I’ve never really thought of myself as a big RPG fan but, when I look back, a lot of the games I’ve enjoyed have come from that genre.

I think my first experience of a real RPG was the original The Bard’s Tale (which I played on the ZX Spectrum) when I was in my teens. I can remember sending off for a whole batch of photocopied dungeon maps from an advert in Your Sinclair magazine. Great value and really helpful at the time. These days browsing to Gamefaqs is a little quicker, though. I’ll spare you the “old man” tales of loading from and saving to cassette tape.

On the PC side of things my experience has been mostly of online RPGs: Star Wars Galaxies (before they messed it up), Lord of the Rings Online, Guild Wars and my main time sink City of Heroes.

RPGs tend to be quite time intensive so The Knights of the Old Republic was one of the reasons I bought the original Xbox

On the Xbox 360 I really loved Oblivion. It’s one of the only games that I’ve completely finished (achievement wise). Because I’m a recent 360 convert all the bugs and issues with the game were ironed out by the time I played it. Mass Effect is another RPG I’ve enjoyed and will be returning to soon.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about Japanese RPGs, though. I find the whole “invisible party” strange, wandering around on your own until everyone else suddenly appears for a battle or cut scene. They’re usually a lot more restrictive about saving your progress as well, which niggles at me. I’m a bit OCD about saving every couple of minutes. (Wait… who am I kidding? … every few steps more like.)

I’ve never played a Final Fantasy game. I was put off Blue Dragon because of poor reviews and although I have Eternal Sonata I’ve not yet managed to string together enough time to have a really good go at it.

I do really love the Pokémon games and I suppose they’re pure Japanese RPGs. I’ve played all the way through both of the Gamecube Pokemon RPGs and had a lot of fun, even if my main motivation was to unlock creatures for the handheld versions.

All this is just a round about way of commenting that I’ve been playing Lost Odyssey these past few days. I’m going to reserve judgement until I’m further into things but it’s going down well so far. At the moment I’m about two boss battles through the first disc and have just arrived in the second city.

I was relieved to see, once I got through the first battle, that my character (who had just been taking on hoards of enemies and a large war machine) wasn’t rated at level 1… instead he was level 10. Even so, that must’ve been one hell of a training programme.

The council’s attitude was a little worrying…”Wait, you can’t die? We’ve got the perfect, dangerously suicidal mission for you.”

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