Star Ocean 4

Available on:

  • Xbox 360

  • PlayStation 3

Game buzz

  • Star Ocean 4

    (Re-posting since it appearently didn't appear in the feeds.)

    If you've read some of my other reviews, you probably know how I do things: Beat the game, write review.

    I find this method to be pretty good since ...
    [+] (Re-posting since it appearently didn't appear in the feeds.)

    If you've read some of my other reviews, you probably know how I do things: Beat the game, write review.

    I find this method to be pretty good since it allows me to gather my thoughts and give my opinion based on the entire experience, and not the first couple of hours.

    With this game, I've gathered my thoughts for 2 years.

    Now that I'm finished with my little lecture on "Reviewing รก la PyreHavoc", let's get to the actual review, yeah?

    Story

    Earth is a nuclear, uninhabitable wasteland after the 3rd World War, and all the worlds nations have joined forces to find a new place to live. (Hint: It's in space)

    The SRF (Space Reconnaissance Force) is formed and people are recruited and put into training in order to find a new home *hrrm* IN SPAAAAACE!

    We get to follow the childhood friends Edge Maverick and Reimi Saionji, two members of the SRF that are part of the very first SRF voyage into the vast Star Ocean.

    The different planets you get to explore are colorful and have their own unique ways of keeping things fresh.

    Remember what I said about the world's nations joining forces? I think I see proof of that here since Edge's name and looks are reminiscent to that of people in America and other parts of the world, while Reimi is obviously of Asian origin. Logic saves the day yet again!

    The most common complaint I've heard about this game is: "The story sucks."

    I don't think it necessarily sucks, it just isn't told very well and the deductions that the writers expect the players to make are reminiscent to those of the moon-logic in old adventure games.

    The game suffers heavily from the lack of attention to plot development and storytelling in general. Since the story is the very core of an RPG it's a grave mistake to mess it up.

    4/10

    Gameplay

    Star Ocean: The Last Hope consists of three different types of gameplay: Free-Roam, Combat and Flight.

    In Free-Roam, you play it pretty much like any other JRPG in the sense that you go around visiting towns and dungeons. In the towns you can find shops, sidequests and treasure (sometimes).

    The sidequests are, sadly, very basic. I'm willing to bet that 90% of them consist of you delivering items and gathering items.

    In the dungeons you can find monsters, and that's where this game saves itself.

    Battles in Star Ocean: The Last Hope are in real-time at all times except for when you're scrolling through menus. Your party consists of 4 members, but you only control one of them at a time. The characters that you aren't controlling will be controlled by the AI instead. Should you feel like switching in the middle of the battle then you can do so by the press of a button (RB or LB)

    You can perform combos by chaining normal attacks (A-button) and Special Arts (LT and RT) together. Let's take one of Meracle's combos as an example: Normal Attack > Ripper Pounce(RT) > Comet Impact(LT) > Drill Spike(RT) There is a lot of room for customization and experimentation with combos, so try it out and you might find some devastating combo of much pwnage.

    One thing I really liked about the combat is the Blindside manuever. Blindsides can be performed by holding the B-button to charge your Blindside, and then releasing it when you and an enemy are targeting each other. A Blindside could be described as a sort of evasive maneuver where the character moves out of sight (Blindsides were called "Sight-Outs" in the Japanese version) and relocates to the enemy's backside.

    We can take Edge's Blindside to use as an example, since it's pretty simple: He performs a very quick sidestep to dodge the enemy's attack and then runs in a half-circle around the enemy, stopping when he reaches their back.

    If you successfully perform a Blindside, the enemy will be temporarily dumbfounded as to where on earth you disappeared to, (Get it? Earth?) granting you the chance to take the enemy by surprise. All attacks made against the enemy while they are "dazed" will always result in a Critical Hit.

    If you perform a Blindside and FAIL, YOU will get the Blindside effect on you very momentarily. Failing a Blindside is only possible if an enemy manages to counter your Blindside.

