Friday, December 2, 2011

Lost Odyssey: The Neverending Journey

It’s obvious that today’s games look great, but graphics alone aren’t necessarily enough to make a game in its entirety a work of art. The main purpose of art is to make people feel. A lot of people question whether or not this aspect of art is in video games.

Enter Lost Odyssey. Lost Odyssey is a story-focused game where the main character, Kaim, is immortal. On the surface, being immortal sounds great. Kaim must be some kind of hardcore warrior that always wins, and does so in style! Right?

Wrong. Lost Odyssey is largely a story of loss and loneliness. The game makes it clear to the player that with infinite life, comes infinite loss. Kaim has lived a thousand years, loved countless people, and they all eventually die before him. Worse yet—he has no hope of reuniting with them in the afterlife. They are lost forever, and Kaim is left to wander the world forever without them.

One of the most intriguing parts of Lost Odyssey is its “Thousand Years of Dreams”. Throughout the game, you will encounter events that make Kaim remember something from his past. The game then takes you to a written short story, presented with atmospheric music and occasionally hand-drawn images to supplement the text. The short stories vary in length, some taking upwards of 45 minutes to read through. These stories recount particularly important memories in Kaim’s thousand-year journey, often dealing with the loss of loved ones or other situations that have shaped him into who is today.

Some of these stories are quite moving and have brought many people to tears. The tone of these stories is carried throughout the rest of the game as well, making emotion the star of the show.

If the purpose of art is to make people feel, then Lost Odyssey is without a doubt a true work of art.

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