Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir is a smooth and beautiful hack and slasher with plenty of content, and an enjoyably theatrical narrative.
Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir
Platform: Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita (reviewed)
MonsterVine was provided with a Vita code for review.
As something of a high-definition remake of the original Odin Sphere, Leifthrasir offers players the definitive version of the game. Originally released in 2007, it’s fair to be skeptical at the idea of a current-gen remake. Rest assured, the game fixes nearly all of the issues that were found in the original release.
Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir’s story feels as though it’s been lifted straight out of a play. Numerous aspects of the plot are inspired by Norse mythology, from the characters to the settings. As five different characters, you’ll find yourself experiencing the plot from different perspectives. Protagonists will run into one another throughout their travels, which adds a satisfying sense of continuity to the narrative.
The story itself is as fun as it is dramatic. As mentioned before, the story feels as though it was taken from a Shakespeare play. Characters are suitably melodramatic, the dialogue flows wonderfully, and the storylines are all entertaining enough to keep your interest in the entire playthrough. There are even two extra storylines that are unlocked by completing certain conditions throughout the other stories, which adds a feeling of accomplishment to playing the game well.
Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir‘s combat system is the best part of the game. The game’s hack and slash combat is some of the smoothest and most fluid combat I’ve ever experienced. Using both close combat, and magic, you’ll cut your way through hordes of enemies, while weaving together visually stunning combos composed of flashy slashes and colourful magic. The feeling of ecstasy that you get from fighting enemies is fantastic, as it feels and controls as good as it looks. The playable characters each have their own fighting style as well, which adds to the battle’s creative energy.
Bosses are thoroughly enjoyable as well, as each has a unique attack pattern that matches the design of the enemy. The only problems with the gameplay are the lack of difficulty, and part of the levelling system. Most bosses and stages aren’t particularly difficult and most players won’t be too challenged on the game’s default difficulty.
Leifthrasir‘s levelling system is unnecessarily slow and clunky. To gain experience, players must eat food, with fruit being the main food. Fruit is made by finding and planting seeds, then feeding them EXP gathered in battle. You then attack the plant to pick the fruit, and go through your menu to eat it. This all feels needlessly complicated, as the same result could be achieved by simply applying the experience to the player automatically, without the use of fruit.
When it comes to visuals, Leifthrasir is at its best. Every single level, character, and effect in the game looks absolutely amazing. The scenery, whether fueled by hot lava rivers or cold snow mounds, is breath-taking. The characters, while maintaining a constant and similar style, stands out in their own way, due to their intricate clothing or detailed appearance. Everything moves at a very smooth frame rate as well, which makes the gorgeous visuals that much better.
The colors and outlines seen throughout the game are constantly stimulating, and keep your attention at all times. It’s no stretch to say that these are some of the smoothest and most aesthetically-pleasing visuals in any hack-and-slash.
Leifthrasir‘s sound is as inspired as the rest of the game. The voices behind each character fit perfectly, as each actor uses a theatrical voice that perfectly complements the narrative. The themes in most levels are catchy as well, with a few memorable tunes. The sound effects also fit into the battles nicely, as each slash or stab is as crisp and sharp as you could expect.
The Final Word
Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir is a fantastic hack-and-slasher. The gameplay is mainly smooth and fun, the sound is enjoyable, and the visuals are beautiful. Outside of some repetitive aspects in gameplay outside of battle, Leifthrasir is a fantastic ride that every action fan should try out.
-MonsterVine Rating- 4.5 out of 5 – Great