PS3 Previews: Star Ocean: The Last Hope International Preview

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Star Ocean: The Last Hope International Preview

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Scheduled release date:

February 9, 2010

Publisher:

Square-Enix

Developer:

Tri-Ace

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

RPG

Now that I’ve rekindled my age-old love of RPGs with Dragon Age: Origins, I’m more inclined to think about future role-playing adventures. And while my eyes are firmly fixed on Final Fantasy XIII, I’m also quite interested in both White Knight Chronicles and Resonance of Fate; I’m hoping 2010 will be the year of the RPG. Furthermore, for those of you who are fans of the critically acclaimed Star Ocean franchise, you’ll be happy to know that The Last Hope is finally headed to the PlayStation 3. Like other early RPGs of this generation – Eternal Sonata, Tales of Vesperia, etc. – Tri-Ace’s effort debuted on the Xbox 360 and PS3 owners had to wait a while for an announcement. But now that it’s confirmed for February 9 in the US, I figured I’d give my fellow role-playing aficionados a look at this solid title.

If you’re not familiar with the series, these are games that utilize what may be best known as a “hybrid” form of combat; i.e., a cross between turn-based and real-time. You will see enemies out in the fields when you explore and rather than simply attacking them flat-out – as you would in a typical action/adventure quest – touching a foe triggers a separate battle screen, similar to what we’ve seen in turn-based RPGs. But on the other hand, the battle starts instantly and plays out in a real-time format; you control one character at a time while your party members utilize AI settings, and you can switch between characters with the simple press of a button. You can also pause the action at any time to administer new orders and this becomes especially crucial during intense encounters when you need extra time to evaluate. Actually, it’s a little like Origins, only with the addition of those separate battlefields that exist outside of the realm of exploration.

The game is surprisingly deep. The combat is fairly intricate and off-the-field actions can take up a great deal of time; a fact you Star Ocean vets won’t deny. There are special quests you can fulfill for vendors, you can create/invent everything from new items to weapons and armor, and the learning curve can be a little steep for those unfamiliar with the genre. But if you’re accustomed to it, the entire adventure will feel absorbing and even addictive from start to finish. There’s a little more freedom involved here than in past entries in the series, but you have to play for quite a while before you’ll feel truly “free.” For the most part, you progress along a linear storyline and tackle the plot-advancing areas and quests in a mostly straightforward manner. The universe is colorful and loaded with all sorts of creatures, environments, and secret locations where you will have to solve a few puzzles. But more often than not, you’ll be fighting. Like crazy.

This leads me to my major complaints when I played the 360 version: firstly, it seems like I spent the vast majority of my time fighting. There just seemed to be far too many enemies and not enough in the way of story, and on top of which, the combat suffered from balance and AI issues later on. The enemy almost always seemed to have the distinct edge; capable of doing things you’d never be able to do in normal situations. You just always started to feel outnumbered and overmatched, even after participating in some power-leveling and Synthesis (that’s the invention process). But I know plenty of people who didn’t complain about this and pumped many, many hours into The Last Hope. And from what I’ve heard, it’s basically an identical experience on the PS3, with the added option of the original Japanese language (with English subtitles, of course), and the little bonus of switching back and forth between 2D and 3D character art, which only applies to the avatars. If any of you stumble on other upgrades in the PS3 version, feel free to drop it in the Comments below.

Star Ocean: The Last Hope International will be here on February 9 and with so many action games on tap for Q1 2010, this should be a breath of fresh air for RPG fans. It’s definitely worth a look, especially if you’ve enjoyed previous series installments.

11/28/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (24 posts)

Banky A
Saturday, November 28, 2009 @ 10:42:14 PM
Reply

Hell yeah I love Star Ocean

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LowKey
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 4:55:53 AM

Still can't grow a beard of your own eh? lmao. SO is sooo badass though. Can't wait for it to hit the bargain bin.

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eLLeJuss
Saturday, November 28, 2009 @ 10:55:54 PM
Reply

omg. im getting this :).

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godsman
Saturday, November 28, 2009 @ 10:59:17 PM
Reply

It'll definitely sell more than the Xbox versions like Tales of Vesperia.

