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Star Ocean: First Departure - Sony PSP
- Highly anticipated PSP remake of the original Star Ocean that was never released in the United States
- Classic RPG action with private actions that alter the outcome of future actions
- Enhanced game play and more dynamic battle features, as well as new playable characters
- New artwork and animation make for beautiful backgrounds and cut-scenes
- Item creation system and skill system allow for character development throughout the story
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It is Space Date 346, and in a sleepy town on the planet Roak, defense-force members Roddick, Millie, and Dorn are on yet another dull patrol when a mysterious plague begins turning people to stone. Fortunately, Ronyx and Ilia, members of a Terran Alliance reconnaissance mission, beam down to the surface just in time. They explain that the plague is actually a biological weapon, and they take the defense-force to the space vessel to discuss how to save Roak from this mysterious attack.
The majority of this role-playing game (RPG) actually takes place in the past, because the party realizes that the only way to save the people of Roak is to collect a particular genetic sample from the Roak of old. The game play of First Departure is fairly traditional RPG that has you moving about the world map on your journey, traversing towns and dungeons, progressing the plot as you go.
Choose the Right Strategy
You enter battle either using basic melee attacks, special arts that require MP points and that can grow more powerful with use, or spells that also require MP points but take time to cast and can be interrupted before completion.
Tactics let you set strategy commands for your characters before they enter battle and can be changed in the middle of battle. All characters will fight according to their set strategy, with different situations requiring different strategies.
Private actions are sometimes offered as a character approaches a town on the world map. These private actions depend on timing as well as which characters you have with you as you enter town.. The outcome of these private actions will affect subsequent private actions, for better or worse.
All New Artwork and New Characters
Star Ocean: First Departure uses a slightly altered version of the engine used for Star Ocean: The Second Story, but with many similar features. However, the pre-rendered backgrounds and 3D battle fields have been given new artwork and animated cut-scenes, and new playable characters have been added.
First Departure has been given a much more dynamic battle system, letting you control a character while the AI handles your teammates. During battle, characters can move freely about the field, executing normal attacks with the X button, and performing special attacks with the L or R triggers. What's more, you can switch characters at any time with a quick press of the Circle button.
First Departure also features an item creation system that lets you create new weapons and items to help you in battle, and an extensive skill system for developing your character as you play. You can boost certain party attributes, spending SP on skills to increase your fighters' speed in battle, for example, or spend points that develop your item creation ability and raise your character's strength.
Top Customer Reviews
This game is outstanding at easing you into gameplay and "tutoring" you in how to play. You won't be lost and it is not difficult to figure out where to go and what to do. I thougth the graphics were great and the characters well done. The music was good--perhaps a bit understated but it did work with the game.
I loved the story--I found it very well paced with some twists I didn't see coming as well as a bit of romance. That was a nice surprise for me and actually made my enjoyment a bit higher. I play a lot of rated E RPG that don't have any form of romance or character relations so this was a nice change. It is not major (this is not an M rated title) but its presence, for me, was quite fun.
I liked the battle system and the skill points and specialties you could develop. Unlike in some other RPG making the effort to learn these and do things like customization or cooking can actually make a HUGE difference. I spent hours doing the blacksmithing to get good armor and customizing my weapons. It added quite a bit to the game.
The only tedious thing is backtracking and random battles. However they are par for the course in most of the RPG's I play and I'm used to them now. I think the level of difficulty was light to moderate. I found the Second Evolution game a bit more difficult starting out--so I would class this one as especially perfect for a new RPG person or someone who is more of a casual gamer. I didn't get too many game over's (only due to my own stupidity LOL).Read more ›
+Well done cutscenes
+Fun gameplay and mechanics
+Fairly good storyline
+There are various ways for the story to unfold
+Tons of custimization, side quests and secrets
+Well developed characters
-A little too easy, which some may not enjoy as much as others
-A lot of exposition throughout the game
-The voice acting can grate on the nerves
In Japan, a little company called Enix (now Square-Enix) crafted an RPG called Star ocean where it was released on the Super Famicom in 1996. Star Ocean never made it to US shores. However, American gamers were able to play Star Ocean: The Second Story, which became a cult classic in 1999 and later Star Ocean: Till the End of Time in 2004. Now we have a chance to play the first Star Ocean and see just where those elements came from.
Star Ocean is probably best known as being one of the RPGs which really brought Science Fiction to the RPG realm. On the planet Roak, there is a disease that is turning the denizens of the world to stone. In an attempt to rescue his friends and family and his world from this disease, Roddick and company must travel through time and space to locate the origins of the disease to find a cure. The story itself may seem somewhat dated by today's standards, but it still manages to be really good. Particularly because its got a lot of heart and a fairly good cast of characters. The story is told through traditional text boxes and from time to time through some really well done animated scenes.
If there was any problem with Star Ocean's story, it would be that there's just too much exposition in some areas. There's a lot of dialog and a lot of talking, even for a JRPG.Read more ›
The cut scenes and voice acting are done well for a portable game and add to the game. The battles are real-time, but felt less tactical than Tales of Phantasia did. Battles were still fun. The AI for the other 3 characters in your party is pretty weak but workable. I fought with the primary hero (Roddick) for the entire game except the final boss. I had to take over Millie (the healer) because she didn't know how to keep the party alive and just let the AI beat down the boss.
It's a shorter game compared to most rpg's out these days, which was a good thing for me. I explored and did a lot of minigames/sidequests and finished it in 25 hours or so. Personally 25-30 hours is nearly perfect for me. The story progresses at a nice pace until the end where it feels rushed...but it all works.
My favorite part of the game was the skill system where you customize your characters abilities. There is a lot you can do to customize your party.
All in all, it was the perfect into for me into the series as I know Star Ocean 2 is a longer game. I will play through this one again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was a little worried about playing this but once I meet the cute boy Roddick I had to know his story. I loved it.Published 5 months ago by missoperaghost
I am so glad they remade this game for PSP I have been wanting to play this since I played Star Ocean the Second Story on PS1 ages ago and finally I can. Read morePublished 14 months ago by imaprettygnome
This was actually the first game I bought for my PSP, but I really did love it. I spent about 30 hours beating it and enjoyed every hour of it. Read morePublished 14 months ago by James Simmons
I love this game. It has been a while, since I played it, but, it is well worth the purchase. The seller was great, and, fast with shipping it to me.Published 14 months ago by Shahannah
Once upon a time, Nintendo of America localized the very first installment of Enix’s Dragon Quest series for the Nintendo Entertainment System, retitling it Dragon Warrior due to... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Jeremy Michael Gallen