I was full of excitement when TurtleGirl asked me if I wanted to review a game for her and could not wait to get started. I was SO excited that I would have said yes to pretty much any game that she would have suggested so when she told me that she wanted me to review Star Ocean: The Last Hope I thought, â€œThat sounds great!â€ even though I didnâ€™t know much about the game at all. As I typed the name into Google I was full of expectations to what I would be playing and I have to admit that I felt a bit deflated when the (to me) dreaded word â€œJRPGâ€ popped up on the screen. I usually find these games a bit too slow for me. Too many movie clips and not enough action. I also find the RPG style of fighting a bit too repetitive and usually just do a lot of button bashing rather than actually trying to learn how the different characters fight. To be fair, button bashing usually does the trick in these style of games but I suppose Iâ€™m missing the point a bit here when it comes to the battles. Anyway â€“ I decided to keep an open mind and have a proper go at playing the game without too many preconceptions.
The game arrived a few days later and I was by then pretty keen to get started. I had read up a little bit more about the game and there seemed to be a lot of options for collecting items and doing small side quests as well as following the main storyline. I have to admit that finding hidden chests and collecting items is a lot more my style.
Star Ocean: The Last Hope was released in UK on June 5th, 2009 as the 4th game in the series released by Square Enix. The game is a prequel to the other 3 so it does not require any knowledge of the other games which is good in my case as I have never played any of them.
The game is set in space after World War III which has made Earth almost uninhabitable. Humans are now exploring the universe for other habitable planets for us to settle on. I should also mention that by now the human race seems to have evolved into the typically cute looking Manga style that usually follows hand in hand with a Japanese RPG.
A group of ships set off together to start the explorations but as you are about to come out of warp something of course goes wrong. You crash land on a planet which you have to explore with your two main characters, Edge and Reimi, who seem to have some teenage love-hate relationship going on which neither of them are willing to admit to. Call me psychic but I have a feeling we might see these two end up as a couple by the end of the game. You start off by exploring the area, which in my case means looking for hidden chests, only interrupted by battles with the planets creatures. After a lot of running around and a lot of combats you finally come across one of the other missing ships. This is also where you will encounter your first Boss and you are given your first clue to what might have happened to the other ships and the creatures that you come across. It is also here that you are introduced to an alien race that, unknown to most humans, have been working in an alliance with us. After killing your first Boss you return to the main spaceship with your newly found friend, Faize, and your newly discovered knowledge which Iâ€™m guessing will be the main thing that we will have to explore as we follow the storyline through the game. After this your main character Edge is put in charge of his own spaceship and we set off in search of other planets and to gain further knowledge.
As the game progresses you will encounter a lot of creatures that you will have to fight in the usual RPG battle style. At first I button bashed my way through these battles but this soon became tiresome. I decided to spend a few minutes looking into how the different characters fight and what skills were available to them. This is well worth doing as it will make the battles a lot better and I suppose also enables you to play the game the way it is meant to be played. Each character has a list of a 100 different trophies that can be achieved by doing different things during battle. You can see the first 15 or so for each character but most of them are secret until you manage to unlock them. It is important to fight as all the different characters if you want to unlock the achievements for the different battle trophies. As you fight the different creatures you will gain knowledge on them which can be displayed in the creature screen and the same goes for weapons. You will also learn how to create items from things that you collect during your battles and explorations. Amongst these items that you can invent are weapons or food that can heal or cure you or improve your battle skills.
I have to say that game was not exactly what I thought it would be, which was a good thing really. There is plenty here to explore and hours and hours of game play to keep you busy and entertained. The game however also has some annoying issues in my humble opinion. Some of the dungeons that you have to explore seem unnecessarily big and if you, like me, do not like to miss any chests or drops from kills, can take a while to complete. The most annoying thing however is the kid that joins you a couple of hours into the game. She speaks in a silly baby voice that gets on your nerves after about 5 seconds by ending almost every sentence with the word, â€œkay?â€.
I am not sure Star Ocean: The Last Hope is a game I would return to over and over again in the future. However â€“ there should be plenty value for money here for someone who enjoys the standard JRPG game style, â€œkayâ€?
|Name||Star Ocean: The Last Hope|
|Release Date||5th June 2009|
|Age Rating||12 years and over|