November 12, 2012

Finally Finished – Star Ocean: The Last Hope

Posted in video games tagged , at 12:30 pm by riulyn

I finished Wild Arms 5 faster than I expected, so after a few days to finish up something for a friend, I decided with a week and a half before vacation, I would finish off Star Ocean: The Last Hope. I had stopped after about 26 hours in and managed to put in another 20 hours in about 3 days. Though to be fair, one of those days was a Saturday, so I figured, if I’m at the end I might as well finish it off.

This is a love/hate game; most people are either proclaiming it as a wonderful game or a terrible game. And this is due to the plot and characters. I happen to fall more on the “hate” side. In short, the combination (and requirement) of Lymle, Sarah, and Meracle absolutely killed this game for me.

It’s a funny thing, because of all the Star Ocean games, this game tries the hardest to put together a coherent plot and characters, but it’s my least favorite. I guess it’s because Star Ocean games are supposed to be ridiculous and while this one is ridiculous, it isn’t ridiculous in a humorous way. There are ridiculous cutscenes prolonged with incredibly impossible spaceship maneuvers or obviously inserted character dialogue that just turned me off. There are 3 characters that act younger than their age, have annoying voices, and act incredibly stupid. There are 2 late-game characters that end up playing a role because they can pilot and shoot things, but they are also look like fanservice.

It doesn’t help that the characters (especially Lymle) look like dolls and that the music isn’t exactly good. But while I love videogame music, nothing has been bad enough to turn me away from a game yet. And the real reason why I finished it up so quickly was because of the scarcity of save points. In the final dungeon, I wasn’t able to save for over 2 hours and I didn’t get lost or anything. And this is a game where when you lose a battle (all characters dead), it’s game over.

The battle system is fun, though I’m more of a Tales fan. It’s the reason why I made it through this game. It’s the best iteration of a Star Ocean battle system, except I never quite figured out the best way to switch targets. Probably because I had such a long break between starting and finishing the game.

Anyway, it’s experiences like these that make me cautious before diving into the next in the series. I had my issues with FFXII so I watched videos of FFXIII. Of course, those games are completely different from each other, but when suddenly a series you follow does something you don’t quite like, it’s hard to throw money at it as freely. I do hope for a Star Ocean V, but I will probably watch videos before starting it.

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4 Comments »

  1. Robert said,

    I’ve purposely put off getting this Star Ocean because I heard a lot of unflattering stuff about it but mostly because I actually like the PSP versions of 1 and 2 more than I liked 3, so another game building on 3’s battle system wasn’t high on my priorities. I plan on getting the game cheap for PS3 eventually though.

  2. Joseph said,

    The international version is on my christmas list this year. I played it when I had a 360 a couple of years ago, and didn’t finish it. I’m hoping its…better…somehow on the ps3. And the fact that its so cheap now makes me feel confident either way. I am a huge star ocean fan, because I love the combination of Science fiction and rpg’s, but I already know that this isn’t all that great. And how did they totally miss out on the opportunity to make the 1940’s earth interesting? Had so much potential! Congrats on completion though

    • riulyn said,

      I actually have no idea what they changed for the international version, but it probably has more stuff or looks better. As long as the battle system is enjoyable enough I think it’s worth $15. I have no desire to play it again so I haven’t bought a copy for myself. If I was going to replay a game it’d probably be Star Ocean 2, which I have with me, because I missed almost all the optional characters in my only run playing as Rena.

      • Joseph said,

        Yeah I’m looking forward to replaying SO2! It was my first SO game, and I absolutely loved it. It was only my second rpg too, which really made it stick out. I’ve been saving that replay for a while from now. The first time I played it I even fought optional dungeon bosses, which were crazy. Special place in my heart for SO2. How great was the guy possessed by two dragons? haha


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