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Star Ocean Series [Discuss latest sequel here]


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Since we recently got remakes of the first and the second and we're getting the 4th one soon, a thread is needed. I'd like to hear your overall thoughts of the series. Your favorite installment. Favorite characters. Favorite party combination, etc.

I'm sure most of you started off just like me. Upon grabbing a copy of the PS1 release of "The Second Story", it was like love at first sight. I was just casually looking for another RPG to play after being addicted to FFVII...never expected the experience to be this epic, though. Aside from the cheesy voice acting, Star Ocean 2 was AMAZING from start to finish. Great battle system, sweet graphics, excellent and addictive item creation, high replay value with multiple paths/endings and characters to recruit, and some great music. Download Dale North's take on Rena's theme to see what I mean. I just bought the PSP enhanced port of the game and I'm about to play it to relive the experience...just as soon as I finish First Departure. I just don't know which character to start with. Let's just hope that the remastered script and new voice acting hold up. I've been hearing that a new recruitable character makes an appearance here as well.

Speaking of First Departure, I didn't play the original SNES title (since it's never been released in the US) so the remake was a new experience to me. I couldn't really compare, but upon starting the game I immediately felt nostalgic. Square-Enix basically used all of Star Ocean 2's aspects in remaking this game...and the results are quite amazing as well. I'd like to know the thoughts of those who played the original and the remake. I hear that there's a ROM English translation of the original so I'm sure that a few of you can offer some insight on whether the remake does it justice. I'm kind of surprised that a few people think that the remake sucks. My only major complaint is some not so good voice overs, but overall the performances could've been worse. All Private Action skits are fully voiced though, and to me that really added to the experience. Speaking of PAs, they're not as abundant as SO2's in this game. I really wanted to see more characters interact with each other as well. Another minor complaint is the forced backtracking to have to do later in the game. Like SO2, First Departure has multiple storyline branches depending on who you recruit...and finding those stipulations are kind of cool. I can really see myself play this game again just to see what other characters I can get. I'm about to finish the game.

Star Ocean 3 was a HUGE disappointment for me. For a game that has been in development for years and has been shown as one of the first games in the PS2 unveiling (screenshots were shown in 1999), it didn't really live up to the hype for me. To be fair, I didn't really give it a chance. 6 hours into the game. However, I've been given a terrible first impression in these first hours. Something was off with the game's presentation. Sure, it looked great and the voice acting was well done...but I wasn't addicted to the storyline or anything. Pacing was boring. The battle system didn't quite click with me...overheard perspective was weird. Ironically, Radiata Stories on the PS2 had a similar system to SO3, yet I enjoyed the hell out of that game. Perhaps I'll go back to SO3 someday...maybe if it gets a remake or something. :P

So Star Ocean 4 is going to get released on the 360 at the end of the month. Anyone interested? I've been hearing that the developers really want to compensate for SO3's shortcomings. Also heard that this will be the last installment in the series sadly. I'm optimistic that it's going to be an epic ride since there's more "Space influence" involved in the game like having a ship and going between planets.

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I really enjoyed Star Ocean 2 for the PS and I might pick it up for the PSP. I enjoyed the combat and item creation system even though it wasn't fully explained and I felt it was more trial and error than anything.

I have Star Ocean First Departure which was received on Christmas however I'm not really enjoying it. I think it's mostly stemmed from me drifting away from the JRPG style. I might get into it later but right now it didn't do anything for me gameplay or storywise.

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Star Ocean 2 is probably one of my favorite games out there. Fun battle system, excellent music, a nice story, and just overall shininess to behold.

I've never had a chance to play the first. :\

And Star Ocean 3? Well... the battle system was really fun, I think. The music was really nice, but... I guess the story and characters didn't really captivate me, cuz I could never bring myself to finish the game. Shame on me.

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your gonna hate SO4, mostly because u hate SO3, and SO4 looks a hell of a lot like SO3...

I really liked SO3. The overall plot elements were good, and the voiceacting was at least tolerable. The game imo spent too much time on medeival worlds, but it also made the futuristic stuff REALLY awesome when you got to it. And the battle trophy system is the only achievement system i've ever appreciated.

Also, I've been working on a bit of (non gay fan-boy) illustrated (maybe even comic framed) fanfiction that would explore the fallout after the ending. If you played the game, you know that the epilogues barely flesh out how the universe reacts after... well, y'know...

