I have returned from the Abyss, and this is what I've discovered!
Abyss Odyssey: Extended Dream Edition is the latest HD remaster developed by ACE team and published by ATLUS. The game was originally available via respective online marketplaces for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC in 2014 and this re-release is every bit as enthralling as the original. From a simply stunning art style, unique and challenging battle mechanics, and an original story this game has a lot to bring to the table.
The story of Abyss Odyssey follows a band of heroes in a quest to destroy a sleeping warlock whose dreams are infecting the human world. The heroes must venture deeper and deeper into the randomly generated catacombs of “The Abyss” in an attempt to destroy the slumbering antagonist. Each journey into the abyss is different due to the game's randomized dungeon algorithm, and because of that each play through is just as unique as the first time you picked up the controller. Players may die once per expedition, once fallen you take control of a much weaker human soldier who must survive his way to an altar to revive you.
At its core, this game is very action oriented. The battle mechanics, while frustrating at times, are very arcade fighter-esque, and the gameplay makes you feel as if you are playing a long lost Castlevania title that was scrapped. The counter to that would be its RPG elements implemented into the level and ability systems, the co-op mechanic, and the dungeon crawling skeleton smashing memories we all cherish. While playing the game you gather weapons, see off dying soldiers, and retrieve papers from the warlock's dark tome, all of which are essential to both character and story development.
You start with the ability to play as the main character Katrien who, like the monsters attacking the world, is a figment of the warlocks dream. Clearing one of the games first mini bosses as Katrien will grant you the ability to play as the “Ghost Monk” who represents the souls of all those lost to the abyss. Once you find a specific room in the dungeon and donate a large sum of money the third playable character in the game “Pincoya” becomes available. Pincoya represents a Chilean goddess that is said to save sailors, represent fertility, and manipulate the sea to her will. Playing the game to completion with all three characters offers a richer and more complete story, but is not necessary.
So lets get down to the nitty gritty. Abyss Odyssey is a great game through and through. I would be lying if I said I felt like there are no truly “flawless” games out there, and while this one does not make my list, it falls just short. Abyss Odyssey was an incredible journey from start to finish. Any repetitive nature boredom was almost instantaneously washed away with sensory overload from the randomized dungeons, the breath taking art style, and the constantly twisting story.
The only problems I had with Abyss Odyssey were in the battle mechanics. The game attempts to incorporate Street Fighter-like parrys and a combo system based on order as opposed to patterns like most action platforms. Other small things took away from the experience, while fighting you have to completely stop moving, wait for the character animation to go still and the you can turn 180° and defend or attack behind you, making fights against multiple enemies frustrating at times. Multiplayer is plagued with lag and friendly fire can also make things extremely aggravating.
All in all, I feel this game will not disappoint anyone looking for a fresh take on the genre or a polished up version of an already great game. Anyone new to the story will have an incredible adventure ahead of them filled with an incredibly illustrated world and enriching plot.
This gamer gives it a score of 4/5!
Thanks to Atlus for supplying a code for review.