>Halfway through the Odyssey

>Just got to Disc 3 in Lost Odyssey; a little over 22 hours, with most of my party at or around lvl 30. Having not played very many JRPGs, it’s obviously beyond my reach to say how it compares with all the hordes of titles already out there, but in terms of what I have played, I think it’s fucking fantastic. The story and script may be generic and ridiculous, but the characters are richly drawn and the voice acting – for the most part – is outstanding. The environments are very nicely varied, and almost all of them look quite beautiful. There’s really only been one or two moments in the game that really got on my nerves, one of which took place during a dreadfully inopportune time (as I was very much on the edge of tears (!)), and another which was simply a frustrating and surprising radical shift in difficulty (which, after (*sigh*) consulting a walkthrough, was dealt with rather quickly). It’s not without its faults, and it could be said that the turn-based combat system in general feels archaic and anachronistic these days, but for what it is, it’s outstanding.

A special shout-out needs to go to the dreams, which (I believe) were written by Jay Rubin, whom you may have heard of if you’ve ever read the English translations of Haruki Murakami’s novels. Some reviews said that the dreams slowed the game’s already slow pace down to a crawl, because who the hell wants to read when they’re playing a game, and they do have a point; it’s just that the dreams here are so well written and so interesting, and if they were ever published in book form, I’d buy them immediately.

Also: finished Professor Layton over the weekend. It was a lot of fun, and the feeling of conquering a devilish riddle cannot be understated. Still, though, there’s not much left to do with it besides bringing it to a wi-fi access point and downloading new riddles, which is kinda the problem; once you know the answer, the game loses its point. That said, I’ve got a long plane flight coming up in March, and there were a few riddles that I either never solved or never found; it would certainly be nice to spend a little more time in St. Mystere.

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