Game Reviews

Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden

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Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden

If Nintendo had £1 for every game that tried to copy The Legend of Zelda, it would probably be around £15 better off.

Still, anyone who has ever so much as read the back of a Zelda game box will get a sense of deja vu as the story of Sacred Odyssey gets going. It stars an unlikely hero rising to save the world for a beautiful princess, and contains swords, horse riding, and puzzly dungeons.

But in terms of mobile gaming these elements are still a bit of a novelty, especially when they're as polished and expansive as Gameloft's Sacred Odyssey. And the good news is that the addition of Xperia Play controls has made the high production values of the original shine through even more clearly.

The Xperia experience

While the controls in the original game were fine, it had issues. In particular, the screen got a bit cluttered with various contextual buttons scattered around, and combat with multiple enemies became pretty hard to navigate, regularly confusing the auto-targeting system.

These problems are nicely taken care of with the Xperia Play's pull-out gamepad. As soon as the extra controls are out, the touch buttons vanish from the screen, clearing away the clutter and showing more of the nicely expansive landscapes.

While battles can still be a slight pain to navigate, using physical controls allows you to see things more clearly, and ensures you rarely block when you mean to slash. With the camera now bound to the right touchpad, aiming and looking around feel a lot more intuitive, and certainly a great deal easier to pull off in the heat of battle.

Gameloft-y ambitions

Other than that, it's business as usual for the action RPG genre. The map is expansive, and a joy to explore. The voice acting is solid, and the script has a witty awareness of its clichéd nature that's both refreshing and unexpected. Some of the dungeons drag a bit, but you'll still want to persevere to see what comes next.

Sacred Odyssey is polished, addictive, and vast, with extra side quests to work through should you not be satisfied by the impressive length of the main story.

Sacred Odyssey may navigate a well-explored RPG path, but it does so with such skill that few Xperia Play owners can complain now that they have a control system to match the game's lofty ambitions.

Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden

It may have Zelda running through it like the letters in a stick of rock, but the added Xperia Play controls make Sacred Odyssey an even more solid recommendation than it was on iPhone