Archive for Star Ocean

Star Ocean: Till The End Of Time Will Be Here Very Soon!!!

Posted in News with tags , , on May 18, 2017 by Rabidgames

Star Ocean: Till The End Of Time will hit the PSN Store in North America and Europe next Tuesday, 23 May. BOOM! Square Enix just released that bombshell out of nowhere, and while the confirmed US price of $21 is not exactly cheap, this great game will be worth it!

Now, in case you don’t know why Till The End Of Time is loved by many JRPG fans, well, how does mixing a great deep and tactical combat system with a part sci-fi/part fantasy story and then turning everything upside down with a big twist in the middle of the game sound?

Rabidgames throws money to the screen: Shut up and take the money already, Square!

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Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness or What a Shame

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , , , , on August 22, 2016 by Rabidgames

Sometimes, games can feel like friends indeed. Some, you’ve known for decades, and some always stay close, some however, grow distant or disappear. And while Star Ocean: The Last Hope was the first sign that this friendship was changing, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness emphasises that sometimes, friendships can be hanging by a thread.

First of all, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness … wow, what a title, right? What poetry, how philosophical. Yet after finishing the game – wow, what a pompous, vain, almost flatulent title! It’s meaningless. Utterly devoid of meaning. Two words combined just because. True, some characters show more integrity than others, but faithlessness? If you look deep, you might find a hint of it somewhere, perhaps. But you could do so with each and every game. For instance, Trevor feels betrayed by Michael in GTA V, or just remember the end of Red Dead Redemption. See? But at the end of the day, it’s a meaningless title.

Sadly, the characters are entirely meaningless and forgettable, too. You have two guys with swords (this time, no teenagers at least), two girls with magic powers, one space dude with a cross-bow or a laser gun (yep, both, and no one seems to care) and a female martial artists fighter, and then, there’s a little girl hanging with you most of the time who is the key to the events of Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness. The problem – there is hardly any character development going on, and the bit that is happening is mostly happening in Private Actions, a series staple that has never felt that meaningless before: You have to circle the hubs to talk to your party members, and mostly, it’s small talk about trivial shit. Perhaps it’s an allegory on how small talk is a waste of time, but come on, it shouldn’t literally feel like you’re wasting your time in the game! Why do them, you ask? Well, after some random Private Actions, new roles can get unlocked. Hooray!

And then, the story of Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is as hollow – there is exactly one nice twist that took Rabidgames by surprise around the middle of the game, but the rest of it is foreseeable, dull and often boring. It doesn’t help most of the cutscenes just is the characters talking in-game, with horrible lip-sync from the 90s and an adjustable camera that hardly captures any emotions or importance.

But hey, there are emotes you can unlock to comment on the things said. No one wanted it, and yet it’s there. 95% of all the cutscenes in Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness are just fluff and too long, and guess what – there is no fucking way to skip them! Honestly, this game expects you to play it several times in different difficulties, but with these shitty cutscenes that last way too long too often, no fucking way!

So, we have a meaningless title, hollow characters, dumbed-down non-skippable cutscenes and a flat story – and the world design is as bad! There are around 10 maps you constantly have to run through back and fort, forth and back and back and forth. The amount of backtracking in Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is utterly ridiculous! The maps are okay though, enemy variety is alright (they change as the story progresses), but graphically, some environments clearly look last-gen. And the handful of hubs aka towns are tiny and lifeless as well. Furthermore, there’s a huge in-game glossary you can read … or you could if it was any useful. (Hint: Assassin’s Creed is the prime example how in-game info can be provided in a humorous way.)

So far so bad. Thankfully, fighting in Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is fun. It’s more Till the End of Time than The Last Hope, but that’s fine. Having up to 7 characters on-screen can be a bit hectic when there’s explosions and flashes all over the screen, but it’s still fun, the kind of fun battle system Star Ocean is known for.

Plus, there is some depth to customising and upgrading your characters’ equipment, levelling up roles and finding out which work well together will keep you busy for hours, and as in every other Star Ocean title, crafting and synthesising are well worth experimenting and satisfying. The game gives you plenty of room to find out many things for yourself, which is a nice change.

The playtime is also alright, albeit a bit short if you’re used to the 100+ hours of the past just for the main story. For RabidgamesStar Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness the clock showed 45 hours when the final boss fell, and there still the obligatory and pretty tough post-game dungeons to explore.

It’s clear by now there are a shitloads of cons and only a few pros when it comes to Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, but it’s still worth checking out if you have an itch for a JRPG; not for the story obviously, but for the gameplay, which keeps things interesting! But unless you’re big fan, don’t buy it for the full price, or you’ll be disappointed.

Rabidgames wonders: After completing the game, it just feels like this friend might get another chance – while times have changed and it falls flat in many regards, you can still see why you wanted to hang around with that friend in the first place. But after two disappointments, it’s now Last Chance Hotel for Star Ocean! Which is a sad thing to say if you once thought you’d love Star Ocean Till the End of Time …

 

E3 2015 should be renamed E-Gasm

Posted in Gaming these days ..., News, The Latest with tags , , , , , , on June 16, 2015 by Rabidgames

In recent years, the E3 was a lukewarm events with maybe Sony poking fun at Microsoft’s thwarted attempt to cripple second hand gaming, or just a couple of games we already knew about anyway. So why would 2015 be different? Or so we thought …

But then, Bethesda started off with the news that Fallout 4 – including building settlements and a crafting system – will be released in November 2015. BOOM! And Dishonored 2 got announced, almost as a side note!

Microsoft was then smart enough to rectify past E3 shenanigans by announcing backwards compatibility, something precious to people like Rabidgames who own 150 or more 360 games. Just the thought of playing Dragon’s Dogma on the One …

So what could Sony offer afterwards? Not much, right? Except announcing Final Fantasy VII – the REMAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The internet exploded. And announcing Shenmue 3 made the explosions even bigger! By the way, the much anticipated yet presumed lost The Last Guardian was mentioned again as well … Furthermore, No Man’s Sky and the action RPG Horizon: Zero Dawn should also be on our watch list.

And then Square … Nier 2, Kingdom Hearts 3, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, Final Fantasy XV, the Final Fantasy VII remake, a new Hitman, a bit of Deus Ex and last but definitely not least, chaotic Just Cause 3 in December!!!

Well, against this power, the likes of EA (well, they told us more about Mirror’s Edge and had Pelé on stage for some inexplicable reason), Ubisoft (a new South Park sounds good admittedly) or Nintendo (erm, Amiibo yay) could only lose out. And they did.

To sum it up, Microsoft is the biggest winner, followed by Sony and Bethesda. But hold on … with all these new games coming out, it’s actually US who win the most. We win because we can finally get to play 360 games on the ONE without having to pay for them again (hint, Sony), and we can choose from a shitload of games across all genres. In the end, gamers, all of us, win. Thanks E3.

As for the rest of the year, we have Batman, Mad Max, Metal Gear Solid V, Fallout 4 and Just Cause 3 to look forward to. Now, we just need the time to play them all …

Rabidgames [DISCLAIMER: Content redacted due to indecent mostly mental images which could be disturbing to the readership.]