to only have 1 cd. But I have no problem with 4 cd's, I mean it doesn't take away from the games quality at all. Blue Ray was a good move for ps3, but if you can make up for it with more cheaper cds I, for one am perfectly okay with that.

SPANNER-MAN
SPANNER-MAN

Why are people like this man, i mean wen ps2 and ps1 used multiple disk it was ok. Its not as if the 360 has a blueray or a hd dvd drive. They stuck with the traditional dual layer disk so that it can be cheaper to distribute the games to the consumer. If it makes u happy lets put it this way if ps3 didn't have the blueray support and have the dual layer disk like 360, it would still be the same 4 disk, so get over it. if 360 had blueray u all wouldn't be complaining. Man!! So spoiled and picky man. At least u getting a decent rpg. Realized i said decent for some people seems to take these things to heart so i have to be careful with wat i say.