Reviews and Problems with Star Ocean: First Departure
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Required History for RPG Fans
22 September 2009
Excerpt: As I was playing First Departure, I felt like an archaeologist discovering a missing piece of a long-lost civilization. From a historical perspective, it's interesting to finally play the first game in this series, but the genre has evolved a lot since Tri-Ace first made the game during the 16-bit era. I can't say that the game is executed poorly; the combat works well and the revamped visuals make it look like the PSone sequel, Star Ocean: The Second Story.
Conclusion: The main flaw can be found in the game’s overly simplistic battle system, which can support few strategies more advanced than rushing in, mashing the attack button or—in the case of bosses—mashing a special-attack button. It’s a mystery why the developers would spend so much effort updating the graphics to Star Ocean 2 standards while not doing the same for the battles.
Conclusion: Star Ocean: The First Departure is an excellent remake and it should be added to your PSP collection if you are an RPG fan. If you are looking to play all of the old games before the fourth game comes out next year then you better get started, the second game in the series will come out early next year as well.
Excerpt: Star Ocean may not be a big name in gaming, but the series holds a special place for fans of Japanese role-playing games. Made by Square Enix, the minds behind the seminal Final Fantasy series, Star Ocean: First Departure is a remake of the original SNES game that started the series back in 1996.
Excerpt: Fans of classic gaming don't have any great need for slick graphics. In fact, we almost have the opposite reaction, thinking that slick graphics and surround sound receive far too much focus in place of story, character development, and gameplay depth. Star Ocean: First Departure was probably a great gig for the graphic designers, voice actors, and musicians involved. "Icing on the cake" or "gilding the lily" as the old expressions go, right?
Summary: If you’re a fan of Role Playing games or you desperately want your friend to start enjoying the genre, this game is definitely for you. It’s a pretty simplistic and easy-to-pick up JRPG. The combat doesn’t get too deep for those un-familiar with the genre and the story is pretty easy to comprehend. As a portable game, it works fantastically. You can play it for short bursts and not lose out on the story. It’s a good game for those less hardcore.
Summary: This original Star Ocean never came out in the U.S., and judging by this PSP remake I'm starting to understand why. With a weak story, repetitive gameplay and a little too much backtracking, it's easy to become indifferent to Square Enix's newest portable role-playing game. That's not to say that the story doesn't pick up towards the end, but most people will have tuned out long before anything truly interesting happens in this game!
Summary: Featuring a revised game engine, improved battle system and fully voiced, all-new animated scenes displayed in 16:9 widescreen, players can now follow the exploits of humankind's journey across the stars in an adventure that has never before been released to the North American audience.