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Star Ocean: First Departure

Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy GroundRPGamer Staff
edited October 2008 in Staff Review Blogs
I'm really excited to be given an opportunity to play this game, to see where this series originated. ?So far, I am quite impressed by what I've seen.

The manual included with the copy I was sent was one of the first things to impress me. ?Next to the character biographies within are the names of the voice actors who play them, which is something I've never seen before in an RPG - usually I have to use imdb or wait for the credits to find out the names. ?So far the game has been very nearly fully voiced, so this is definitely a plus. ? The most notable name on the list is Yuri Lowenthal, playing the main character Roddick.

The game opened with a gorgeous anime sequence during which a planet exploded. ?Yes, it was as awesome as it sounds. ?From there it went into the engine, showing off some incredibly detailed 3D environments and attractive sprite characters. ?It seems as though the localization team went all out in this game, as even the artwork has been edited. ?There are signs above many of the shops that are clearly legible in English.

The battle system seems to be similar to SO2, though my very fleeting experience with that game (less than 5 hours) is probably not the best judge. ?Regardless, it's fun, if somewhat simple. ?I've also played with the crafting system a bit, which seems to be much less infuriating than the one is SO3.

I'm just over three hours in now, and I'm looking forward to getting really deep into it tonight.

09/24/08 - 01:35

Anyone who's played an SO game before knows about Private Actions. ?While they were done in an almost invisible way in SO3, SO1 and 2 use a system that more closely resembles the skits of the Tales series. ?In any case, the few I've come across so far have been really amusing, but one that I just came upon just shows some awesome attention to detail. ? It's so silly and yet somehow it totally impresses me. ?I'm speaking to a character in a bar, and every time I talk to him, a new empty bottle appears on the table. ?It's little things like that that really bring a game alive.

09/25/08 - 10:15

I have to say, I'm quite surprised just how easy this game has been so far. ?I suppose it could change, but considering it was originally on the SNES, I have to consider that perhaps Square-Enix retooled the difficulty some. ?While I ended up grinding for about half an hour at the beginning of the game, since then I've been able to move at a decent pace, just fighting what comes at me.

There's probably something to say about it being difficult to find some places. ?There has been a lot of walking, but the battles are over pretty quickly and don't really get in the way. ?One of the specialties, "Scouting," allows you to lower or raise the encounter rate at will, and you can get it early on, which is helpful for lengthy trips through old territory.

Speaking of specialties and item creation, I'm simply in awe of how easy this system is to use compared to SO3. ?Why they changed it at all I'll never know. ?There are so many different types of item creation and a lot of them that I've unlocked I haven't even had a chance to use because I haven't found the necessary materials. ?What's even better is that unlocking these specialties often grants bonuses to character stats as well. ?You can buff your character and learn item creation as a side-effect: this is a near-perfect system.

Finally have a full party, which is making combat a LOT easier. ?Up til recently I've been making do with three, none of whom were a healer. ?Luckily all this did was force me to cook a lot, which wasn't that big a deal.

09/26/08 - 00:20

Somehow, I have inadvertently managed to turn Roddick into a demigod. ?Not literally, of course, but in my first experiment with the Customization specialty of the crafting section, I created a Holy Sword with almost 700 attack power on it. ?By comparison, my other fighters are using weapons with roughly 200 attack power on them. ?Needless to say, he is very, very strong now.

On a lighter note, four of my characters just went binge drinking and passed out. ?Good times.

09/26/08 - 11:30

As I mentioned in my last update, I turned Roddick into a demigod by customizing him an awesome weapon. If he was a demi-god then, he's a full-fledged god now. His new weapon, obtained by customizing the aforementioned Holy Sword even further, has a staggering 950 attack power and heals him for half the damage he inflicts! Striking between 1000 and 2000 damage, he heals himself for about 1/10 to 1/5 his total hitpoints with every swing! He is virtually unstoppable.

Thinking back to Star Ocean 3, it seems to me as if this is the way Star Ocean was meant to be played. Item creation allowed you to make yourself powerful enough to storm through everything in your way, and the same seems to be true in Star Ocean: First Departure, except without the frustration of SO3's poorly implemented system.

At this point I feel like I'm nearing the game's conclusion, and as such this will be my last entry in this blog. Look forward to a review on October 17th.



Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...

Comments

  • nakamuranakamura Member Full Members
    edited September 2008
    Great to hear a positive response. Im looking forward to these as I much prefered them to the 3rd in the series. I found that far too hectic and the top view was a bit poor for an RPG in this era.
  • Confessor RahlConfessor Rahl Member Full Members
    edited September 2008
    Sweeet. I'm extremely buzzed about this one!
    "Back when FF9 was coming out. People were rejoicing because it was actually a fantasy game and not a sci-fi game like 7 and 8. It's hilarious in modern context, with everyone wanking themselves to dehydration at the thought of a FF7 remake."
  • YoyocoolYoyocool Member Full Members
    edited September 2008
    Yeah that top down view in Sotw 3 sucked. Other than that, it's a nice touch that they added anime scenes into it. I just hope it isn't ugly as the ones in Valkyrie Profile. (the PSX edition)
  • CidolfasCidolfas Member Full Members
    edited September 2008
    Wait, Roddick? Bleh. Ratix sounds way cooler.
    Glad to hear some news about it... I hadn't heard anything and was worried it was being delayed.
  • GooseAssGooseAss Member Full Members
    edited September 2008
    man, i'm excited about this game. it looks awesome, and i've been meaning to play the SFC version for years. but this is much better.
  • Confessor RahlConfessor Rahl Member Full Members
    edited September 2008
    Ratix is by far cooler, buit Roddick kind of reminds me of Riddick, and I love those movies, haters be damned.
    "Back when FF9 was coming out. People were rejoicing because it was actually a fantasy game and not a sci-fi game like 7 and 8. It's hilarious in modern context, with everyone wanking themselves to dehydration at the thought of a FF7 remake."
  • TGBarighmTGBarighm Member Full Members
    edited September 2008
    The haters can die. Riddick was awesome.
  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2008
    *updated*
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • nakamuranakamura Member Full Members
    edited September 2008
    I will look forward to the review. Sounds really good and nice to see someone pointing SO3 has flaws.
  • Confessor RahlConfessor Rahl Member Full Members
    edited September 2008
    I will look forward to the review. Sounds really good and nice to see someone pointing SO3 has flaws.
    People pointing out SO3 having flaws is FAR from uncommon and nothing new.

