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Star Ocean: First Departure - Sony PSP

Platform : Sony PSP
Rated: Teen
4.3 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews
Metascore: 74 / 100
74

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  • 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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Product Description

Product Description

Star Ocean: First Departure chronicles mankind's journey into space and the adventures that await them there. Space Date 346: The crew of a Terran Federation ship arrives on the planet Roak. With the help of a stalwart band of local heroes, the crew must work together to unravel a mystery and halt a galactic war. This release marks the first time that the initial installment in the popular STAR OCEAN franchise is available in North America.

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Thanks to Square-Enix, the original Star Ocean has finally made it to the United States in the form of Star Ocean: First Departure. A PSP remake of Star Ocean, which was never released in the U.S., First Departure adds several new elements, including all new backgrounds and a tweaked battle system, while still preserving the exciting storyline and themes of the original.



Star Ocean: First Departure has been given new artwork and animated cut-scenes. View larger.


Enter battle with basic melee attacks, special arts, or spells View larger.


In battle, you can control a character while the AI handles your teammates. View larger.
Back to the Beginning
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.


Product Details

  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B001CM62UM
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4 x 0.5 inches ; 3.2 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: October 21, 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,247 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By AlexJouJou TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 16, 2009
All told I logged a lot of hours into this game. I sincerely enjoyed it! I always give my perspective which is a 42 year old Mom who just got into gaming about 2 years ago. This is the first RPG I bought for my new PSP.

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).
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Pros:

+Well done cutscenes
+Visually stunning
+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

Cons:

-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.
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I played this on a ROM some time ago when DeJap released their translation patch. I loved it, just thought it needed some polishing. And, honestly, I couldn't be more impressed. I thought the systems in the second Star Ocean were some of the best I've ever seen in an RPG, despite the learning curve, and this game is basically Star Ocean done in the style of the Second Story. I couldn't be happier. The game is beautiful, the environments look fantastic. I always thought the original was a little cramped, and now the areas are much, much larger. The storyline isn't the most original, by any means, but it's pretty good for standard RPG fare, and the characters and events have a nostalgic charm that really reminds the player of the classic 16 bit RPGs of yore. The item creation and skill systems, as well as Private Actions, have been updated to the depth of the second game and really add that little something that set The Second Story apart from its contemporaries. All I have left to say is I can't wait for the release of Second Evolution.
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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 copyright conflicts at the time. The game would do well enough to warrant the release of its three successors for the NES thanks to Enix’s American branch having opened since the release of the franchise’s initial title, although in 1995, the branch closed, sending North America into a dark age in terms of the Dragon Quest franchise and other titles such as the tri-Ace developed Star Ocean for the Super Famicom. Over a decade later, when Sony’s PlayStation Portable saw release, Square-Enix released an enhanced remake of Star Ocean entitled Star Ocean: First Departure, providing a solid experience American gamers initially missed out on.

First Departure features randomly-encountered real-time battles with up to four characters participating, one of which the player controls while the A.I. controls the other, with a variety of starting formations and A.I. settings available in the menus. Fighters such as protagonist Roddick can string up to three regular attacks together when assaulting the enemy, and can equip two MP-consuming abilities. Victory yields experience and money for all characters, with level-ups occurring sporadically, in which case leveling characters receive Skill Points the player can invest into various innate skills bought from special shops that dictate things such as stat gains and randomly-increased damage.
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