When I first played Odin Sphere back on the PlayStation 2, I couldn’t manage it without Action Replay. Yes, I was a cheater. The game came at a time when I was still heavily entrenched in the traditional RPG scene, I hadn’t played a beat’em up seriously since Streets of Rage III and all I wanted to do was enjoy Odin Sphere’s lavish story. I did what I had to do. Fortunately for everyone picking up Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, they’ll never have to resort to the measures I did.
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir begins with multiple difficulty options. The original Odin Sphere offered varying levels of difficulty, but they worked differently. It didn’t alter enemy AI. Rather, it altered the amount of experience you could gain by raising the Psypher Phozon cap, allowing your hero or heroine to be stronger than they normally would. The challenge would be same regardless, and there was quite a learning curve.
With Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, it genuinely feels like the game’s Refined mode is substantially easier when you pick the easiest difficulty level. When Atlus and Vanillaware say this is the option for people who want to enjoy the story, they mean it. I went through parts of the first two chapters of both Gwendolyn and Cornelius’ tales on Easy, swapping to normal at certain parts to see how it varied. In each instance, it felt like the game made adjustments to allow for an altered experience. The enemies seemed equally vicious, but slightly more aggressive and formidable on the higher difficulty level. The bosses behaved similarly, with the same movesets and patterns for each difficulty level and differing levels of sturdiness.
This also allows someone go proceed more swiftly through the game. For Mercedes’ tale, I stuck with the Easy difficulty. It only took me about five hours to complete her tale, where Gwendolyn and Cornelius’ routes combined took over 15 hours. There wasn’t a need to leave dungeons and re-enter to level grind. I could one shot an area. Sometimes, I even skipped meals, because health wasn’t as much of an issue.
All of this means you really are playing Odin Sphere Leifthrasir for the story on the Easy difficulty level. You’ll never fall in battle. There’s no need to fear death. All you have to do is basically run from point A to point B to quickly find out what happens to Gwendolyn, Cornelius, Mercedes, Oswald and Velvet. While this won’t appeal to everyone, it is a helpful option for people who aren’t as comfortable with beat’em ups. And, should someone realize Easy isn’t for them, it’s as simple as heading into the Options to alter your experience.
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is accommodating. The game reaches out to players of all skill levels. Easy is easier than it sounds, Normal is an average experience and the Hard and Hell difficulties are the most daunting. Each one allows you to savor the game in your own way. It means no one will find themselves unable to reach Ragnarok and see if the five heroes can save the day, because the game gives you every opportunity to reach that point. No player’s left behind.