Your journey begins as Kaim Argonar, a 1000-year-old immortal, survives the impact of a meteor crashing onto a battlefield. From this spectacular intro, you're thrust into a world on the verge of all-out war. The political intrigue of city-states caught in a staring contest is just a sideshow for Lost Odyssey's true conflict. Kaim has lost his memories, the past 1000 years mysteriously stripped from him. Kaim is not the only immortal wandering the Earth searching for his past. In fact, three other immortals have also forgotten the events of the last millennium. Unlocking these memories proves the key to thwarting a sinister plot that threatens two worlds.


intro --

great view in an hd tv! and surround sound

also made me cry in some parts

Kaim is our first beleaguered soul. In the first few hours of Lost Odyssey, he is portrayed as a quiet loner, with little persona. But around six or seven hours in to Lost Odyssey, we get our first significant revelation about Kaim and suddenly the character opens up and we learn the pains of being immortal. Though Kaim must reclaim his memories to save the world, he would prefer they never be recovered. A thousand years brings a lot of regret and a lot of pain. This melancholy touches each of the immortals, but none as poignantly as Kaim. Though the main story is a throwaway, it's the personal stories of Kaim and his band of not-so-merry men that will live on after the last bad guy's been slain.

On the surface, Lost Odyssey appears to do nothing new. That changes as you plunge deeper into the adventure. As you progress, an addictive system of micro-managing rings and skills turns what is a very traditional combat system into something interesting and (if you are obsessive) exciting.

Your party consists of a mixture of humans and immortals. Humans gains skills as they level up and require no fiddling. You just wind 'em up and watch 'em go. Immortals are quite different. They learn skills from the humans in their party and from the accessories they use. At the end of combat, you earn your standard XP, but also Skill Points. You don't spend SP as you might in other RPGs. Instead, SP progresses you towards learning a specific skill you have linked to a human in your party or from accessories you're currently wearing. Earn the requisite SP and you learn the skill, which can then be slotted for your character to use in combat. For those who love the minutiae in RPGs, this is heaven as you can spend hours trying to maximize the skills of your immortals. There's strategy both in how you learn new skills and how best to utilize skills for each character.

Along with some slick enemies (and scores of bosses to battle), the dungeon-crawling benefits from some solid level design. While some of the dungeons are linear, quite a few feature crisscrossing paths and a surprising amount of verticality. Some of the best dungeons are reserved for side quests, which come (in Final Fantasy fashion) just before fighting the last boss. One of these dungeons is built like a puzzle, with pathways that can be shifted vertically and horizontally to open access to new areas.

Lost Odyssey is spread over four discs, a first for a 360 title. Don't let the number of discs scare you off. The game world is not enormous and even with every side quest you should be done within 50 hours. The extra discs are needed, apparently, because of the considerable amount of cutscenes. This is a story-heavy game that mixes beautiful CG and in-game cinematics.

Lost Odyssey proves that a turn-based RPG still has merit in modern gaming. While there is nothing in Lost Odyssey that will convert action-RPG fans, there is plenty to please those already singing in the choir. Lost Odyssey creates several memorable characters and a somber setting that should please those sick of JRPGs that seem made for 10-year-olds. There are quite a few things that go wrong -- from the bad stealth portion to performance issues -- but none of it kept me from enjoying the overall adventure. It may not be in the same class as Mass Effect, but for a system in desperate need for more quality RPGs, Lost Odyssey fits nicely into the 360 library.