Let's get one thing straight. I have been a die hard fan of turn based RPG's since FF7 first came out with it's cutting edge graphics back in the 90's. So when reviewers came out bad mouthing LO, Saying there was nothing innovative about it and turn based games were a thing of the past, I was upset. Of course at that time I hadn't actually played the game yet
You see I was thinking of games where your stats actually meant something. If your speed stat was high enough you would be able to attack an enemy 2 or 3 times before he could attack you. Such is not the case here. At best, Faster characters on your team just get their turn before other members on your team. Although it depends on what move you are doing. Items automatically go first, Then your standard attacks, Then the enemies standard attacks, Then your special skills, Then the enemies special skills, Then your magic, Then the enemies magic.
Quite regularly I would just select everyone's moves then get up and go take a leak and get a drink. The only thing you actually need to be present for is during standard attacks, You need to hold down the right trigger and let go at the precise moment for extra damage. I know, Exciting. Oh and if you were thinking about customizing characters to make them unique, Forget about it. You can teach your immortal characters moves that your mortal ones already know. You can give different immortals different moves. But that doesn't change the fact you already have a character that knows that move.
And if you like to customize how your characters level up, Like giving points to strength or magic or whatever, No. They just level up. You have no say in the matter. The graphics are pretty good and the story is decent. (Except when you are forced to sit there and read literally 45 minutes worth of dialog) If the game play was better this would be a rock solid game. But it isn't, So it's not. Rent it. But for Gods sake, Don't waste $65 on it like I did.
First don't be fooled by the term "old school". This game has AWESOME graphics. When you first see them you will be trying to get a closer look at all the details.
Also as perfect as the graphics are, you will find the story just as good. It starts out with the very cliché "Amnesia" but it never seems to be a rehash of something you've played before, as far as the story is concerned. Voice acting is great, and even more impressive for this RPG is the motion capture that brings many scenes to life in ways I've never seen in a game. This is not some twisted, confusing, abstract, save the universe plot like the final fantasy series, but a comprehensible and very emotional story.
With scores by Nubuo Uemetsu, you will enjoy much of the music. Mostly very classical sounding; its still very good.
The combat is very traditional and turn-based. It has a lot of conventions to help keep it interesting, however, not quite enough. While combat is beautiful and can be very strategic and the random encounters are generally well spaced. When in some dungeons you will just roll your eyes when you encounter an enemy. The load-in and load-out screens take a while, running away from battle is still a nasty process and time consuming ordeal and many times the whole enemy force will get at least one attack before your turn comes up so you can run, other than that, the load times didn't bother me.
Some of the combat dynamics don't work well together. The ring system is always cool and fun with your attacks timed, but if you use a skill you don't use the ring system. Skills make normal attacks completely obsolete eventually. Its a shame because so much effort went into the ring system and its equipment.
This game lasted me around 83 hours. I did a lot of side-quests, but not all of them. At some points near the end I was losing patience, but I had a lot of time and if you have a lot of time to pace yourself with this game you will not regret it. NICE ENDING!