SO1 was mind-boggling when I first played it, though I gave up because I was too young to actually figure out the combat system... Never played SO2 and I'm currently working through Radiata Stories as I type this :razz:

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I am of the opinion that I am the #1 Star Ocean fan ever.

Star Ocean 2 was the first RPG I ever played. And it was by accident. My best friend let me borrow a PSX one day and left the wrong game (I wanted to play Capcom vs. SNK or something? just because it had Megaman in it).

Needless to say it was love at first sight. Since then action RPG's have been one of my most-played genres of games. I quickly bought a PSX and my own version of SO2 (I don't know how I lucked out on finding one used the first time I went to a Gamestop to get it. I've only seen it maybe once again afterwards, and not complete!). I imported both Star Ocean 1 for the Super Famicom and modded my SNES to play it and Star Ocean Blue Sphere for the Gameboy Color. I own every soundtrack ever done for Star Ocean 1-3, including the arrange albums and the ultra-rare original Star Ocean 1 arrange album (ebay, $100). I bought both Star Ocean 1 and 2 for the PSP upon release day. I bought and finished SO3 (but out of that whole game only enjoyed the music -_-). I have arranged several tunes from Star Ocean 2 (and 1, kinda), and even included quotes from various SO tunes in my other remixes (see the end of my Cave Story remix for example).

I also own all the Star Ocean 1 and 2 mangas from Japan, the entire anime both in Japanese and English, a ton of miscellaneous fan items like guide books (both english and japanese) and even a couple anime movie screens.

Star Ocean 2 is pretty much the epitomy of gaming for me. I guess that's ultra-nerdy but hey, I love it.

As for Star Ocean 4, well I don't own a 360 and don't plan to anytime soon. However I will buy it on release day just because. And my cousin has a 360 and I might trade him my Wii for a few weeks to play it, even though I have very low expectations. Square just lost the magic when they took over the franchise after SO2.

Anyway, there's my story...

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I was really enjoying SO3 until that really lame (IMHO) plot twist about 2/3 of the way through the game, right when it was picking up a little bit of speed. SO2 was great, although I never finished it :(

Hopefully this new installment won't shit out some half-assed wannabe existential matrix storyline.

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I am of the opinion that I am the #1 Star Ocean fan ever.
I've always thought that I was the biggest Star Ocean fan ever but actually, I think you got me man. I too played Star Ocean 2 first and I loved it to death. I thought the cheesy elements were kind of funny and added a nice atmosphere to the story. And the insane battle system made me flip out. I too have a lot of Star Ocean soundtracks BUT I don't have all of them. So now I'm trying to hold on to the biggest Sakuraba fan title. I have a lot of his game soundtracks and arranged albums.
I really liked SO3. . .the voiceacting was at least tolerable.
Really? In my opinion the voice acting is one of the greatest aspects of Star Ocean 3 (Except for Maria, anyway). That cheese aspect that I mentioned about Star Ocean 2 was just multiplied by 100...But it was done so well in my opinion. I honestly can't think of any macho type characters I like more than cliff and I'm sure there'll never be a better evil laugh than the one produced by Albel's voice actor. I think that one of the best parts of Star Ocean 3 is the battle quotes. Especially the post-battle ones when they level up. Freaking Albel's like, "MWAAAHAHAHAHAA!" and Cliff is like. "Wait a minute. I'm not gettin' too strong here now, am I?" My overall opinion of Star Ocean 3 is that it's the ultimate cheesy Sci-fi story produced with the ultimate enthusiasm. I just feel like the director and story-writer of SO3 love what they make, and love it to death.

I don't think we have to worry about Square-Enix's laziness because this is Tri-Ace. I've never played a Tri-Ace game that didn't feel complete and didn't have the greatest battle system ever. I have very high hopes for Star Ocean 4.

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SO3 was awesome. Because of it I hunted down SO2 PAL (expensive!) but haven't played it yet. Will by First Departure but probably pass on second generation because I can't really handle RPGs on the small format.

SO4 makes me kinda hot though. Hopefully this will take tri-Ace out of the bad press from Infinite Undiscovery and back into the hearts of most people. Also, more weapon customization plz!

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Star Ocean 3 was the first in the series I played, and I love it. The battle system, the look of the game and the characters just clicked with me. And the soundtrack is just plain awesome. The story isn't necessarily a high point, but I've finished the game and that's not someting I can say about a lot of games.

