Odin Sphere Leifthrasir (PS Vita) Second Opinion Review

By Thom Compton 01.12.2016 2

Review for Odin Sphere Leifthrasir  on PS Vita

The PS2 lived in a very different time. The system was filled with a plethora of cheap tie-in platformers and highly derivative horror games, and yet the system saw some of the most influential titles of all time. 2007 brought us a hidden gem that had developed a following, but never had the clout of Final Fantasy or Elder Scrolls. One that the popular developer Vanillaware was nice enough to bring back almost close to ten years later. One called Odin Sphere Leifthrasir.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is arguably one of the deepest RPGs on the Vita. Control one of five characters through their own individual stories, as they venture out and take on the multitude of evils plaguing the land. Perhaps the concept isn't the most original, but that's entirely irrelevant. In Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, the execution is the star, and it's pretty close to perfection. The first star of the show is the controls and navigation. Every segment of every level is treated like a big looping circle, though some segments are just straightforward sections without a loop. The ease of getting lost in the labyrinth is mitigated by how much there is to find. Make a beeline for the boss, or find more Phozon prisms and gain new abilities, or grind, level up and acquire new equipment. Despite the small world of the game not having the biggest collection of levels, there's a lot to do hidden within.

Combat is so fluid it's almost ridiculous. Rarely does pressing the Square button feel so empowering, as the impact of swinging the sword down on the solder's head is felt through the controller. The moves are varied enough to feel profoundly powerful, but it is so easy to control that anyone can feel like an overpowered superhuman. Occasionally, there is too much happening on screen and it can be easy to get lost in the commotion. It is hardly an issue, though it can be annoying to lose track of the character in a sea of fire or a skirmish with seven very similar looking bad guys.

Screenshot for Odin Sphere Leifthrasir  on PS Vita

It's all forgivable because simply interacting with the game is so pleasantly joyous that it's easy not to even notice these minor issues. Another small gripe lies in that every segment of the game almost feels like a retread of the last one. Bosses get repeated a lot, but there is an interesting way in which the combat becomes too repetitive. Every book is a different hero on their own quest, and therefore at the beginning of every book, there's a fresh new character to build up. This keeps the fights feeling different enough, and certain characters actually explore areas previous characters didn't, so while retreading levels can be a bit tedious, doing it with a fresh character feels absolutely brilliant.

Visually, Vanillaware's style is as gorgeous as ever, and in HD it practically comes to life. The way a character looks has a lot to do with how accessible they are, and these characters are beautifully relatable. Side missions add even more depth, like finding new recipes and ingredients for a restaurant (which, upon eating said food, gives more experience) and an alchemy system. The simple fact is that Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is a sublime title that just barely misses being perfect.

Screenshot for Odin Sphere Leifthrasir  on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Blending a brilliant combat system, a deep yet easy to understand levelling system, gorgeous art work, and an exciting adventure more than makes up for how similar a lot of the experience tends to feel. Coupled with beautiful music, and a story that feels like a mature fairy tale, Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is absolutely brilliant. Between the nuanced levelling system that makes every new ability feel like it matters, and the exciting feeling that comes with toppling a giant beast, the experience is well rounded. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is a prime example of how remakes and HD upgrades should be done, because it takes something great and manages to make it even more sublime.

Developer

Vanillaware

Publisher

NIS America

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

It really is a great example of a remaster done to perfection. I had a major blast playing this game and is one experience I'll be sure to relive down the track.

Glad to see that you enjoyed this game!

Yeah, I still need to finish this off, but is on my priority list for sure. Fantastic whimsical adventure with great characters.

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