    This is looking up to be quite a nice remake, and one i'm very much looking forward to.
    "Back when FF9 was coming out. People were rejoicing because it was actually a fantasy game and not a sci-fi game like 7 and 8. It's hilarious in modern context, with everyone wanking themselves to dehydration at the thought of a FF7 remake."
  • CidolfasCidolfas Member Full Members
    edited September 2008
    The SNES item creation system was inspired but had major flaws (the item creation materials were generally very expensive, and the success rate was abysmal, to the point where it would take hours to customize a single weapon). It sounds like they tweaked it so it works nicely, which is great. Very much looking forward to this.

    I'm also curious if they redid the ending at all considering how abrupt it was, and if they put back in any of the dummied-out stuff they originally took out.
  • nakamuranakamura Member Full Members
    edited October 2008
    <div>
    (ConfessorRahl @ Sep. 26 2008,21:00)</div><div class="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div class="QUOTE"><div>
    (nakamura @ Sep. 26 2008,13:32)</div><div class="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div class="QUOTE">I will look forward to the review. Sounds really good and nice to see someone pointing SO3 has flaws.</div>
    People pointing out SO3 having flaws is FAR from uncommon and nothing new.

    This is looking up to be quite a nice remake, and one i'm very much looking forward to.</div>
    Well all the things ive read on here have all been positive. I dont read other sites as i dont have the time. So for me its new. tounge2.gif
  • Confessor RahlConfessor Rahl Member Full Members
    edited October 2008
    <div>
    (nakamura @ Oct. 01 2008,12:37)</div><div class="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div class="QUOTE"><div>
    (ConfessorRahl @ Sep. 26 2008,21:00)</div><div class="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div class="QUOTE"><div>
    (nakamura @ Sep. 26 2008,13:32)</div><div class="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div class="QUOTE">I will look forward to the review. Sounds really good and nice to see someone pointing SO3 has flaws.</div>
    People pointing out SO3 having flaws is FAR from uncommon and nothing new.

    This is looking up to be quite a nice remake, and one i'm very much looking forward to.</div>
    Well all the things ive read on here have all been positive. I dont read other sites as i dont have the time. So for me its new. tounge2.gif</div>
    I suppose we've been reading different things on this forum. Not important anyway.

    I'm anxiously awaiting the review!
    "Back when FF9 was coming out. People were rejoicing because it was actually a fantasy game and not a sci-fi game like 7 and 8. It's hilarious in modern context, with everyone wanking themselves to dehydration at the thought of a FF7 remake."
  • nakamuranakamura Member Full Members
    edited October 2008
    <div>
    (ConfessorRahl @ Oct. 01 2008,19:46)</div><div class="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div class="QUOTE"><div>
    (nakamura @ Oct. 01 2008,12:37)</div><div class="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div class="QUOTE"><div>
    (ConfessorRahl @ Sep. 26 2008,21:00)</div><div class="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div class="QUOTE"><div>
    (nakamura @ Sep. 26 2008,13:32)</div><div class="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div class="QUOTE">I will look forward to the review. Sounds really good and nice to see someone pointing SO3 has flaws.</div>
    People pointing out SO3 having flaws is FAR from uncommon and nothing new.

    This is looking up to be quite a nice remake, and one i'm very much looking forward to.</div>
    Well all the things ive read on here have all been positive. I dont read other sites as i dont have the time. So for me its new. tounge2.gif</div>
    I suppose we've been reading different things on this forum. Not important anyway.

    I'm anxiously awaiting the review!</div>
    To be fair I dont get online so much, ive only been back on for a few weeks. And this forum moves so fast and with the time difference im asleep when its most busy.

    Just didnt want you to think im stoopid! laugh.gif
  • Confessor RahlConfessor Rahl Member Full Members
    edited October 2008
    No worries homes.
    "Back when FF9 was coming out. People were rejoicing because it was actually a fantasy game and not a sci-fi game like 7 and 8. It's hilarious in modern context, with everyone wanking themselves to dehydration at the thought of a FF7 remake."
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2008
    Yes... this looks like it's sizing up to be another great game to add to my collection biggrin.gif
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • Psycho PenguinPsycho Penguin Member Full Members
    edited October 2008
    Was the SNES one really that hard to people? I never got into item creation, I never grinded, and the final boss barely touched me. I don't even think I ever got a game over in the game at all.

    Anyways, thanks for the impressions and this game sounds like a good remake. I probably won't bother since I already beat the SNES one as stated, but I'll probably pick it up eventually.
  • CidolfasCidolfas Member Full Members
    edited October 2008
    I seem to remember the wolf enemies in one of the semi-final dungeons often made quick mincemeat out of me.
  • Anna Marie PrivitereAnna Marie Privitere Purr RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2008
This discussion has been closed.