Vanillaware’s side-scrolling action/RPG Odin Sphere is getting a re-release, titled Odin Sphere Leifdrasir. This Japanese trailer shows off more than just HD improvements: the game will feature a slew of new content as well. Odin Sphere Leifdrasir will be published by Atlus on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, and is scheduled for release January 14, 2016 in Japan. No localization plans have been revealed at this time, but it is likely, considering Atlus localized the original Odin Sphere for North American audiences back in 2007.
Odin Sphere stood out largely thanks to the wonderful art and sprite work by director George Kamitani and his studio Vanillaware. Odin Sphere served as a spiritual successor to the 1997 Sega Saturn title Princess Crown, and utilized conventions from that game, including the inventory wheel and heavy item management, vividly animated sprite-based gameplay, and even recurring enemies.
But Odin Sphere was a stand-alone game, and had little else in common with Princess Crown beyond aesthetics and style. Odin Sphere is based loosely on Norse and Germanic mythology, drawing inspiration from the Nibelunglied, the Prose Edda, and the Poetic Edda. Odin Sphere is set in a fantasy world and tells the story of five characters who must overcome strife as Kings and nations fall, and the world spirals to its doom. The story strongly parallels the Ragnarök myth, and the new subtitle, Leifdrasir, is particularly significant in respect to the end-game plot.
Odin Sphere had its share of problems, unfortunately. The most glaring were the inconsistent framerate and the high degree of repetitive gameplay. During many boss fights, the game would slow to a crawl, making the fight unsatisfying and difficult to enjoy. Despite featuring five playable characters, there were only six stages in the game, so characters would very often be forced to traverse the same stages. Characters fought most of the same bosses too. You would essentially have to play through the game five times to get to the end, and as you can imagine, this became very tedious.
But the game also suffered from awkward pacing. Odin Sphere presents itself as a side-scrolling action game, but there is a tremendous amount of crafting and item management that is required to make progress. You would often spend more time creating potions and food than you would spend fighting enemies. A POW meter served as a stamina gauge during combat sections, which severely limited how aggressively you could fight. The lack of any real evasive abilities also greatly slowed the combat.
Odin Sphere Leifdrasir seems to be changing all of this for the better. It features all new enemies and bosses, and previously existing enemies have been given new abilities as well. Screenshots reveal a new female myconid boss creature, for example, and the trailer shows off several other new monsters. The screenshots also reveal a new kitchen/dining area, which is used to increase your HP level.
The Odin Sphere Leifdrasir live stream event reveals even more gameplay changes. The POW meter is much larger now, and is only used when performing special attacks. Special attacks are all new to the game, for that matter. The stream showcased Gwendolyn performing new multi-thrust combos and aerial dash attacks, which gives the game a faster and more Muramasa-like appearance. Gwendolyn also has a new evasive ability, which lets her slip away from incoming attacks with ease. How the other characters play remains to be seen, but considering what has been revealed in the trailer, it is highly likely that they are getting similarly expanded move lists.
To top it off, Odin Sphere Leifdrasir is shaper and more vibrant than the original release, which was already a visual treat.
- Genre – Action, RPG
- Developer – Vanillaware
- Publisher – Atlus
- Platforms – PS3, PS4, PSVita
- Release Date – January 14, 2016 (Japan)
Video Game Trailers Examiner articles ©2015 by Gabriel Zamora. Reposts permitted with link back to original article. All other rights reserved.