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___________
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 1:04:04 AM
Reply

christ im going to need to rob a bank next year to buy all the games i want.
just jan-march alone theres like 30.
and bad news aussies alien V predator is not going to be edited so looks like thats another import.
theres no way thats going to get passed if L4D2 got refused.
than theres GOW3 o god im going to be paying ebays fees next year.
even though i hate them to the bone!
god i wish i was finished tafe so i could move to the US im really getting sick of this sh*t.
4 more years, can i last that long?

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Banky A
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 1:13:11 AM

No, you'll die and lose yourself in 4 years of this madness.

Only Kratos can endure.

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___________
Monday, November 30, 2009 @ 6:32:05 AM

maybe GOWC can help tide me over.
3 days.

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Sol
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 1:18:51 AM
Reply

Since I finally got a PSP added to my collection, International is good news. It just means that I can obtain all of the Star Ocean games when I get a PS3. I'm needing a 360 less and less. Considering that it has been said there is little difference between both versions, here's hoping they continue to do decent jobs on the multiplats. After all, I wouldn't want to get one version only to be dissappointed that the other's are better.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 1:35:23 AM
Reply

If there are no more enhancements to the PS3 version than those two useless ones then I will gladly pass and wait until I can get this port cheap. Woulda been a day one full price buy if SE hadn't screwed us.

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LowKey
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 4:52:56 AM

Oh no, SE never screwed anyone, "It was just business" remember? My post about it earlier this year? When everybody jumped down my throat because I said SE screwed us. Where the hell were you then? eh? lol

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b3mike
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 7:53:54 AM

Lowkey

They did screw you. Enjoy your leftovers. Crappy game anyhow

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Oxvial
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 9:55:19 AM

its great for people that are fan of the series because almost all of them have the Ps3..this game going first on 360 was absurd! people that buyed that console didn't want to have it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 12:55:45 PM

I dunno I guess I missed that class that day LowKey, what good is "business" when you are selling a ketchup Popsicle to a woman in white gloves?

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LowKey
Monday, November 30, 2009 @ 1:22:40 AM

Uhhh, no. You posted in it world #4 poster lol. and mike if you had read that post you'd know I was being sarcastic.

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Vivi_Gamer
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 2:20:49 AM
Reply

I wonder if it'll all be on one disc, i heard horrible things about the xbox version for intsance sdisc swaping for certain areas instead of just as the sotry progresses.

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Highlander
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 2:31:43 AM

Two words.

Blu-Ray.

Of course it will be on one disk.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 6:44:38 AM

no mon-tage?
:(

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Highlander
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 2:32:39 AM
Reply

I guess I better add this to the list of 'Must Haves 2010'.

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BigBoss4ever
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 4:35:24 AM
Reply

2010 will be the ultimate year of PS3:

I dont know how I am gonna cope with the awesome games coming, first we will have the action storm, with Bayonetta, Darksiders, Dante's Inferno, GOW3 and Lords of Shadow, then we will have the JRPG treat with Star Ocean Last Hope, FF13, FF14, WKC, Resonnace of Fate, and maybe Versus 13 hopefully;

in addition to all that, we will have the pure artistic game The Last Guardian. man, this is the time to say, gaming is good.

Even without all that, i am stuck and so addicted to the Demon's Souls, i feel i can play it for years, the game just offers too much replay value and various different world tendency events and online rpg elements. I hope a day can be 48 hours or more. lol

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 11/29/2009 4:41:31 AM

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goodgamer
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 1:08:29 PM
Reply

this game is crap

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 1:33:28 PM
Reply

I have a question for the folks who think it's crap, did you like Star Ocean Til The End of Time? Because I liked it quite a bit (the tedious elements aside) and I assume it doesn't depart too far from that. But tell me if I'm wrong. Maybe MS put the pressure on it's release and it got a little dodgy, who knows.

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LowKey
Monday, November 30, 2009 @ 1:24:13 AM

I've said it before and I'll say it again SO:TET, favorite RPG ever!

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Mr Bitey
Monday, November 30, 2009 @ 11:13:54 AM
Reply

Does this game have long winded dialogs about the power of friendship, or the power of believing in yourself? I have a strong feeling that it probably does.

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Ragnarok00_CODE
Monday, November 30, 2009 @ 8:36:48 PM
Reply

"Will buy" STAR OCEAN 4ever

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