The Final Fantasy series are my favourite games of all time, and I'm lucky enough to have a partner who's as obsessed with them as I am, so I still get to play them with the same dedication I did when I was younger. I was eagerly awaiting the release of Lost Odyssey -- a Japanese RPG for the Xbox 360 created by the legendary Hironobu Sakaguchi, the man who created Final Fantasy.
Having just completed the game after 100 hours of play, I can now announce it's one of my all-time favourites, right up there with Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy VII. Its soundtrack was a particular highlight, composed by long-time Final Fantasy score composer Nobuo Uematsu, whose soundtrack collection and non-Final Fantasy compositions I own and love.
Lost Odyssey is the tale of an immortal, Kaim, who has lived for 1,000 years, seeing loves and lives develop and shatter countless times. The game focuses more on the characters, their development and histories, than the story's linear and relatively predictable plot. But it's a colossal adventure with beautiful graphics, involving scenarios, turn-based battles and storytelling unrivalled by almost any game I've ever played.
I'm truly going to miss the characters and their world. It's in games as rare as this that the characters are believable enough to find yourself thinking about them, even when you're not playing the game. For me, that's a crucial element of an engaging RPG, and one any hardcore fan of the genre will relate to.
So if you played Final Fantasy X and have just been dying for another game to follow perfectly in its footsteps, make sure to pick up a copy of Lost Odyssey. If nothing else, Uematsu's soundtrack alone is worth the price.