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After the mildly underwhelming First Departure, I was curious as to what the next Star Ocean game for the PSP would serve up. Alas, it's a great game from a pure gameplay perspective, but the story's a mess, sullying the experience somewhat.
Indeed, there's nothing original about the plot; you have to take down a totally unambiguous tyrant along with a band of merry cohorts. There are some interesting narrative threads sandwiched in there, but it's a shame that the overarching narrative is so uninspired and reminiscent of virtually every RPG or adventure game from the last decade.
Storyline aside, this is a first-rate RPG. The explorative and combat systems are second to none, allowing you to run around in real-time and kill enemies, a system that the Final Fantasy games themselves later adopted. Like other RPGs, there's a party system, and so you're able to play with a variety of characters. This is a very intuitive game that admittedly isn't that hard, but it's pretty lengthy and is extremely satisfying to play.
Visually, the game looks very good, recreating the style and tone of the original Star Ocean games extremely well. Renderings are not the best on the platform, but they look great nonetheless. Aurally, the game is great; it features the excellent soundtrack of Star Ocean 2 (the original game on which this is based) throughout, which is inspiring, epic, and at times also quite moving. The sound effects are solid for combat, too.
Though the premise is lean, the gameplay is amazing, and that's really what matters the most. It's never frustrating to play despite the PSP's control scheme, and if you're looking for a reprieve from the Final Fantasy games, this is a suitable tonic.
Like Star Ocean First Departure I suggested this game for review.
This game is so much better than First Departure, there is something about this one that is so much better and it seems like they have spent more time on it, maybes it's just the story / characters. In this one they feel more dramatic and like you care about them (well some of them). The story is so much better even though it continues from the first one you don't really need to play the first as it's a new story but later in the future than the first and has a character from the first one in it but you can not play him in this one instead you play his son. He has blonde hair and is called Claude however you do not have to play as him in this star ocean you get to pick from 2 characters, the other is a girl named Rena.
I have only played Claude so far, have not played Rena that much yet (spent about 1 hour playing rena). I am going to play the game as her when I get chance as it shows you the story from her point of view and you see things that you could not in Claudes game however from what I have seen they seem very little things but I still want to see them!
Claudes and Renas fates are intertwined, Claude accidently sends himself into a interstellar gateway where he awakens in a forest just outside of Renas village. The locals in this village believe in a legend that one day a hero will come and save them and Rena gets excited thinking you are that hero and then the whole village believe you are, you then find yourself talking your way out of it, trying to explain you are not the hero they are thinking of but you struggle to explain as you can't really tell them where you came from.
The game is a lot faster and more fun than the first one, the first ones ometimes felt like it took forever to level up, though it didn't bother me much but I do prefer this one as it is faster however this one can also be harder at times, some of the boss battles are extremely hard and takes a bit more thinking/planning other than just button bashing.
The last boss was extremely hard at first until I figured out a pattern which involved a lot of button bashing and not keeping still for more than a second, I was actually level 100 when I defeated the last boss and I did not really level up that much.
This game is huge, not doing any side missions I got around 30hours out of this game, if you think of the first game and this game as one that is a whopping 50 hours of storyline without any extras!! and on a portable machine! You really do get your moneys worth when you buy this.
Star Ocean Second Evolution like the first one has amazing anime cutscenes that will impress you, this game has being worked on much more than the first. When you complete it you then unlock other modes (harder modes like on the ps2 version). There is also the other characters story to play, now I have not found this yet but there is apparantly a secret dungeon and I am going to go find this as I think this will be really fun. I know on the ps2 one the end dungeons where really fun and harder than the actual main story!
Continuing the franchise for Star Ocean fans, Star Ocean: Second Evolution for the PSP is an enhanced remake of Star Ocean: The Second Story, and delivers the same epic storytelling and dazzling art style updated for today. Set 20 years after the events of its predecessor, Second Evolution receives special treatment in its PSP incarnation. Gamers can relive the adventure, with fully animated movies, all-new character designs, extra playable characters, fully voiced dialogues and more.