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Star Ocean

SQUARE ENIX photo
The market is moving on
There comes a point in every console's life cycle where we all collectively decide the party is over. Some people start filing out around midnight. Others will disappear later on. Eventually it's just one guy trying to keep t...

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It's not a mobile game factory just yet
Back when word broke regarding Tri-Ace's acquisition at the hands of mobile group Nepro Japan, the early speculation was the studio's days making games for consoles were over. Then, just a couple months later, Square Eni...

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SO5 producer on how new game came to be
During an interview with Destructoid today, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness producer Shuichi Kobayashi intimated the series was in a state of upheaval after the launch of Star Ocean 4. Kobayashi told me "nobody would ...

Star Ocean I&F photo
Star Ocean I&F

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness coming to NA, EU


Longest, subtitle, ever.
Jun 16
// Jed Whitaker
Square Enix and tri-ace Japan announced Star Ocean Integrity and Faithlessness is getting localized for the North American and Europe, and the combat looks to be real-time focused with a target for a constant 60 frames-p...

Star Ocean 5 photo
Star Ocean 5

Take a closer look at the gorgeous Star Ocean 5


Premier screenshots show off characters, environments, and more
Apr 19
// Kyle MacGregor
Square Enix recently unveiled Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, the latest entry in the company's intergalactic role-playing game series, but details on the title have been pretty scarce.  We know it's in developm...
Star Ocean 5 photo
Star Ocean 5

Star Ocean 5 has been officially announced


It's off to space we go
Apr 14
// Laura Kate Dale
Star Ocean 5 is a real thing coming to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, Square Enix announced in the latest issue of Weekly Famitsu. According to Kotaku, who we graciously credit these image scans to, the game is be...
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Square Enix

Square Enix teasing what might be Star Ocean 5


Oh the outrage if it isn't
Apr 13
// Joe Parlock
Whoever handles marketing at Square Enix really has a thing for annoyingly vague and slowly updating teasers, don’t they? After its teaser campaign for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided went fantastically wrong and info about th...
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Star Ocean

Star Ocean social RPG in the works for iOS and Android


Yay?
Jul 21
// Kyle MacGregor
Square Enix is taking one of its venerable franchises in a new direction with Star Ocean: Material Trader. A social role-playing game, the forthcoming title will eschew the series' traditional roots in favor of a card-based e...
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Star Ocean The Last Hope: International trailer for PS3


Dec 21
// Dale North
The new and improved international version of Star Ocean: The Last Hope is headed to the PS3 next year. Square Enix wants you to be happy about it all fitting on one Blu-ray disc, which I guess I am. This version has both Ja...
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Star Ocean and Nier Replicant confirmed for PS3


Sep 15
// Jim Sterling
Star Ocean: The Last Hope has been confirmed for PS3, coming to Blu-ray after a year of Xbox 360 exclusivity. The latest in tri-Ace's sci-fi RPG series will release in Japan on February 4, 2010. Also confirmed for PS3 is Nier...
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Rumortoid: Star Ocean: The Last Hope coming to PS3?


Jul 28
// Colette Bennett
I thought Star Ocean: The Last Hope was a pretty solid entry in the JRPG genre, and I have to admit I did enjoy playing an RPG in a space setting rather than the usual modern fantasy universe. The game was 360 only though, le...

