Odin Sphere

Key events

Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir details new game modes

Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir details new game modes

Introduces New Game Plus, Hell difficulty and Boss Rush mode.

Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir, the HD remastering of VanillaWare's stylish PS2 action-RPG, will add a few new game modes upon its English-language release this spring.

As reported by Gematsu, one addition is a New Game Plus mode entitled "Xtra New Game". This lets you replay the game while retaining your ability level and inventory items. However, enemies will be much harder in Xtra New Game, and are intended to provide a sturdy challenge at the default setting.

If that's not tough enough, there's also the new "Hell" difficulty in which your health meter remains locked at the default 200 HP.

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Odin Sphere is getting remastered on PS4, PS3 and Vita

Odin Sphere is getting remastered on PS4, PS3 and Vita

Due for Japan in January, western release unknown.

Vanillaware's ambitious PS2 action-RPG Odin Sphere is getting an HD remaster with Odin Sphere: Leifdrasir.

Due 14th January in Japan, this spruced up remake will arrive on PS4, PS3 and Vita. A western release has yet to be confirmed, but seems very likely.

For the uninitiated, Odin Sphere paved the way for Vanillaware's later Muramasa: The Demon Blade and Dragon's Crown. Set in a lavish fantasy world, Odin Sphere's ambitious story structure cast players as five different characters, each with their own campaign adding to the non-chronological story in a Rashomon-like capacity. As such, there was a fair amount of repetition in this otherwise inventive game, so a Vita version seems like a more palatable fit for one to chip away at over a long period of time.

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"Look out for more PS2 Cult Classics in future, following a break for GDC." Well, we didn't say how long the break would be. Finally, then, we return to complete our mission: to dig out the quirkiest and least-publicised gems in the PlayStation 2's monstrous back catalogue. Today and tomorrow we'll complete our mammoth rundown following parts one, two and three, published in February, as we turn the EG Retro light back on at the spearhead of a minor revival. Backward and onward!

Odin Sphere

Odin Sphere

Norses for courses.

To look into the world of Odin Sphere is to peer into an alternate present, a place where towering, razor-sharp 2D sprites are our stock videogame playthings. In this reality there is no place for the awkward, inexact realism of 3D objects no matter how well lit or posed they might be. Odin Sphere is instead the latest in a lineage of increasingly resplendent 2D masterpieces that never were - ripe fruit from a branch of the creative tree our world's developers absent-mindedly lopped off as soon as they discovered Mario 64's beguiling polygons.

Its 2D sprites, set upon a card deck of extraordinarily detailed parallax background layers, are arresting in their inventiveness, coherence and vision. A hunched king, crown brushing the top edge of your widescreen plasma, boots planted on the bottom, leers with almost Monty Python-esque animated poise. A snaking dragon, four screens long, lunges and recoils as if at a Chinese New Year carnival, spewing attacks at you like videogaming's monsters of yore except here repainted, reanimated and indescribably now.

Pause the game and the frozen image could be hung on your wall. Unpause the game and this is a moving artwork no amount of hyperbolic prose could repaint in words.

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