Sunday, April 12, 2009
I had hopes for this game. High hopes. I spent the majority of the 1st disc hoping the game would get better….but it didn’t. What happened Tri-Ace? You used to be cool.
The plot so far is average at best. The game takes place in the year Space Date 10, or 2075. World War III has made the Earth’s surface uninhabitable, so humanity turns to space looking for planets suitable for colonization. You take control of Edge Maverick, a 19 year old rookie space cadet who is assigned along with his teenage friends to be part of the exploration team. Why Earth is choosing teenagers who’ve barely finished school to explore unknown worlds is beyond me. Maybe the government thinks they’re expendable? In typical RPG fashion, things don’t always go as planned. In mid flight to the first destination, the ships encounter some space anomaly, causing a crash landing on, luckily, the destination planet. As if things weren’t bad enough, monsters which shouldn’t be anywhere near this planet inhabit it, and decide to wreak havoc on the survivors. After combining parts from 3 of the ships to make 1 working ship, Edge is given the task of continuing the mission to explore the galaxy, where more things won’t go as planned. Poor guy can’t seem to catch a break, eh?
The characters themselves aren’t particularly great. Edge himself starts off as a likeable guy, kind and ambitious, but gets painfully more annoying as the game goes on. Edge’s co-pilot, Reimi, takes the role of the weak woman, whose main purpose in the plot seems to be causing trouble for the party by needing to be saved in one way or another. Lymle, who looks like she’s 6 but is apparently 15 according to the manual, is probably the best character so far mainly because she doesn’t take sh*t from anyone and summons a huge Cerberus on anyone who tries to harm her. She does have the annoying habit of saying ‘kay after every sentence. I guess the director wanted her to be more “moe”. I’ve met more characters, but I won’t go into any detail about them, mainly since there’s nothing terribly interesting about them.
The battle system is good for the most part. Battles take place in real-time on a 3D map with up to 4 characters participating. You take control of one character and have the ability to switch who you control just by pressing the left or right bumper. Once you get more than 5 characters you can switch out one character for another. Only characters that participate in battle get experience so remember to switch out often unless you have no intention of using certain characters. The only complaint I have so far is that there seems to be no way to have one character perform an action while controlling another. Say I was controlling Edge but wanted Lymle to cast a spell. I have to switch control over to Lymle in order to do anything. In previous Star Ocean games, it would have been possible to bring up a menu over another character and have them either cast a spell or use an item.
The unique part of Star Ocean 4’s battle system is rush mode. When the little green bar under a character fills up to 100%, they can activate rush mode. In this mode, characters can attack more often and run a little faster. They also can use new moves but I haven’t been able to do so as of yet. The downside is enemies, including bosses have this too. This makes a few of the bosses particularly nasty.
I don’t know if I’ll end up finishing the game. It starts off interesting enough, but so far has mostly followed the formula of “get stuck on planet, escape from planet, repeat”. The battles are fun enough to keep me entertained but I don’t know for how much longer. My advice: play Star Ocean 2 if you haven’t already or if you’re itching for a 360 RPG, get Tales of Vesperia.
Monday, August 25, 2008
As a lad, I enjoyed a little game released by Enix called "Star Ocean 2". Since then, they've only released one other game to the US (Till the End of Time) and, to be honest, I really didn't like it. That's why I was excited to find out that there are some more Star Ocean games coming out to the United States (so I can get a better idea whether I like this series or not). Except for "Second Evolution", I know next to nothing about them. But! I have some release dates to share!
Star Ocean: First Departure (PSP), a re-release of Star Ocean for SNES (not brought over to the US); 10/21/2008
Star Ocean: Second Evolution (PSP), a re-release of Star Ocean 2, which was all kinds of awesome; 01/06/2009
Star Ocean: Last Hope (XBox 360), new... but looks kinda standard... and not Anime-ish... I don't know about this one...; Q2 of 2009
That is all