Destructoid review: Star Ocean: The Last Hope

Mar 11 // Colette Bennett
Star Ocean: The Last Hope (Xbox 360)Developer: tri-AcePublisher: Square-EnixReleased: February 24th, 2009MSRP: $59.99 Take a few moments to watch the opening sequence of The Last Hope before pressing the A button and getting your game started, and you'll surely feel you are in for nothing less than a grand adventure. It all begins a few centuries before the first Star Ocean, placing you in the role of Edge Maverick (a name even Iceman and Goose would have been proud of), your typical young spiky-haired kid trying to find his place in the world after World War III effectively destroyed the planet we know as Earth. I know, you can feel the cliche coming already, can't you? The truth of the matter is, at first (and for the first five or six hours), The Last Hope feels like a solid entry into the RPG genre, but it also feels generic in that way that too many RPGs do these days. The interaction between Edge and his childhood friend, Reimi Saionji, for instance, points in a direction that we've traversed many times before, and I found myself wondering if the descent into boredom was inevitable regardless of how good the gameplay itself might be. Call me crazy, but I need a good story to keep me hooked.  If you stick with it though, you'll find there's enough reward there to keep you interested, especially as your party grows and their interactions become more engaging. Speaking of your party, you will meet quite a few people on your travels who will join you, allowing you to make a pretty varied party whenever you want. Also worth mentioning is the fact that you can switch out between these characters in battle and actually play as all of them, and you have something on your hands that's a little cooler than toting around a cast of characters you can't truly play as. Speaking of battle, the way you level your characters in Star Ocean games is a little different from the usual grind. To engage in an encounter, you actually have to touch an enemy on the field (and if you choose not to fight something, for example, you can just run away and let the beast chase you until it tires and throws in the towel). Once you engage, you find your party on a circular field in which you can actively move. A click of the shoulder buttons allows you to jump from character to character in a flowing and seamless fashion. Both these things sit incredibly well with me, since the days of forced random battles always take a lot of fun out of RPGs for my personal experience. The Last Hope differs from previous Star Ocean games in that a new fighting technique has been added called Blindside. By pressing certain buttons at a key moment when an enemy is targeting you, you can perform a Blindside move, which means you leap out of the way of your enemy, effectively stunning it and leaving it wide open for you to unload on its ass. I got quickly addicted to Blindsides and found myself trying to perform them on any and everything. There are times later in the game when this technique will be key to winning a battle, so don't skimp on the tutorial when it's teaching you how to use them! Another feature that helps to break up the grind and present a bit more variety to the battle experience is the Battle Board, which is on thefar right side of the screen below the mini map. By satisfying certain conditions in battle such as finishing with a critical hit or defeating multiple enemies at once, you can earn a tile for the board. It's really fun to stack these, and each one you earn gives you a bonus such as a boost to your experience or Fol (money). Along with the Rush Gauge, yet another feature that allows you to fill it up and then unleash extra-powerful attacks in what's called Rush Mode, battle definitely gets an A in my book -- it's just a lot of fun to fight, and it makes grinding feel a lot less like a chore. Hooray for that! Outside of battle, you have a new customization option for your characters called BEAT (Battle Enhancement Attribute Type). This allows you to have certain characters focus on certain things, like becoming an expert at Blindsides or focusing on their special moves instead. This is wholly optional -- if you want to get in there and customize things down to the last degree, you certainly can, but if you want to set character's BEATs and forget about them for the rest of the game, you can do that too. Item creation is back and and is more a world of its own than ever (and one you can choose to participate in or ignore). There's a room on the ship you can go to when you want to create something, and the way it works is that you will have to choose characters who will first go through. Welch returns from Star Ocean: Till The End of Time to assist you, and your groups will have to put their heads together to invent and then create items. You can make a wide range of things (and some of them are quite useless), but keep in mind that this process consumes your party SP, so be careful what you're spending! I found exploring landscapes and dungeons in The Last Hope to be adventurous and engaging, and I even noticed that while in some of the alien ships I actually experienced some feelings of slight discomfort, which I marveled over -- that's how being in an alien surrounding SHOULD feel! I've heard mixed things about the way the game looks, but I thought the landscape especially was beautiful and did an effective job immersing me into the story. Edge also has a sprint feature, which you can use to dart across large expanses of land in no time, helping to keep the boredom of endless travel at bay. For completionists who like to amass large collections of items while playing a game, you're in luck: there is a metric fuck-ton of things to collect in The Last Hope. Battle Trophies return and are always fun to watch pop up onscreen as you complete battles. Spaceship data is something you can also collect by reading books, examining your surroundings, which is a really fun challenge for completionists to take on, along with Monster Collecting. By far the most titanic challenge is Weapon Collection, which includes weapons you make and find in chests, and if you want to complete it you'll have to be brutally diligent to find everything there is to find. If you have played Star Ocean games before, you will be familiar with Private Actions, which allow you to build relationships between your characters. On the ship, you'll have the option of assigning 2 people to each room, which can have a direct effect on how these relationships develop (and can also affect the ending of the game). I love this option and feel spoiled on it thanks to the Persona games, so I'm thrilled to see it here, even though it's only a small part of the game. Be warned, however: if you choose the "sleep until arrival" option when traveling to a new planet, you can miss out on many of the opportunities to build the relationships, so stay awake! Some of the only complaints I have about the game are little things, like the fact that I feel like my emotions are being manipulated because of certain storytelling tactics the game implements, and I wish that developers could reach beyond these things and attempt a bit more creativity. The biggest example of this is Lymle, the young girl you meet on a planet called Triom who will become a part of your party. While she is adorable, her use of the catchphrase "kay?" at the end of her sentences and her overly childlike behavor (she is fifteen, but could be mistaken for nine or ten) make her borderline cliche all on her own. Must there always be a child in your party? Is there another way to make us feel and care for the characters then using this cheap tactic? She isn't an unlikeable character, but rather an example of an element in RPGs I personally don't care for. As a whole, The Last Hope is well crafted and presents a huge adventure for you to lose yourself in. With everything from solid dungeons to exciting battles and sidequests, the game has a ton to offer for your buck and stands as a worthwhile entry in the genre. If you're looking to have a groundbreaking new RPG experience it probably isn't the game for you, but otherwise I think it'd be a great addition to any collection. Score: 8.5 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)  
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Ah, another day, another RPG. It's easy to feel that way with all the genre's releases as of late (and it makes me a bit nostalgic for the days in which I would patiently wait through the months between releases), but Star Oc...

