Video Game Review: Odin Sphere Leifthrasir PS4

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The world of Erion needs your help! Developed by the legendary Vanillaware and published by ATLUS, Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, a video game version of a Wagnerian opera, follows the five characters; Gwendolyn, Cornelius, Mercedes, Oswald, and Velvet, as their stories intertwine each dealing with their own notions of royalty, duty, and love. The story masterfully unfolds as you play through the each of the characters stories in entirely before playing the next, such that a protagonist in one story could be the antagonist in another. Originally for the Playstation 2 in 2007, Odin Sphere Leifthrasir has returned in glorious HD as well as with completely redrawn graphics, upgraded combat systems, and more. Fans of the original version of the game are not left out, from the title menu there is an option to select to play in ‘classic mode’ which only has updated graphics.

For those of you that have never played Odin Sphere, it is a game mixing beautiful animations with flowing 2D fighting action. Each character carries a different play style and entirely different movesets. In doing so, it keeps the game fresh every time as it passes through different perspectives in the overall story. As each character is driven through their own storylines, they may find themselves fighting similar enemies, and even other protagonists. Since each character plays differently, one strategy won’t work while playing another. There are, however, some aspects familiar to all their campaigns, such as alchemy and the cooking system.

Highlighting some of the new features updated in Leifthrasir, the alchemy system changes add a bit more simplicity to aid in your dungeon crawls. In its simplest form, alchemy consists of combining a ‘material’ and item(s). As an improved update, alchemy can now be done with an existing potion, so no longer do you have to hunt for ‘material’, instead you can simply repurpose any unused potion to fit your needs. In addition potions can now be combined with each other and/or food to increase the potency. While on your journey you will still discover alchemy recipes, however in Leifthrasir those recipes are no longer needed as you can experiment with different combinations to discover the recipes for yourself.

Another prominent aspect of Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is the cooking system. If you’ve played the original or even one of Vanillaware’s other titles, Oboro Muramasa, you’re familiar with the restaurants that exist throughout the game. With just the ring of a bell, the biggest update for the cooking mechanic resides in the rest areas. The touring Pooka Chef Maury, will appear in rest areas and is ready and willing to cook delectable meals, provided of course that you bring your own ingredients and recipes. Ingredients can be found in stores, as drops, or even grown, allowing for a diverse range of recipes. For those that do not wish to dine on location, the dedicated venues of the Pooka Kitchen and Rabbit Cafe are available to provide service in exchange for Valentinian Coins. These meals give you experience, health, and permanent increases to your HP stat. Another bonus feature with Maury is some recipes may even give bonus experience based on how scarcely you’ve eaten them, encouraging you to try all the courses they have to offer, others come with a nice carry-out portion for which you can enjoy during battle.

Overall Odin Sphere Leifthrasir offers a more streamlined experience compared to its classic counterpart. The changes to the battle system and dungeons create a flow that it easier for gamers of all types to pick up and play. Despite these changes, new enemies and bosses are added to provide a new challenge and balance the streamlined combat system that the classic version lacks. Returning players can rejoice that there is no dizzy penalty for using up the entire power gauge. This change allows for a more fast paced combat, and relief from the old ability system, as some abilities are very taxing on power. Some characters have some strengths and additional power sources as well. In the case of Mercedes her normal attacks still use power gauge as in the classic game but he extra skill is that she can pause and reload her bow, filling her power bar. Oswald can utilize a third gauge called Berserk in which he gains great mobility and can dish out huge amounts of damage for a short time.


On June 7, Odin Sphere Leifthrasir will be available on Playstation 4 ($59.99), Playstation 3 ($49.99), and Playstation Vita ($39.99). For a limited time, and only at participating retailers, standard purchases of the game will also include a 64-page softcover art book. Additionally a premium version of the game the “Storybook Edition” (Limited to PS4/$79.99) will include a hardcover version of the art book, a special Potion Recipe t-shirt, a metal slipcase for the game, an art print, and premium outer packaging.

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