Customer Reviews: Star Ocean: The Last Hope International - Playstation 3
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on February 22, 2010
Star Ocean has been a long running franchise that many RPG fans appreciate; this being said how is the game overall?

-Xbox360 vs. PS3-
Notable differences on the PS3 version:
+ Do not need to disc swap, since everything is on one disc.
+ Includes Japanese vocals as an option.
+ Able to switch between menu layout Classic (Original JP Menus with the Animated dialog boxes) and the CG (NA/EU version of the menu, which was all done in CG, but lost the Anime feel and the portrait on dialog boxes).
+ Includes additional characters.

-I never played Star Ocean how does this fare with the storyline?-
Star Ocean: The Last Hope (aka Star Ocean 4) Has very minor relevance within the other three Star Ocean games, each game are not direct sequels so each game is independent of each other and you will not be missing anything at all if you haven't played the previous ones.

-How does the battle fare?-
Just like all other Star Ocean, you control the leader of the party and able to set the other 3 on auto while having the ability to switch between each character.

-Difficulty and depth of the game?-
The game itself can be challenging, since some of the bosses are rather difficult, I believe this is a good thing just because a lot of RPGs these day are just dumb downed. The depth of the game is amazing, also unlike other RPGs there are tons of character interactions and details required to achieve specific endings for the game. Yes this RPG requires you to grind a bit for levels and skills, but people tend to complain about this aspect of the game; honestly I think RPG gamers have been spoiled over the years. Back in the days when players spent hours and hours unlocking secret weapons of leveling for boss fights since they were too hard, I find that enjoyable instead speed running through the game not requiring to grind or skills. So if you like a challenging RPG, this would be a good bet (Nothing as challenging as Demon Souls of course).

-Length of game?-
If you try to accomplish all the side quests and not speed through the game. The game itself can easily be 80+ hours long.

The game is done very well with nice visual background.

-Should I get this or White Knight Chronicles?-
Both game plays completely different, WKC would have a bigger replay value since majority of the game is online based versus SO is strictly offline. Both games are JRPG based, but some would argue that WKC does not have a great storyline and big character roster list, so if you are looking for a decent character roster and a well developed storyline I would go for SO.

Overall I would say that SO4 is a great game, just like the other SO games in the series. If you enjoy playing the other SO in the series I am sure you will enjoy this. Unfortunately PS3 does not have big list of RPG titles, but if you enjoy RPGs then this would be the game to buy.
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on February 16, 2010
I had never played the original Star Ocean game so I cannot judge based on that issue. However being an Old Guy (53) my desires are different than the younger generation. This is pretty good actually. I like games that make me want to move forward. Find out what is around the next corner. Hot babes maybe, who knows. I rated this a 4 for being fun and 4 overall. I like the interface, (buttons). and the fact it lets you pause in the middle of being destroyed to change your tactics at certain parts of the battle where I DIE!! because some enormous monster destroyed my party and had a good lunch. I like the mapping system to a certain degree. It has repetitive ending battle cut scenes however with these it lets you know how you did during the battle, gives me some numbers. There are lots of fun little things to do on the ship you fly between planets with. Sleep, make meals, etc. (Other than that folks if you like RPG's I don't think you will be disappointed at all. I recommend you buy the strategy guide. STAR OCEAN THE LAST HOPE: INTERNATIONAL Signature Series Strategy Guide (Bradygames Signature Series Guides) Your going to need it to help you plot and plan your strategy throughout the game. For me anyhow the game is worth buying new.
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on February 10, 2010
So this game actually only deserves four stars...but since I know some other moron will post the obligatory "Dis here game iz alredy on teh three-six-zeeero" and give the game a low score I bumped it up to five stars. That should cancel out exactly one dipstick.

On to the game!

Beautiful game. COMES WITH A FREE $(*@)(%! MOVIE!! Holy 'effing mother of Gargonzola the game takes thirty friggen minutes to get going. I know it's supposed to be an epic tale of survival and exploration but I MADE A SANDWICH in the time it took for the game to start. Sure, people joke and say, ", I could have gotten up and made a sandwich in that length of time." Yeah, well, not only did I MAKE the sandwich, I ate the damn thing too. Beautiful movie...but when it came time to move my guy around I looked at the controller with slight distrust. "Hmmm..." Lo and behold the damn game was ready for me to play it! Battle tutorial! AWESOME! Ohh...nice and then I can explore the ship and then...AW F$$%! ANOTHER damn cutscene.

