Reviews and Problems with STAR OCEAN: THE LAST HOPE
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Star Ocean: The Last Hope review (X360)
3 February 2012
Excerpt: The Bonus Board isn't permanent, though, as if an enemy whacks the character you're controlling with a critical hit, you'll watch a number of your bonuses dissipate. I had a knack for killing stuff with critical hits, so at times, I'd be getting at least an additional 100 percent experience.
Excerpt: Star Ocean: The Last Hope has more of a sci-fi exterior than most Japanese RPGs have, but still plenty in the way of modest, meek and cold characters, amongst other archetypes contained within. Even as a huge RPG devotee, I have got to admit that this has long been a problem for the genre. Star Ocean: The Last Hope takes place before any of the previous games in the timeline and is an origin story.
Conclusion: Hot swaps between party members also allow both strategy and gaming skill to enter the fray. It may behoove you to switch to a party member better matched to the given threat, but the ability to create more action game-like combos and specials means that it’s possible to “skill” your way out of many mismatches. There’s even an action game special gauge known as ‘Rush’ for mega-HP moves, and a system known as ‘Blindside’ for reversals similar to those in fighting games.
Conclusion: Concept: A prequel story that details mankind's departure from Earth
Graphics: Sharp texturing and colorful worlds sadly set the stage for choppy animations
Sound: Decent voice work is joined by a highly clich?d and fairly irritating score
Playability: Combat is easy to handle and loaded with depth.
Summary: From Star Wars to Ender's Game, the greatest sci-fi epics roll characters, conflict, and technology into one captivating story. Star Ocean: The Last Hope does not. Riddled with unbearable dialogue and awkward plot points, The Last Hope's narrative flubs up almost every opportunity to forge a connection with the player. A weak story is a critical flaw in any RPG, but Star Ocean makes strides towards redemption with its gameplay.
Excerpt: Star Ocean: The Last Hope is not a hugely serious videogame. It strives to be, of course – and is at times successful – but it never reaches the narrative heights of something like BioShock , or contains the kind of scenes prevalent in the Team ICO games, or the majority of Final Fantasy titles. Perhaps it’s because the characters’ collective hair colour is that of a particularly alien rainbow, or that they all dress in attire that transcends outlandish taste.
Conclusion: Star Ocean: The Last Hope is a solid addition to the series, and a stunning return to form after going handheld for a while. The 360 lends it great visuals and stunning vistas, as well as dynamic environments. The combat is a nice change from the rigid turn based system you often see, and whilst you can’t quite escape the endless grind, there’s enough to do to make it interesting. Finally, the story is, as you’d expect, excellent.
Conclusion: Star Ocean: The Last Hope is not a genre-defining title but it is a solid RPG and pretty darn fun to play. If you push past the initial minor frustrations, drawn out cut scenes and get yourself to the meat of the game, you won't be disappointed. Featuring stunning battles and robust character development, Star Ocean: The Last Hope ends the series on a high note.
Pros: Deep character development, Great visuals, Real Time Member Change, Replay value
Cons: Pacing and extra long cut-scenes, Voice acting is weak, Uninspired main character