Star Ocean The Last Hope -International-

02/17/2010 at 4:44 AM | Posted in PlayStation 3 | Leave a comment
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Star Ocean The Last Hope -International- Review

When Star Ocean The Last Hope was first announced, I was really excited. I had played Star Ocean Till The End of Time and loved it. Then it was announced as being for the Xbox 360, FML. Fast forward almost a year later and Star Ocean The Last Hope for PlayStation 3 becomes available. What a relief it was to finally be able to play this game.I actually wanted this out on Monday but I was feeling pretty ill and was unable to type it up. Regardless here is my review.

Star Ocean The Last Hope -International- is an RPG for PlayStation 3. It was developed by tri-Ace, published by Square Enix and released on February 9th, 2010. This version features an option for the original Japanese Audio, multilingual text options, and selectable character portraits. These additions don’t seem like much but when you factor in the fact that this title in now playable on the PS3, they seem just fine.

Story

Star Ocean The Last Hope takes place in the somewhat near future. The effects of World War III have pushed humans mostly underground due to contamination on the surface from the effects of nuclear weapons. The powers of Earth banded together to form the Greater United Nations and with it, established The Universal Science and Technology Administration or USTA. The USTA was charged with finding a new planet for the people of Earth to move to. A scientist named Trillas Bachtein succeeded in his warp drive experiments which was a breakthrough in space travel. The USTA quickly put in motion its Space Reconnaissance Force or SRF project, this project would eventually send the first humans into outer space to locate a suitable planet. So our story begins, on the day of the SRF’s first mission. We meet Edge Maverick and Reimi Saionji of the spaceship Calnus, one of 5 ships in the SRF fleet. It is on this first mission that things don’t go exactly as planned, and sets the stage for the entire story. The story itself was interesting as it is the oldest story in the Star Ocean universe. I felt as if some things were a little clichĂ© at times but it didn’t bother me that much.

Score – 8

Gameplay

The controls are quite simple, you tilt the left analog stick to move in any direction, press triangle for the menu, press cross to examine things or talk to people etc. One complaint I do have is with the camera controls. They are a bit strange in that the higher you want the camera, the farther it gets from Edge, likewise, lowering the camera brings it closer to Edge as well. It got a little annoying but by now I’m quite used to it. In battle though the camera seemed fine and I didn’t have any complaints. Like in past Star Ocean titles, The Last Hope uses a real-time battle system. You encounter an enemy on the field and the battle commences. You are given a confined space to dispose of a group of enemies with your own group of allies. You can have 4 characters in battle at one time and can switch back and forth between these characters freely with the press of a button. You can also switch out any characters for reserve characters at any time in the battle menu, a new feature. In battle, the Rush Gauge will fill when a player is being attacked or attacking, when the gauge is full, players can press square and activate Rush Mode. In Rush Mode, the players speed is increased and they cannot be knocked back by enemy attacks. The Rush Gauge also allows players to perform powerful combos once the gauge has filled. The Last Hope also features a new ability called “Blindside”. When they are being targeted by an enemy, players can wait until until an enemy is close enough by holding circle and with a tilt of the analog stick can quickly break the enemies line of sight, come up behind them and strike the enemy, often resulting in a critical hit.

Score – 9

Graphics

Star Ocean The Last Hope -International- looks really great, the jump from 360 to PS3 was kind. Unfortunately this game lacks many CG cutscenes. However, I will say that there were times where I was expected a CG scene and when the scene started I thought it was, however it ended up just being in-game. Getting tricked like this I would consider to be a good thing. I have a few complaints however, the lip syncing is god awful, and before you tell me that it wasn’t changed for English, I’ll tell you that I watched some scenes in Japanese and the lip syncing was… god awful. Another issue were the character’s faces, mainly their facial expressions, many characters seemed lifeless, especially Edge. He looked lifeless and bug eyed. This annoyed me, but naturally it didn’t make the game un-playable. Occasionally the game would slow down with too many enemies on the field etc. or sometimes in battle. It didn’t happen too often so I wasn’t really bothered by it.

Score – 9

Final Note

Star Ocean The Last Hope was another game I was really looking forward to playing. However it did come with a few disappointments. Altogether it felt a little lower budget than say, Star Ocean Till The End of Time. For one, I was hoping the game was going to be a little longer. I felt it was a little too easy, mind you I did play on the standard (Galaxy Mode) difficulty, but even so, this was one of the few games that I can remember I have finished without ever getting a game over. Another thing that irked me was the soundtrack. I couldn’t help but notice the same track being played multiple times in very different settings. Other than being redundant, one track in particular would work kind of well for one scene and be totally out of place for another. I don’t know, maybe I’m comparing this game too much to it’s predecessor, but really, being the first Star Ocean for this generation I feel it should have trumped the others.

Overall Rating

FullFullFullFullHalf

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