I got a used copy of SO2 for the PS1 later on, and I almost finished that one. I got sick, so I had a lot of time then :razz:. It's a really fun game too. I should probably find the time to finish it sometime.

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I believe that's a trufax statement if I ever saw one.

Now all you gotta do is head a Star Ocean Arrangement Project someday~

Okay, this is now on the "things to do before I die" list. :D :D :D

I've always thought that I was the biggest Star Ocean fan ever but actually, I think you got me man. I too played Star Ocean 2 first and I loved it to death. I thought the cheesy elements were kind of funny and added a nice atmosphere to the story. And the insane battle system made me flip out. I too have a lot of Star Ocean soundtracks BUT I don't have all of them. So now I'm trying to hold on to the biggest Sakuraba fan title. I have a lot of his game soundtracks and arranged albums.

Haha, well yes I am a huge Sakuraba fan too. I own some of his other soundtracks (Valkyrie Profile, Tales of Phantasia, etc) but mostly I just buy games he composes for.

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Hopefully this will take tri-Ace out of the bad press from Infinite Undiscovery and back into the hearts of most people. Also, more weapon customization plz!

Yeah. I haven't played that game but I heard something similar to that from Darkesword I think. I wonder what the dealiyo with that game is. It LOOKS fun.

I think I liked the Star Ocean 2 creation system a little bit more than 3's. I don't like the idea of making things with just a random amount of money. There are so many things that are the same price so you can never make what you want without a guide. In Star Ocean 2 you had your creation materials and you could make a number of predetermined things with them. Later on it expands to let you mix two things to create a new one. At least with that system you could chart out the whole thing on a pen and paper. But I didn't enjoy thinking of what 8 different abilities to put on my swords in SO3.

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If you haven't played it, you should really do yourself a favour and play Star Ocean for the SNES. There are sites that have a translated available. The game is quite buggy though, as is most everything tri-Ace does, but that is part of their charm.

The first game was my absolute favourite. I used to adore Star Ocean 2, but then I played Star Ocean and I completely devoured it. It was so fun creating items and exploring every nook and cranny of the world, I did all the extra things you could do in that game, just because it was so enjoyable. Star Ocean 2 pales in it's comparison.

Star Ocean 2 is a great game, but it has always suffered due to the mixture of 2D and 3D. The 2d sprites themselves are rather poor looking and stick out in the 3D world. I understand the time period, but it would have been so much better had they focused on either entire 3D or entire 2D and not a so-so mixture of each side.

Star Ocean 3 didn't ever seem to move pas the "meh" feeling for me. It was enjoyable and I completed it, but it didn't hook me and make me want to explore. I enjoyed the story and the characters were intruiging, but the item creation was HORRIBLE.

Unfortunately, I don't have a PSP so I can't comment on the Star Oceans released for that. Though, I do recall I had some misgivings about their Star Ocean remake and the opinion the art looked somewhat generic. It seems they also just used resources from the PSX Star Ocean 2. That's understandable... BUT STILL!

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I've found two problems with Star Ocean The First Departure since I played it. The first one being that the pacing is just goofy. Seriously, I get about 2 hours worth of great plot and then after that it's like I'm thrown into the world with no clear cut goal other than to kill a demon fellow by the name of Asmodeus. This is probably just a relic issue from the time period when the game was first created, but it's still a pain. I feel like I'm playing through Final Fantasy 1 - 3 again.

Second, why the hell do I make different things with the same ingredients in the crafting system!? I want to make more salads, not _insert random thing here_! I like having a bit more control over my crafting systems.

Once I finish The Last Remnant I'll probably keep going given that I'm still a huge fan of the game even with those two glaring issues.

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Dear God, yes.

Finally, people who share my Sakuraba fanatacism.

Tri-Ace + Sakuraba = Best games evar.

And as far as I'm concerned, Infinite Undiscovery never happened.

But yeah, Phantasia, Vesperia, VP, VP2 , SO2, SO3, and Eternal Sonata soundtracks are freakin amazing.

But back to SO3, The only thing about the game is that it became hard as donkeyballs later in the game. (Maybe I just suck) I loved everything else about it. The characters were probably the least desirable thing about it, but the story, the battle system...the trophy system was great.

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Dear God, yes.

Finally, people who share my Sakuraba fanatacism.

