Magic and mayhem dominate one mans search for his past

CanWest News Service
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Lost Odyssey is an epic cinematic experience that draws you in, takes you on an incredible journey and provides a few hours of bliss during the post-Christmas famine of new titles.

The story begins at the climax of a medieval-looking war with armour-clad soldiers charging toward each other and wielding ridiculously large swords.

Lost Odyssey is an epic cinematic experience that draws you in, takes you on an incredible journey and provides a few hours of bliss during the post-Christmas famine of new titles.

The story begins at the climax of a medieval-looking war with armour-clad soldiers charging toward each other and wielding ridiculously large swords.

The camera angles capture everything from the vast expanse of the battlefield to the close-ups of feet plodding through sloppy, muddy ground. The physics are incredibly real as soldiers take spills into the mud and are stomped on, getting their heads pressed a few inches into the turf. The crisp sounds make the action seem that much more authentic.

During this battle, it soon becomes evident that intense technology and magic are at play. The war machines use a strange source of power and while some are efficient killers, others bring the dead back to fighting form.

Then the sky darkens and bursts open, spewing lava and roasting soldiers inside their iron clothing. A meteor slams into the ground and we are introduced to Kaim, an immortal character who has lived more than 1,000 years.

Kaim has issues. He has no recollection of his past and no clue where his future lies. Players witness Kaim live through many generations, become part of numerous families, fall in and out of love, and confront many types of conflict.

From the start Kaim displays a knack for battle as he slices through a slew of attackers in Matrix style - bending backward and weaving to avoid the swing of a blade - then counter-attacking with incomparable speed and grace. As the game progresses, flashes of his memory are revealed. A handful of characters will join him on an odyssey to discover their own intricate pasts and destinies.

Lost Odyssey isnt without fault. First, its a turn-based RPG (role-playing game) at a time when immediate action is the popular style of choice.

Turn-based games are nearly as old as Kaim. And the developers here, Mistwalker, have done little, if anything, to improve the format. The menu choices let you attack, flee, defend or take a shot of a health supplement likely not approved by Major League Baseball.

When you attack, you can use magic or go hard with the sword. Make your choice and the game will play it out for you. Then you wait while the opponent puts a licking on you.

While that might be enough to sink a lesser game, the adventure that awaits in Lost Odyssey is far too mind-blowing to be spoiled.



Organizations: RPG, Major League Baseball

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