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New Star Ocean scans with anime stylings included (for now)


Feb 10
// Colette Bennett
I'm not sure if the news of the change to less "anime" faces in Star Ocean 4 turned any of you off enough to keep you from buying the game when it comes out, but if that type of thing doesn't bother you, you may wan...
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New Star Ocean IV trailer shows off ridiculously lovely characters


Feb 06
// Colette Bennett
I know I won't win any fans with this guilty admission, but I have never played a Star Ocean game. Of course, seeing screens of the upcoming Star Ocean IV have made me think I might be playing my first one very soon, and the ...
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Longest Star Ocean: The Last Hope ad ever


Feb 06
// Dale North
If you think you're drowning in advertising with the Star Ocean: The Last Hope ads you're seeing all over this fine network of Web sites, you ain't seen nothing yet.The above picture shows an escalator of Square Enix advertis...
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The battles in Star Ocean: The Last Hope are nuts


Feb 03
// Dale North
Oh my God. What the hell is going on here. When I started watching a few videos found by Siliconera of Star Ocean: The Last Hope gameplay, I expected a bit of craziness in the battle scenes, but I didn't expect blinding chao...
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Who cares if the last Star Ocean sucked: this new one looks f'n awesome


Jan 29
// Dale North
A guy trying to touch a girl while she sleeps. Super busty elf with laser staff. And a dumb anime bitch leaning in to get her head bit off by a domesticated velociraptor in a spaceship (above)? Wow, the new Star Ocean looks f...
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More 360 bundles dumped into Japan, now with Resident Evil 5 and Star Ocean 4


Jan 06
// Nick Chester
I guess Microsoft thinks if they keep dumping Xbox 360 bundles onto Japanese consumers, sooner or later one is going to take, right? Well, I'd say that the Star Ocean 4 bundle -- which hits stores on February 19 -- has a pret...
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I just had an RPG-gasm over this Star Ocean: The Last Hope trailer


Dec 17
// Dale North
[video]115009:898[/video] You don't work here, so you wouldn't know, but I do, and I feel like my co-workers are hostile towards role-playing games and the people that enjoy them. They don't like that "numbers come out o...
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Star Ocean: Second Evolution pushed back


Nov 24
// Brad Nicholson
Today, Square Enix announced that the PlayStation Portable remake of Star Ocean: The 2nd Story has been delayed. Thankfully, the delay isn’t all that bad – it’s simply a matter of weeks. The new shipping dat...
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Star Ocean: First Departure for PSP coming to Europe


Aug 21
// Jim Sterling
I tend to play on my handheld systems more than my consoles these days, so I'm always interested when something for the PSP hits. I may have hated that Godawful PS2 Star Ocean, but news of the first of the series arriving as ...
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Star Ocean: The Last Hope announced for 360


Jun 10
// Joseph Leray
Details are few and far between (aren't they always) but Star Ocean: The Last Hope was announced yesterday at a Japan-only Xbox 360 press conference. World War III has ruined Earth, and humanity has jumped ship in search of...
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Star Ocean 4 is a prequel, plus more game details


Apr 02
// Dale North
While Japan is just now seeing the release of Star Ocean 2 for the PSP (we're still waiting!), a few more details on Star Ocean 4 come to us by way of Famitsu.The latest issue of Famitsu says that Star Ocean 4 is actually a ...
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Star Ocean: Second Evolution hits Japanese PSPs in April


Feb 02
// Dale North
My stomach has flopped over with insane jealousy; I'm actually sick with envy. We've known about the PSP remake of the PlayStation classic RPG for some time now, but  being able to poke around Square Enix's newly launche...
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Square's Jump Festa yields Star Ocean 4 trailer


Dec 27
// Colette Bennett
Square's recent Jump Festa event presented the public with many new goodies to ogle, the new Star Ocean 4 trailer being one of them. The trailer follows the two usual credos of Square previews: it's immaculately gorgeous and ...
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Star Ocean: Eternal Edition PSP pics are here


Nov 02
// Colette Bennett
Ah, Square-Enix, destroyer of wallets. Another limited PSP you know we will buy. They stop at nothing to rape us of our every dollar and leave us shamed and crying in a corner, I swear. The Star Ocean: Eternal Edition bundle ...
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Star Ocean: First Departure limited edition PSP bundle coming


Oct 06
// Dale North
You know that Star Ocean: First Departure game I've been raving about? Now it looks like the game will get its own fancy-pants PSP limited edition bundle in Japan.Follwing the trend of other Japanese-only Square-Enix console/...
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Star Ocean: First Departure screens and video emerge


Oct 05
// Dale North
At last month's Tokyo Game Show, I got my hands on Square-Enix's Star Ocean: First Departure for the PSP. I wanted nothing more than to show you how wonderful the game looked, but Squeenix had me on camera lock down, and the...
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Star Ocean 4 news extravaganza: Web site, scans, exclusivity and more


Sep 09
// Dale North
Japanese console RPG fans rejoice, as you are not alone in this corrupt world of casual gaming and first-person shooters (no offense to those lost souls). Worry not, as one of your brethren is here with the Good Word... the g...

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