Odin Sphere is framed narratively as a series of books read by a little girl called Alice with her cat Socrates, in a delightfully presented opening sequence of her picking a book to read, each revolving around one of five protagonists.
The main story revolves around the villain Ragnanival, who has invaded in order to seek a magical Cauldron which can create Psypher Crystals, the main source of magic and power in the game. The five books all tell five different viewpoints of differing kingdoms and organisations all vying for power and all fighting to claim the Cauldron for themselves.It’s a grand, sweeping epic tale that spells Armageddon, and it’s a difficult one to comprehend. Coming into the game as a novice, the game doesn’t waste time in introducing new mechanics, lore and characters at a rapid-fire pace. Keeping track of protagonists and enemies is quite difficult, but it’s a fun story that’s presented wonderfully in an artistic sense.Odin Sphere looks, for lack of a better phrase, absolutely amazing. For a game that came out on PS2, the original art style still holds up incredibly well. The game’s art style is very reminiscent of Japanese RPG’s, with a bright colour palette and Japanese-built avatars, along with mixing western mythology and throwing in some Norse inspired geometries.
I cannot overemphasis how good this game looks- running on a full 1080p resolution at 60fps, the art style is simply sublime here. The 2D backrops are especially stunning- rolling hills, ice caverns and mountains all connect together well, and look amazing. I did however, notice some slowdown during particularly heavy combat scenarios: when there’s huge bosses in the backdrop mixed with smaller enemies in the foreground, it not only gets a bit too chaotic to keep track, but the frame rate does suffer a bit. It’s an unfortunate fault to what could be one of the PS4’s best looking games.Having never played the original on PS2, it’s hard to say how good it looked back then, but it’s safe to say that Vanillaware never was able to exploit the full potential of their art staff. This is no longer a problem, as the PS4 version is easily one of the best looking games of its type on the system. The hand-drawn art style looks absolutely phenomenal, and it’s hard to heap enough praise on what is such a good looking game. Even if you’re not a fan of these style of games, it’s well worth exploring the effort and time that went into creating such an intriguing and beautiful art style.