When we FINALLY have control for REAL, the camera is fluid, the controls are accurate (except when I "sprint". I don't know who stuck a N0S bottle up the main character's butt to make him zip forward like that but it's slightly retarded. At least make the damn sprint last longer. I have to keep having my guy make grunting noises like he's plowing the remnants of Thanksgiving dinner through his colon. *sigh*

Combat is very nifty. Again, nothing groundbreaking but this is an RPG for frick's sake, what did you expect? There's a little battle bonus board that you can add to by meeting special conditions in battle. A bonus battle feature where you can sneak around behind the enemy...the name of which escapes me at the moment. DIFFICULTY SETTINGS!!! Very very cool. It's one thing to have a difficult's another to have to get your guys to level 27 before you can fight the first boss. The Japanese are all sadistic, I think. You get used to whacking all this little stuff and THEN comes captain octopus that absolutely spanks your monkey until bananas come out of your ears. So frustrating...and this game avoids those frustrations with an easy button.

The voices...ugh. The obligatory cute asian-looking girl with and tight pants is entertaining for the first five minutes. Then you want to go and grab that stick with a hand on it from the concorde grape-jelly character who runs the item making machine and strangle her with it. The main character dude says the same...damn...thing...every...friggen...battle. You can switch them over to the Japanese voices and laugh at them for awhile...but then it starts to feel like you're in an airport and you've gotta switch back.

Menu can be changed from modern to classic. Modern being what I have heard was available on the 360 and classic being a bright anime/cartooney style. I prefer the anime style personally.

In the end, if you didn't try this on the 360 then I say give it a go. I LOVE RPGs and this one has already provided me with hours of pleasure. Seriously, don't be afraid to buy the game. It's pretty damn good.
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on February 22, 2011
Star Ocean: The Last Hope is a prequel to the Star Ocean Saga. If you have not played any of the previous games then you won't be left behind with the storyline. This makes this installment of Star Ocean very friendly to both die hard fans and new-comer's to the saga.

Star Ocean has always been a great franchise that gave RPG's a nice twist for me. This was the first RPG saga I played which had a really good sci-fi edge to it. This installment is no different having you blast around the galaxy exploring planets, meeting new aliens and cultures etc. Combat in Star Ocean is extremely enjoyable. Battles are encounter based where you have to run into a mob. When you trigger the mob you go into the battle screen w/ almost no load time. Depending on how you ran into the mob (did it hit you from behind? did you run into it from behind, from the side etc) determines the battle mode. Is it a surprise attack by you? by the mob? Perhaps two mobs were close by and the second the first battle finishes you get jumped by more mobs. There is some variety to the battles. Ontop of that, you can earn "bonus" tiles during combat which boost XP, Item drops, SP earned etc. Combat is also real time . Once you are in combat you can control 1 of 4 characters, able to switch toons on the fly, and pretty much map skills and attacks to buttons on the controller. I kind of see the combat system as like RPG meets Hack n' Slash without the button mashing. The nice Sci-fi elements and storyline mixed with a very fun combat system make for a great adventure!!

Without ruining the plot, pretty much humanity is just starting to venture out into the galaxy. This is the first trip being taken by Humanity so a bunch of ships are sent off into deep space to explore and either find planets to colonize / harvest or perhaps even meet some aliens! no shocker, along the way some evil force exposes itself threatening the galaxy! The storyline is a tad cliche but enjoyable . There are also elements in the game that will influence the storyline.. kind of little side events that will gain favor with your crew. More favor you have the more chance you have at viewing certain cut-scenes and getting their true ending. It also adds to their back story a little.

Sound / Graphics
The graphics are not bad at all. This game came out for the 360 originally and was then remastered for the PS3. All in All both versions look identical from the standard view... if you zoom in on objects you'll notice the PS3 has more colorful, detailed map design but the characters themselves are a little faded (especially the eyes). The audio is actually very good in this version. Unlike the 360 version where you had English Dub, this version contains multiple languages including the original Japanese. The English voices weren't bad but... *shiver* some characters were just down right ANNOYING. I played it using Japanese w/ English Subtitles and found the voice acting to be very high quality compared to the English.

Replay Value / Length
The game itself easily kept me occupied well over 50 hours. It was a lot of fun, and once things kicked into high gear I began bouncing between planets to do side quests and all sorts of bonus objectives. Crafting, optional bosses etc. There is plenty of side and end game content to keep you busy for an insane # of hours. I beat the game at level 73; however the level cap is 255 that should tell you just how much stuff is to do on the side (getting to 255 will take quite some time) However, once you beat the game and run through the content there is virtually no reason to revisit this game except if you want to get a Platinum Trophy (might need 2 or 3 runs of the storyline for it). However with well over 50+ hours of gameplay in a single playthrough you are getting great value here.

