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Forums > Submission Feedback > honestgamer's Star Ocean: First Departure review

This thread is in response to a review for Star Ocean: First Departure on the PSP. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: December 01, 2008 (10:32 AM)
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I have the SNES translation of this game on my computer and own 2 and TtEoT and you touched on one of the biggest issues I have with this series. You have yourself this awesome galaxy concept where it seems the possibilities should be endless as to what you can do. And then you spend the lion's share of the game in medieval lands. Complete with the whole concept that you can't be corrupting their primitive minds with your advanced technology, so you have to use their sorts of weaponry, so you essentially have a medieval game with occasional sci-fi segments thrown in. Makes you just wish they'd completely jump into the "Star Ocean" theme. I mean, if random people are going to randomly land on planets, why can't they occasionally land on one from ANY time period that ain't medieval?


I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: December 01, 2008 (11:29 AM)
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I knew I had to mention that because so many people are sick of medieval stuff. Me, I like medieval stuff and this didn't bother me as much as it could have... except from a purely intellectual standpoint. ;-) I knew it would really bug some people, though, so fair warning seemed a necessity.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: darketernal
Posted: December 01, 2008 (12:01 PM)
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Well, the second game does sort of force you into such a scenario.


Idemo do dna....tugo ti i ja.


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Author: jerec
Posted: December 01, 2008 (02:15 PM)
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I remember in Till the End of Time, being on that one medieval planet for so long, I'd actually forgotten the sci-fi beginnings of the game. Going back and forth through dungeons trying to find what the engineers needed for their weapon... and then you're hurtling through space and into a very strange plot twist.


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: December 01, 2008 (04:12 PM)
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Jerec
Yeah, I've made it that far. I think I stalled in the tower after you beat the smarmy guy on the entry floor. There are really tough spider-like enemies that kill me a lot. I read in a FAQ that this is one of a handful of areas where you really shouldn't fight many battles. I'm a little too stubborn for that. Which might explain why it's been a year or so since I've played it. One day, I'll get back to it and (hopefully) finish it off.


I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: December 02, 2008 (11:46 AM)
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Wow, this is a remarkably solid review. Reviews of RPGs can be very difficult, because an RPG has so much to focus on, which is the same reason I think that RPGs have a tendency to receive lower scores than other genres. I mean, if you're playing Tetris, there's not much to criticize. As long as they get the falling and stacking right, it's gonna be hard to give the game anything lower than an 8.

But in an RPG, you've got to combine good combat with good visuals with good setting with good story...

Ah, yes, story. Story is the RPG's main cannon. The trump card that it so often uses to best the sum of its faults. The lesser trump card is the graphics, though this isn't utilized so much by RPGs in general as it is mostly used by Square Enix (which does an addmitably amazing job in this regard).

Anyways, I got off track there for a moment. The point was, I think you tackled this review very well, immediately picking out the salient points that can make StarOcean a great experience. What's even better is that you highlight how this same items can break the game. I love reviews like this, because rather than just bitch or cheer, they actually give you a set of criteria to look at: "do you enjoy this? Then you'll enjoy this game."

Interesting that the real time "Tales of..." Battle system seems to be the new Turn Based system, as far as how often it's used in RPGs today. I'm not neccesarily complaining, I think RT beats the hell out of the turn based. And I enjoyed it a lot in what I played of Radiata Stories. Again you did a good job of evaluating the system in this review, pointing out its repetitiveness, which really is the bane of ANY combat system.

Another thing that interested me was the item combination, and another point goes to you here, for discussing how it will appeal more to casual gamers than hardcore fans of item combo.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: December 02, 2008 (12:05 PM)
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Thanks for the kind words. If there's any type of game where I'm able to offer an expert opinion, it's console RPGs. I've played through an astounding number of them, particularly the classics. That leaves me able to at least comment intelligently, which I tried to do here. The main thing I don't like about my own review is its length. I try to stay between 1000 and 1200 words, but this one was more in the 1400 to 1500 range. Still, there's not really anything I'd happily cut, so I had to let it be what it wanted to be. I am disgusted that the average word count in my reviews seems to be creeping upward again, though...


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: December 02, 2008 (12:55 PM)
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I need to start paying attention to my own review length, actually. I'm going to start setting a limit for myself. I like limits. They force us to get creative.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: December 03, 2008 (12:03 PM)
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This might sound weird, but I've found the occasional Atari 2600 review I do does wonders in helping me keep my overall length down. Just because those are all in the 2-3 KB range AND I'm basically saying everything humanly possible about the game. So, when I'm writing a longer review, it seems when I hit the 6-7 KB range or so, I start feeling like I'm just rambling because the review seems "huge". That has really helped me in finding ways to condense things and make my points without saying too much.


I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: December 03, 2008 (12:31 PM)
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I like to ramble.

Everything I say has worth!


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: December 03, 2008 (12:46 PM)
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But not ALL of us can be Emp. We have to find ways to compensate.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: December 03, 2008 (01:14 PM)
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[This message was deleted by an HG moderator.]


I don't have to boost my review resume because I have a real resume.


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