Star Ocean First Departure R is quite an iconic game with it being based on the first game in a rather popular RPG series.
Sadly though we can’t help but feel that it is quite outdated now and the battle system is one of the worst we have ever come across.
We are new to the original Star Ocean game and thus cannot really compare or say much on that regard. Obviously though a lot of it does remain the same since it is only a mere remaster that has practically been ported to newer systems. We do reserve judgement knowing the age of such a game but what we really disliked was as has already been mentioned is the battle system, it is terrible and really frustrating. Unlike a lot of other RPG games this one is not turn based, though it would of perhaps of been better if it had been. Our gripe with the system is with how the npc characters act during combat, they seem to have an obsession with running off into the fight especially when you would rather flee, obviously the end result was that the character would end up dead. There is a formation and team tactic option but none of them stops the character from happily running off to their deaths. Also there is a lot of so called random battles, they are more like constant battles that happen after every few seconds and this can get tiresome especially when you want to just explore the areas at your own leisure.
Perhaps we are just being hypocritical here and as we have not played many of these much older titles, we are not used to them and have become less experienced with them. We will admit we don’t really tend to play many RPG games any more, mainly due to their length and how difficult it is to get immersed into something so long. However, we decided to purchase this game as the newer Star Ocean titles are quite enjoyable and we where a big enough fan of the most recent titles. So we wont lie despite its flaws it was enjoyable to finally experience the first Star Ocean title and the title that gave us the newer versions of the games in the series.
The story is rather basic, perhaps too basic for our liking. You as a member of a young group of friends living out life as per normal end up witnessing the destruction of your home world and one of your friends becoming gravely ill. Basically the world turns to stone and so does its inhabitants, thus due to sheer luck you find yourself aboard a Spaceship and thanks to time-travel your goal ends up being to try and prevent this from happening. To basically save the world.
There are many different side quests to complete and a lot of which will only occur depending on what character is in your team at the time, warning speaking of characters you are limited to having only 6 different party members and there are more than 6 available to have at any given time. Thus, you will end up missing out on some of these characters so pick wisely and don’t be afraid to say farewell to someone who may just end up being a more permanent party member in the future. So yes there is a lot of missable content within this game.
OVERALL: We can appreciate such an old title and come to the conclusion that back in the day it was enjoyable and unique. However, if you are new to the game like we where, having no previous experience of the original Star Ocean game whatsoever, then don’t go in expecting much from it and keep your expectations low. It isn’t as in-depth as say an old Final Fantasy title and its story certainly does not match such a series neither. Though in reality Star Ocean never really did get the same treatment or was even regarded as being as popular neither. For its day it would of been fun but in our opinion and in this day and age it sadly was not a game for us in the end, though we did manage to beat it, replaying it again is highly doubtful
Developer: Square Enix / Publisher: Square Enix Release Date: December 2019 Platforms: PS4, Switch Genre: Action RPG Main Story Length: 30-40 Hours Platinum Trophy Length: Platform Reviewed On: PS4 Pro Overall Rating: 3/5
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