OVERALL (86% 8.6/B+)
I give Star Ocean: the Last Hope International an 86% (8.6 / B rating) This isn't anything new as the game came out on the 360 a year before this released.
If you never played this game before, or don't own a 360 it is worth picking up now. If you own a 360 and a PS3 the PS3 version is the better version to own actually as I will list below. If you are big into Sci-Fi themed gamed and also love a good RPG this game is def. for you. It will make you feel like you are traveling to distant worlds and exploring the galaxy.

360 vs PS3 editions
the versions are visually identical for the most part (the differences are not worth arguing over) HOWEVER the PS3 version contains many additional perks the 360 version will not
1. Multiple languages (english and japanese) w/ multiple subtitle options
2. Additional content by having new playable characters
3. No need to disk swap (360 requires a disk swapping)
4. New UI layouts. You can pick between a more anime style or CG style. I actually liked the new style over the original as it organized better and text was more legible in my opinion.
5. Revamped crafting system (Fixed exploits in the crafting system and added a few new recipes.... also changed the recipes of the best armor and weapons to avoid being able to craft them really early on)
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on February 3, 2015
Dear god, this game man.

Three months it took me to finish it. And to platinum it'd be like, 7 times as long. Just, hell no. I can't say it wasn't fun -- but the story isn't great, the combat is really, really flawed (no manual targeting? Seriously?) and the only real saving graces are MMO-style quest grinding for completion's sake (and I didn't even get the last couple quests after the game was over, so I still missed the trophy after all that) and the Private Actions which, while not the same as previous games, are still really good. You play this game in three ways basically -- MMO grindfest for quests, Watching soo soo many cutscenes and PAs -- it's basically an anime for the story portions of the game, and then a super-post-game dungeon crawl fest.

And then, if you are insane, you can spend 400 hours grinding battle trophies.

It took me 100 hours to beat the main story, and I don't regret it, but I would never play this game again. Ever.

That said, I can totally recommend playing it once, if you have the time.
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on July 21, 2011
Where to begin? Ahh, I know, the one thing that will immediately turn off gamers! Before you get into this game, be advised that it IS a JRPG and the acting follows that of the typical japanese anime dub over by american actors who just don't cut it. There is however the option to turn on the original japanese dialog track, which may be easier on the ears. I love JRPGs and crappy anime acting (why I don't know) so it doesn't bother me one bit, but sometimes it can take away from the serious overtones the game should have.

That aside, be prepared for a HUGE world. Be prepared to run back and fourth between towns on different planets and be prepared to use the square (dash) button a LOT. The atmosphere that Star Ocean has created is immensively huge, and sometimes it feels as though things are lacking. Don't get me wrong, it is an absolutely beautiful game and looking around will keep you more than entertained while you explore. You can also encounter enemies, harvest materials and mine for materials on the "world map", if that's what you want to call it.

Sprawled throughout the game are specific quests that you will come across, as well as the main story line. The quests are NPC specific and require you to talk to specific NPCs at certain times in the game to get the quests. They are usually simple in nature and are similar to quests in an MMORPG (gather materials, get items from enemies etc). The most rewarding benefit of these quests are the skill points you will aquire, which allow you to level up certain skill sets each character has.

The main story line I will let the amazon description fill you in on, but alas it's alright. I'm not rivited by the story or sucked into the game because of it. All in all the atmosphere and the fun level of gameplay keep me entertained and the story is an added bonus. It's not to say it's a bad story, it's just lacking any real oomph. However, there are aspects of it that are excellently presented that make you wonder if at some point the remainder will be just as good as the scene you just witnessed.

To put things into perspective, I am aiming for getting everything in the game, I am 68 hours into it and only a third of the way through. Probably about half of those hours were spent traveling between places to complete quests. There is no easy warp option, it's you against the world.
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on September 17, 2013
My last idea of Star Ocean was on PS1. Maybe it was just Nostalgia but the game controls and camera options made this game a drag from the get go. I have only played about 3-4 hours or so and it was pretty boring. Check out Final Fantasy if you have not already.
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on November 17, 2014
The brief:

Game Engine -If you're looking for the correlative of "Eternal Sonata", "Kingdom Hearts", "Ni no Kuni -360 real-time-based; "Eternal Sonata", "Vanguard Bandits", "Persian Prince" - 360 turn-based; "Dungeons and Dragons", "Zelda", "Castlevania", "Might vs. Magic" - 2-D-Based; "Adventureland", "The Count", "Treasure Island", "Harpy II" -command-line-based: GET THIS GAME.

Game Engine -If you'd rather play "Warcraft", "The Sims" real-time-based; "The Valkrie Chronicles" -turn-based; "Dead to Rights" or any other action shooters: DO MORE RESEARCH BEFORE PURCHASING.