Tri-Ace + Sakuraba = Best games evar.

And as far as I'm concerned, Infinite Undiscovery never happened.

But yeah, Phantasia, Vesperia, VP, VP2 , SO2, SO3, and Eternal Sonata soundtracks are freakin amazing.

But back to SO3, The only thing about the game is that it became hard as donkeyballs later in the game. (Maybe I just suck) I loved everything else about it. The characters were probably the least desirable thing about it, but the story, the battle system...the trophy system was great.

Me n' Donut = OG Tri-Ace/Sakuraba fanboys.

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Tri-Crescendo made Eternal Sonata. I think they're a bunch of guys that broke from Tri-Ace. The game is pretty great, especially once you hit party level 6.

The reason it's mentioned here is because Motoi Sakuraba also composed the music for Eternal Sonata. You can tell by the instrumentation and musical themes. He has a very light style.

Also, we must stop perpetuating the stereotype that Infinite Undiscovery was a bad game. It was in fact a great game.

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I need to play Infinite Undiscovery and check it out myself. I have it. Sounds like a very interesting game despite the negative criticism.

Yeah. Sakuraba rocks indeed. There are some that may think that he overuses his motifs a bit too much that most of his music sounds the same...but that's what I like about him in my opinion. He's very versatile as well. He's orchestrated music sounds great, as evident in Eternal Sonata and Baten Kaitos. Yet when he goes all synthy with some battle themes I get all fuzzy inside.

The work he does for the Tales series, however, is less captivating to my ears for some reason. Symphonia had a few good tracks, but not as great as Baten Kaitos, Valkyrie Profile, and Star Ocean.

@ Makai Legend sys

Yeah, gotta agree with you there. The pacing and plot are fairly stuck in the 16 bit era. The Item Creation gets a lot better as you move on and learn more abilities. I like the random and unpredictable nature of the results, but I kind of wish that the game displays various results and percentages for me before creating items. That way, you know what you're doing instead of randomly combining and creating stuff.

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Tri-Crescendo made Eternal Sonata. I think they're a bunch of guys that broke from Tri-Ace. The game is pretty great, especially once you hit party level 6.

The reason it's mentioned here is because Motoi Sakuraba also composed the music for Eternal Sonata. You can tell by the instrumentation and musical themes. He has a very light style.

Also, we must stop perpetuating the stereotype that Infinite Undiscovery was a bad game. It was in fact a great game.

In other news tri-Crescendo never "broke" from tri-Ace. They were a sound team created for tri-Ace to handle the sound effects and such exclusively but stayed their own company. Their first game as developers was Baten Kaitos together with Monolith. Also, I love tri-Crescendo so much it hurts sometimes. And yes. Eternal Sonata is awesome.. gotta play more.

Re: Sakuraba - You can tell from the prog-rock battle themes everyone seems to love :/ His more ambient synth stuff from Baten Kaitos (see: House of Cards) are pure awesome and some of the town themes are simple but effective. I do not however enjoy his orchestrations or battle themes that much.. it's an acquired taste I guess.

Infinite undiscovery started out good! I'm just a few hours in but I like it.

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I guess I'm a fan of flawed games because every single negative thing I see for IU just indicates that it's "flawed" and "could have been so much more". What kind of subjective crap is that? Resident Evil 5 is considered "flawed" already and the game hasn't even come out yet, and every game out there "could have been so much more". I'm not really seeing anything substantive that clearly indicates that Infinite Undiscovery is a terrible game(aside from the title).

People need to stop seeing reviews as the end all be all to things and get off their bums and try stuff out for themselves.

Also interesting facts about tri-crescendo. Didn't know any of that.

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I guess I'm a fan of flawed games because every single negative thing I see for IU just indicates that it's "flawed" and "could have been so much more". What kind of subjective crap is that? Resident Evil 5 is considered "flawed" already and the game hasn't even come out yet, and every game out there "could have been so much more". I'm not really seeing anything substantive that clearly indicates that Infinite Undiscovery is a terrible game(aside from the title).

People need to stop seeing reviews as the end all be all to things and get off their bums and try stuff out for themselves.

Also interesting facts about tri-crescendo. Didn't know any of that.

you're welcome.

Also, your attitude is 100% awesome. Everyone who talks about what a game "could have been" can cram something in it. Talk about what the game is. Enjoyable is a good way to start.

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