Lost Odyssey and Good Game Design/Bad Game Design

So I’ve been trudging at Lost Odyssey for the last two months because the story keeps me interested, but they do so many stupid mistakes with combat that I can’t play it for more than an hour at a time.

Today we are going to talk about good game design and BAD game design.

Good: Final Fantasy VI: Remembert the Fantatics Tower? In it, you chose a group that would head up it COMPLTELY without the aid of any commands besides magic. This was a major setback because at this point well hadn’t uncovered any spells that could ave the whole party, let alone get us through a dungeoun. So obviously you get your best magic users and head up there. This tower was completly optional, so you didn’t really have to go there to complete the game. Though the gem-box relic(which let you cast two spells in one turn) made us mosey up there. You also had to have such spells as Ultima, because about every enemy had reflect cast on it. This was called preparation, challenge, and overall bragging rights if you got through the tower without cheating.

Ok, lets go to bad game design: In Lost Odyssey after your group is separated in a dramatic way (Which actually makes me want to keep playing). You have all four of your mages up against a boss. Ok this is unbalanced already since you need physical defenses to have the guard meter charged..err…nevermind. What sucks is I have an enemy, with a high HP count, that can WIPE OUT everyone in one turn, with a spell that takes me TWO turns to cast (enemies even take multiple turns for spells at least till now). And can just open up a plain old can on me.

 At this point, this is part of the game, I HAVE to fight this thing. Right now it’s just super challenging to the point i want to rip my hair out. But here’s the kicker-get it to less than 1000 hp and it casts REFLECT.

Yeah, reflect, right in the F**KING MIDDLE of my turn when everyone’s spells get sent back to them, then what? oh a SECOND turn to use his mass kill on me. YEAH THAT’S FAIR!!! So if my spells didn’t finish me off, well his massive one will, sending me back to a save point. It’s one thing if he casts it midway through the fight, then you know he has that, but RIGHT WHEN he’s about to get killed and WHEN I have only a party consisting of mages? HOW THE F**K do I do damage when he has that stupid thing on? This isn’t optional, I haven’t had time to go and get Ultima yet? This is what we call BAD game design. it’s ridiculous, because this is what LO does. It’s dumb turn based combat completely destroys the awesome story that exists beneath.

Ok, I’m done with my rant, I’m gonna go kill this bitch now.

Patrick is a freelance gaming journalist and crime-fighting penguin at night. He has tweets, and you can follow them.