Back in 2008, Mistwalker Studios released Lost Odyssey on the Xbox 360. This was Xbox’s attempt at rounding out their library with some JRPGs. I picked the game up at launch, got all the way to disc 4… and never finished it.
Now, 14 years later, I have finally finished Lost Odyssey and done as much of the side content as I could stomach. So, is it as good as I remember? Well, not exactly.
To catch you up in case you haven’t heard of this game, Lost Odyssey follows Kaim Argonar, a mercenary who can’t remember a lot of his past. Specifically the last 1,000 years. Oh yeah, he’s also immortal. After returning from a battle that was ended abruptly by a meteor, Kaim is sent out to investigate a facility that produces and controls magic with two characters, Seth and Jansen. From there, the story unravels to reveal a conspiracy to take down the world governments. It’s up to Kaim and the gang to stop the big bad from taking control of all the magic and ruling the world.
Is Lost Odyssey a Persona game?
Lost Odyssey was developed by one of the big brains behind Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi. FF’s influence is on display in the game’s simplistic story and even the music is done by Nobuo Oeumatsu so you already know the music is going to be incredible. I mean, there’s even a cranky old engineer character named Sed which sounds awfully similar to Sid. Some have claimed the game is a FF rip-off but I’ve always found that critique to be, well, kind of dumb. You have Sakaguchi, one of the creators of Final Fantasy, making the game so there’s going to be some similarities. But I’m not here to debate that. I’m here to discuss if the game was worth waiting all this time to finish and what playing it in 2022 was like.
Let’s start off with what makes Lost Odyssey rock solid: the Thousand Years of Memories and the combat.
Since Kaim and the other eternals, sorry, immortals experience memory loss, you’ll unlock their memories as you progress through the game. These memories are written by Kiyoshi Shigematsu who is known for his works like Naifu and Eiji. When I played this back in 2008, these stories hit hard and it’s no different in 2022. I’d even say that some stories hit even harder. One in particular was about how a man Kaim met was wrestling with the reality of settling down with his wife and becoming a dad.
When I first read these in 2008, I always thought it would be cool to live forever. This game, however, through the memories showed that immortality is more of a curse than anything else. Kaim and the other immortals have lived for 1000 years. They’ve loved, they’ve lost; some of these memories are haunting. This is, in my opinion, the strongest point of the game. You don’t HAVE to read these but you’re really missing out on learning more about these characters by skipping them.
If you’ve played any JRPG, you know the basics of how turn based combat works.
Something you will have to do in the game is fight. But not only just fight but you’ll need to pay attention to your gear and skills. If you’ve played any JRPG, you know the basics of how turn based combat works. Lost Odyssey has a mechanic similar to FF9 where you equip a piece of gear and your character absorbs that skill which allows you to build your character however you want called Skill Link. And if you like a character, you better put a ring on ‘em because that’s how they learn stuff. In combat, when you attack, you’ll see a ring closing in on the enemy that, if you hit the RT just right, it’ll enable a critical hit and slam a status effect on the enemy. It makes combat way more engaging than a Las Vegas slot machine.
As cool as those two things are, this is a game that came out in 2008. And we have had a lot of stellar JRPGs release since then, some even earlier than this game, that, well… do a couple of things better.
Personally, I wasn’t the biggest fan of a majority of the cast. Seth is like the typical tsundere in anime who has an attitude and hits whatever annoys her. She’s one of the more likeable characters but there’s moments where she’s hit or miss. Jansen is the comic relief who, like many Marvel movies, can’t let moments breath and hold weight. Mac and Cooke are like discount versions of Pollom and Porrum from FF4 that, I honestly thought were kind of useless in combat. Then there’s Ming who… well, we know why Ming is here. Ming’s outfit was so revealing that I had a hard time believing that a Queen of a kingdom would dress like that. This may sound prudish but it really just was a bridge too far. The only characters I actually enjoyed were Kaim and his wife, Sarah. The big bad, Gongora, is cartoonishly evil whose only motivation is he liked how emotions made him feel and now he wants all the pow—oh man, he’s Bully Maguire from Spider-Man 3.
Personally, I wasn’t the biggest fan of a majority of the cast.
The game also handles XP in a weird way for the first 3 discs. You’ll enter an area, fight some enemies, gain XP but not TOO much XP. Once you hit a certain level, the game will cut you off to either 1-2 XP each battle or just won’t give you any. No soup for you I guess this was the game’s way of trying to balance out difficulty and ensuring you made use of the skills and rings. Which, I’ll admit, the game maintained a fairly consistent level of difficulty throughout but that first griffin boss will jack you up.
You can’t effectively grind for XP until the world opens up completely in Disc 4. This probably didn’t bother other people who played it but when I play a JRPG, I like to put my ear buds in, crank up Mandy Moore, and get my characters over leveled. That’s what I did in Dragon Quest. That’s what I did in Final Fantasy 4-8 and that’s all I’ve done in the 5 hours of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 I’ve played.
But thankfully, there is plenty of optional content to keep you busy. There’s an underground fighting ring, a mystical forest with a Kelelo tribe, a haunted house with a Persona in the basement.
Is Lost Odyssey a Persona game?
I finished Lost Odyssey, and almost all of the side content except for the arena stuff with Mack, at around 50 hours. Despite my problems with the game, I did enjoy my time with it and it easily does several things very, very well. But I don’t know if I can call it one of my favorite JRPGs of all time anymore. Is it a solid JRPG? Sure. I think it’s actually a tragedy that Mistwalker never put out a sequel and now they silo their games like FANTASIAN on the iOS store. I think this game is a strong start to a series that could have been something amazing.
So now it’s your turn: have you played Lost Odyssey? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked what you saw here and want more, click Like and Subscribe. As we say here at TRG: be a deer, keep it locked here, and I’ll see you in the next video.