The first video game that I ever truly loved was the original Final Fantasy for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Still have it by the way, including the box. Jealous? I absorbed everything I could about that game, which was kinda tough considering this was long before the internet and video game walk-through sites, so I held on to my “Nintendo Power Official Final Fantasy Strategy Guide” like it cured cancer. When I finally beat it, I felt like I was the greatest man in history, a feeling that has never left me. In fact, I blame that game for turning me into the raging gamer nerd that I am today. The turn based role playing game with all its weapons, armor, spells, experience, and hours and hours of gameplay became my lifelong game genre of choice. That’s why I seethed at Square Enix like it had just slapped my mother when it released the completely unplayable Final Fantasy 13. They had left behind all the original reasons I loved role playing games. So, after having beaten about 100,000 first person shooters in the past few months, I went looking for a bit of my childhood in the form of a good, classic-styled JRPG, which I happily found in Lost Odyssey. Lost Odyssey is an Xbox exclusive from Mistwalker and Microsoft that came out way back in 2008. It essentially follows Kaim, an immortal with no memories, in a quest to recover his past during a time of war. As he progresses forward he slowly recovers memories from his past that piece together who he is and why he exists. Throughout his journey he meets others, immortal and mortal, who join his quest in self-realization, and eventually even revenge. I know that probably sounds like a run of the mill bad Hollywood sci-fi movie, but it actually makes a lot more sense while you’re playing. Seriously. This game doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, if you’re familiar with the older games in the Final Fantasy series, like say, one through nine, then you are familiar with Lost Odyssey’s gameplay. Random encounters on a world map lead to turn based battles, just like fighting Green Slimes in Dragon Warrior. Why were Slimes and Imps always the first enemies you fought in any RPG game? But I digress. Your battle party consists of five members with different skill sets. Some character strengths include melee, black magic, white magic, support magic, and elemental strengths. Once engaged in battle you can attack, use magic, use a skill or item, run or defend against your foes. Each monster has an element they are aligned with making them stronger against that particular element and weak against its opposite, developing a good battle strategy a must. Listen, as you can tell Lost Odyssey doesn’t attempt to change the genre with all sorts of failed new “improvements.” I’m talking to you, Final Fantasy XIII. It is a straight forward JRPG, plain and simple. It brings back the good old days and classic role playing elements of Xenogears, Phantasy Star, and Chrono Trigger. Four discs and hours and hours of gameplay (I beat it at 70+ hours), with optional bosses, tons of side quests, and an outstanding main storyline, Lost Odyssey is exactly the kind of nostalgic trip to my video gaming past while taking a much needed vacation from the first-person- shooter heavy marketplace. I’m actually a little bummed it took me three years to stumble onto this gem. If you’re a fan of old school JRPGs you will absolutely not be disappointed in Lost Odyssey.