Sep. 28th, 2016

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 Last night, I added one more Star Ocean title to my belt of games defeated. That leaves me 3 of 3 - yes, I'm counting Blue Sphere, even though it was a Japanese, Nintendo Gameboy release only. I do hope it eventually gets released to a system here in the U.S., be it the PlayStation system (preferable) or the XBox system.

So let's do a real quick recap on the games in the Star Ocean series.

Star Ocean: A Space Odyssey - Super Nintendo, Japan only
Star Ocean: Second Story - Playstation
Star Ocean: Till the End of Time - Playstation 2
Star Ocean: First Departure (Game One re-release) - Playstation Portable
Star Ocean: Second Evolution (Game Two re-release) - Playstation Portable
Star Ocean: The Last Hope - XBox 360; Playstation 3*
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness - Playstation 3 (Japan only); Playstation 4

* - I consider the Playstation 3 version to be a slight variant. Same gameplay overall but with different coding and different ways to do item creation.

Star Ocean 5 remains a bit of a disappointment on the overall scale. Right now, for me, it doesn't even warrant a second play-through, but, because I do know I missed a few things along the way and kept running through various scenes, I will probably start a second one to do what I missed and to better get to know the characters. Well, at least to the best of my abilities, that is. Again, the gaming is very straightforward. I spent an hour the other day just on triggering private actions alone, which got tedious, but I did it to unlock a role.

Of the characters we get - there's only seven instead of the eight, like in SO3 and SO4 - I have to say I like Fidel, Victor, and Emmerson the best. Not in the yaoi sort of way, either. I have a hard time envisioning Fidel with anyone at this point, including Miki, who is very obviously crushing hard on him. (Which leads me to be really annoyed with her all over again.) 

Also, at the same time, I don't want to envision pairings. Rather, if I were to start writing fanfiction for SO5, I'd want to explore the characters on their own and delve into what could make them unique. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against Anne or Fiore or even Relia. If anything, as female characters go, they're interesting and unique, which seems to be standard for non main female characters for Star Ocean. 

I will say this about defeating the game. I ran into something that really made my heart leap for joy, something I will not be giving away just yet. That would be a spoiler for those who haven't played the game, and, quite honestly, no one likes spoilers.

I will say this: This particular twist is not something that comes up in a cutscene. You absolutely MUST defeat the game and get through the end credits to see it. (For those who know what I'm talking about, please take your thoughts to the comments so we can discuss it without potentially spoiling it for others who have not played the game and want to or who are playing the game but haven't defeated it yet. Thanks!)

So. Do I recommend Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness for Star Ocean fans who have not played the game?

The answer?

Yes.

While the time was not taken to develop a more complex and intriguing storyline and character development is sorely lacking, there ARE elements in this new game which expand upon the Star Ocean universe and add an interesting dynamic, ESPECIALLY where SO3 is concerned.

With that said, have a lovely Wednesday, my fellow Star Ocean fans. I'm going to do what I can to resume playing Star Ocean 3. That's the game I truly want to play right now. Until the next time!

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