The story line is more "Mario Brothers" at times and less "Eternal Sonata".
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on June 3, 2012
Despite the very boring Star Ocean 3 till the end of time, I tried 4. To my suprise, this game is almost similar to the Xenosaga series. The story is compelling and the game-play is awesome! The main character is Edge Maverick who becomes captain of a space ship and explore undeveloped planets. At times, you find yourself wondering a massive world, but you always have a map to make it back to the ship. As the game went on, I found myself thinking there was something different about this Star Ocean. I felt that they got deeply emotional with the characters, easily making gamers connect to their favorites. This one is alluring and it is sad at the same time. There is a lot of drama going on in this game that you can only find in Play-Station 1 and 2 RPGs. Before Final Fantasy 13 and 13-2 came out, I thought that was the "IT" game, but I found myself solemnly disappointed. Even though this Star Ocean is part of another gaming series, it seems to be more Final Fantasy worthy. It has easily been swept under the rug and not mentioned much. This game beats Final Fantasy 13 and 13-2 and some of the other new mediocre RPGs in every-way possible. If you are looking for excellent game-play and story-line, go for this one. However, this may not be your type if you don't like space RPGs.

The graphics are at their best, and the setting looks great. It still has a lot of similarities to the other Star Oceans, but in a better way. The characters are not cartoon animated and the battling looks real. You'll also find that the game-play is quite easy to play, also in leveling up. You don't have to know what is going on in Star Ocean 1, 2, and 3 to get a clue for this one, part 4 literally explains itself. Star Ocean 4 is very easy to follow and you will anxiously await answers as you progress further in the game. Some of the environments have a lot of monsters so be prepared for long hours of intense fighting. But the Bosses aren't hard at all in Galaxy level, I found that I beat the game easily with everyone at level 75 and higher (Didn't really train much). Be careful which mode you choose, you may regret it later. And also be prepared to sit, the scenes are long. But you won't find the story-line boring, that's for sure! Once again, the best out of the series. Star Ocean 4 seems to be the first and the last out of the original series with a different feel to it. Very comparable to the Xenosaga and Xenogears series.
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on February 1, 2011
There are not a tremendous number of options when it comes to RPGs on modern consoles. In my opinion, Star Ocean is the best one available on PS3, and perhaps XBOX 360 as well. If you've played previous Star Ocean titles, then buy this one right now. If you've never played one more, just know that you will buying an action packed RPG that blends fantasy and sci-fi seamlessly and beautifully.

The worlds and environments are incredibly designed. The landscapes are beautiful, each planet has its own unique style and atmosphere. The monster design is great, and bosses are menacing. Spell effects are varied and fun to watch, but since battles are real time they do not break the flow of the game.

The voiceover work is done well, but not amazing, and often mouth animations are out of sync with the audio. But overall the game is aesthetically pleasing.

But since this is an RPG, the most important elements are the story and characters. There is a good number of characters, each with their distinct personalities and conflicts. You interact with them between major game phases through "private actions", which are brief cutscenes that expound upon a character's story and relationship with the main character. By exploring all of these actions you will unlock bonus ending cutscenes.

Overall the character design is great. There are plenty of struggles and conflicts that bring life to each of them. On top of that, they all individually add to the overall story and plot. No character is just thrown in out of nowhere. By including them all in the overall story it gives them more life.

The story itself is well done. For the most part everything is explained and concluded. There are very few random "wtf" moments. Since it's sci-fi and takes place in space and on alien worlds, there is a refreshing sense that it is not just another recycled "save the princess story".

On top of the main story, there are many sidequests and collection tasks given to you by shop keepers. These all award you money, experience, and party skill points that are used to boost your skill levels.

The gameplay is very fun. There is a fairly extensive crafting system and a basic gathering system. You can take advantage of these to create truly powerful weapons, but you can also ignore it altogether.

Battles happen in real time. You directly control one character at a time but can switch who you control with the press of a button. Some battles require you to skillfully take advantage of the blindside system, which allows you to dodge attacks and gain a tactical advantage over enemies. There is also a combo system that causes you to do more damage as you string attacks together.

One criticism I have is with the sometimes unpredictable AI of characters you aren't directly controlling. For instance, your entire party may be on the verge of dying but your characters with healing spells will ignore the fact and keep attacking enemies. Often, you need to directly control healers to get through moments of high damage.

For the most part though, fighting never seems to get old. Also, as you fight monsters you gain knowledge of them, which can later be used to convert monster stones into items you can equip. These collections of information will be fun for any perfectionists that must 100% complete any game.

In the end, Star Ocean is a wonderfully made RPG that mixes traditional elements with modern technology, blends sci-fi and fantasy, to deliver a 70+ hour masterpiece.

[...] this is a steal. Buy this game right now.
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