    If you charge your Blindside for too long, the character will be dazed for a little while before they can act again.

    Flight (As I chose to call it for this review) takes places when you're travelling between planets. In these stages of the game you get to talk with your crew members and partake in Private Actions (which will sound familiar to Star Ocean veterans). A Private Action is basically a piece of dialogue or a cutscene where Edge interacts with one of his friends aboard the ship. These actions can help you gain character specific endings and are entirely optional as they have no impact on the story and are merely there for character development.

    8/10

    Characters

    The characters have fairly hollow personalities and aren't very interesting.

    Very rarely do they succeed to overwhelm the player with epic speeches or awesome ninja-skills, they mostly go

    with the flow and are all: "Yeah, let's do that because the plot said so."

    I won't bother with a thorough explanation of the characters in this review, I just don't feel like doing it.

    I WILL give you a very short description of every character though.

    Edge Maverick: Boring, generic RPG hero.

    Reimi Saionji: Classic RPG hero love interest. Has a short skirt.

    Faize Sheifa Beleth: Green-haired elf dude. Likes cookies.

    Lymle Lemuri Phi: Annoying brat. Likes cookies when Faize isn't around.

    Bacchus D-79: Big robot. Reminds me of Buzz Lightyear.

    Meracle Chamlotte: Catgirl. Nya~

    Myuria Tionysus: Boobs.

    Sarah Jerand: Airhead. Reminds me of KFC.

    Arumat P. Thanatos: Badass elf dude. Calls himself "Death incarnate".

    2/10

    Graphics

    I understand that this game should probably be played on an HDTV... I don't have that kinda privilege.

    I have to sit myself down in my couch and, quite literally, press my face against the screen of my small box that I dare

    call a TV in order to read the text in the menus and such.

    The textures also look kinda sluggish and blurry and aren't very appealing to look at.

    Those who DO own an HDTV is a bit luckier.

    The textures look great on an HDTV and the colors are bright and clear. The text is also readable (Thank *insert your favorite deity of much power and/or awesomeness here, mine's Chuck Norris*)

    I didn't get that much time to play the game on an HDTV.

    It went something like this:

    *Friend who borrowed the game from me calls*

    Me: Hello?

    Friend: Hi! You gotta help me, man.

    Me: What's up?

    Friend: I was playing Star Ocean when I got stuck on some big insect boss, can you help me?

    Me: Sure! What boss are you stuck on?

    Friend: Umm, let's see... I think it was Armaros Manifest. In the Miga Insect Warren.

    Me: Okay, have you tried grinding a bit to raise your levels?

    Friend: I did; it didn't work.

    Me: Did you try using different characters and strategies?

    Friend: I sure did.

    Me: ... What difficulty are you playing on?

    Friend: The easiest.

    Me *facepalm* Okay, I'll be right there. You try to beat him in the meantime.

    Friend: Okay! Thanks man!

    So I went home to him, beat the boss VERY quickly and went home again. THAT was my experience of the game on an HDTV.

    7/10

    Soundtrack

    I really like the soundtrack of The Last Hope (I think I devoted one article of "Soundtrack of the week" to it.)

    It combines electronic music with orchestral pieces, making it a pretty interesting mix of old and new.

    8/10

    Summary

    Star Ocean: The Last Hope is a mediocre game at best with it's failed attempt at storytelling and the

    copy-pasted character personalities... And.I.Love.It.

    I have no idea why I'm still playing this game. I have no idea what makes me like it. I have no idea how magnets work. I have no idea what I'm going on about so I'm gonna stop talking now.

    If you're looking for a quick burst of J-RPG action: You're better of looking somewhere else.

    If you don't mind it's flaws and believe that I'm wrong: Play it.

    If you think I should be slaughtered by an army of rabid turtles: ... You should see a doctor, something's obviously wrong.

    3/10

    /PyreHavoc

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