Price: FREE, $6.99 for full game
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
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Sacred Odyssey, the newest RPG from Gameloft, has taken a slightly different approach to purchasing than the rest of the crowd. Instead of throwing itself out there at $6.99 (its actual price), the game comes packaged as a free demo that you can continue on playing via in app purchase. I don't want to dig too deep into the pricing aspect of the game, but I personally think that this demo/purchase model is brilliant. With so many bad to mediocre games out there in the app store, I think it's fantastic that Gameloft is willing to let gamers test out their stuff before having to commit to a purchase.
Next on the agenda is the obvious Gameloft modus operandi. Their games are typically well made and pretty as can be, but 90% of them (guesstimated figure - don't sue or quote me) are knockoffs of other titles. If you haven't caught on yet, Gameloft has this tendency to take popular games from other consoles and repackage them on their own for the App Store. In the case of Sacred Odyssey, they have done their darndest to hide the fact that this is a Zelda clone. You're a hero on a sacred quest to save the princess, you can call a horse to ride, you have to go through dungeons (complete with Zelda-like puzzles) to get to bosses, and you play the majority of the game with your mythical sword and shield. The fact that it doesn't have a heart system for health and an ocarina is shocking to me.
Even if this is a knockoff, I have to say that Gameloft has done a fine job. Like always, the graphics and presentation are spot on, using a slightly darker tone than the typical Zelda romp. Also spectacular is the fact that just about every character has voice acted dialogue, and the voice acting is actually pretty good. The lines themselves sometimes stray into the comedy action hero realm, but for the most part they work well with the overall mood of the story. I would've liked to have seen more interaction in the towns (where are the silly Zelda mini games?) and more weapons to cycle through during the game, but I think that the overall package is extremely well done.
In my opinion, trying to knockoff Zelda was incredibly risky for Gameloft. Doing Halo and Grand Theft Auto were also tricky, but people don't just like Zelda, they love it. As a Zelda fan myself; it was hard to go through Sacred Odyssey at times knowing that if Zelda were on the iPhone it would be a richer experience. I don't want to take too much away from Gameloft, as they did a fine job, but Sacred Odyssey doesn't do enough to make me not long for some kind of Apple/Nintendo partnership.