Xbox One owners received a rare gem via a backwards compatibility update Thursday. Microsoft announced that the Xbox 360 JRPG Lost Odyssey, from Final Fantasy creator Horonobu Sakaguchi, is now playable on the current-gen console.
There are few exclusive Japanese role-playing games across all Xbox consoles, but Lost Odyssey was quite possibly the best of the bunch. It was originally released to the Xbox 360 in 2008 and was part of Microsoft’s push to actively court the Japanese console market that included a handful of other titles such as Blue Dragon.
While the effort to help the Xbox 360 breakthrough in Japan ultimately failed, Lost Odyssey turned into a rare gem of a traditional JRPG. The game takes place in a high fantasy setting where a “Magic-Industrial revolution” is taking place. The player follows an immortal named Kaim who has lost his memories along with a handful of other immortals. They must navigate this world and try to regain their memories while nations are developing magic weapons of mass destruction and others are falling apart from within.
The gameplay follows a traditional JRPG formula with a world map for players to explore full of towns and random encounters. The combat system uses a turn-based model with party members and enemies facing each other in two lines. Players have the option to choose between melee, ranged, and magic attacks that consist of Black, White, Spirit, and Composite spells.
Lost Odyssey does handle character progression differently than more JRPGs. “Mortal” characters can learn skills from leveling up. Meanwhile, “Immortal” characters learn new skills by linking up with a “Mortal” while in battle and earning skill points that can be assigned to the skills. Another interesting note is “Immortals” don’t necessarily die in battle. They can be knocked out when they lose all hit points, but will be revived on the next turn. The only difference is if the entire party goes down, then the battle is lost and players will have to start over from their last save point.
The game was praised for its presentation and graphics, but less so for its story. The main criticisms against it were the old-school JRPG gameplay elements combined with some long load times. It’s not clear yet how much, if any, the Xbox One will help with the long load times. Still, it earned a decent 78 Metacritic score.
Other backwards compatible titles added to the Xbox One today include the movie tie-in Toy Story 3 and vertical scrolling shooter Guwange. They join a growing list of 260 Xbox 360 games made playable on the current-gen console that also recently saw Call of Duty: World at War and Call of Duty 3 added.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Xbox One manages backward compatibility by emulating the entire Xbox 360 operating system. This allows Xbox 360 games to run on the Xbox One without any special coding or other workarounds. The major hurdles remaining are the licensing agreements with development studios and publishers to allow the games to be played on the Xbox One and listed for sale on the Xbox Store for the console.
Following that, testing to make sure the game runs correctly on the Xbox One appears to be a time-consuming task. Microsoft has to test each game from beginning to end to ensure the emulator runs the title correctly. This can take hundreds of hours depending on the title.
Additionally, Microsoft uses an Xbox Uservoice group to gauge interest in which titles to add to the Xbox One backward compatibility library. Users can suggest and vote up which games they would like to see supported.
What do you think of Lost Odyssey being added to the Xbox One backward compatibility lineup? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Mistwalker/Xbox]