Overall, how do you rate Lost Odyssey, rpgking? (Story-wise, music, etc.) I plan on playing it next after Blue Dragon. Have you played Blue Dragon, yet? Made by the same people as Lost Odyssey. I'm hearing LO is one of (if not) the best RPGs right now for the XBox 360 by many people... that may change, though, with Tales of Vesperia later this summer.
I have played & own Blue Dragon. I consider Blue Dragon to be a "modern traditional RPG". The story in Blue Dragon was a bit cliched but I enjoyed the game overall, since I am a fan of traditional RPGs.
Lost Odyssey is in a whole other league than Blue Dragon, IMO. Although it does retain lots of traditional aspects, it also includes several innovations. On the story front, this can be extremely deep, or fairly standard depending on how much time you put into the game. What I am referring to in particular is the story of the main character, Kaim Argonar. It's told to you on the back of the box that he is an immortal man who has lived for 1000 years. Now you would think that someone who has lived for 1000 years must have had a very rich history, and it would be very difficult to fit into the scope of an RPG. And you would also think that an immortal like this will already have been developed enough to where it is impossible for him to learn many more lessons in life or improve as a person.
Due to Kaim's unusual circumstances, rather than working his background and character development into the course of the game, the developers exposed this through a series of "dreams". The dreams themselves are like short stories that you actually read (these are not movies!), and there are visual aids and music/sound effects in the background to make them more interesting. The stories were very deep, interesting, and oftentimes sad, and it really did give me a sense of the kind of person Kaim turned out to be after 1000 years. I don't think they could have done this any other way... To see all of the dreams, sometimes you must go out of your way past the linear path of the game to initiate a dream sequence.
On the battle system front, this game combines aspects of Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy IX. Similar to Final Fantasy VI's espers, the immortals in your party can "skill link" to a mortal who is in the party and learn skills from them. After gaining enough SP through a battle, the skill is learned, and then you can link/learn more skills. Like Final Fantasy IX, you can equip accessories and learn skills from these. As with linking, you need to gain enough SP to learn the accessory's skill, and then you can move on to another accessory. As your immortals' skill arsenal increases, you can mix/match them any way you want, as long as you have enough skill slots. I've had lots of fun with this system, and I keep trying out new ways to make my immortals unstoppable.
This game is not totally linear. There is a point in time where it becomes fairly nonlinear, and you can do anything you want (as there are lots of sidequests) before going back to the main story arc. And although it appears initially that there is no walkable overworld map, this is not entirely the case...
I really like the music in this game, as it brings back memories of older final fantasies. This is not surprising since Nobuo Uematsu composed the score. I'm considering getting the soundtrack to this.
Rating: Story: 9 Music: 10 Graphics: 10 Gameplay: 9