GSQ4: The Last Lost Hope

Star Ocean The Last Hope: The Lost Hope
I have tried so hard over the years to like the Star Ocean games, and at every turn I am painfully thwarted by the fact that I completely freaking hate everything about them. I kind of hate tri-Ace games in general, to be honest, despite my best efforts. At least after reading this article I don’t feel quite so much like I’m missing out on something as a result.

11 thoughts on “GSQ4: The Last Lost Hope

  1. “I have tried so hard over the years to like the Star Ocean games, and at every turn I am painfully thwarted by the fact that I completely freaking hate everything about them.”

    Friggin’ tell me about it. Star Ocean’s a series I’ve wanted to like too since it had things like the sci-fi angle, the way battles are handled, and the cooking/item combining stuff, but it’s always been way too repetitive and talky and not sci-fi enough for my tastes. I was disappointed when I just got hurled from some place in outer space into some generic fantasy world; I wanted to go through crazy sci-fi architecture with glowy lights and metal floors, not Generic Fantasy World #758.

    Really, I just want a good sci-fi planet-hopping space jRPG for a change. Star Ocean’s busted and way too talky, Xenosaga’s like a horrible rejected anime series, and while I love the Phantasy Stars they haven’t seen a traditional sequel in a about a decade and a half.

    I still need to try Infinite Space and Rogue Galaxy at some point, though.

  2. Huh. The linearity shouldn’t surprise me, but it’s weird how much FFXIII was blasted for it yet I don’t remember seeing Star Ocean 4 criticized for it at all.

    Anyways, thanks for squashing those lingering temptations to get it on the PS3 when it’s really cheap!

  3. I totally agree with with this whole review, it really is that bad of a modern gen rpg. Star Ocean 2 still holds a place in my heart but the games keep going away from what made that game good.

  4. Dating sims? That makes it sound almost respectable, like he wanted to create the answer to Tokimeki Memorial or something. The way I heard it told, the director wanted to make outright eroge.

  5. Metal Man – I too feel the same about the Star Ocean series – it wouldn’t take much for me to like them, I WANT to like them so bad. Parish said it best up there in his little intro.

    Also, Rogue Galaxy is definitely worth playing. Though there’s still some generic dungeons and ruins and non-sci-fi-ish stuff, it sounds like you would enjoy it. Then there’s always, you know, KOTOR.

  6. I’ve only played Star Ocean 2, but I enjoyed it and I thought the battle system in particular was super fun. I didn’t finish that game, but I often think about revisiting it. And I often cry out ‘TEAR TO PIECES!’ or ‘MY BODY!’ when I’m playing other games.

  7. Eusis- It’s because noone cares about Star Ocean 4. While people may try to hide it, everyone’s looking forward to the new FF game, just to see what kind of crazy ass shit that comes next (well, that’s what I think, anyways) :).

    alexb- I’m kinda embarassed to admit it, but when I think of dating sim RPGs, I think of Persona…well, and Sakura Wars. Well, Persona has more substance than that, but I don’t really know about Sakura Wars.

    So is the storyline of Star Ocean even less bearable than the Grandia games? And you said you hated all Tri-Ace games…does that include the original Valkyrie Profile?

  8. When I say dating sim, I mean it as the Japanese do: Generally assumed to have porn or otherwise skeezy bits here and there along the various routes. The non porn ones are typically those put out on the major consoles and portables, since Sony and Nintendo of Japan have a no tolerance policy* on sex and nudity.

    *With certain first party exceptions in Sony’s case, and some clever methods of dodging neatly around the Sony ban on PSP.

  9. As one of those rare few who have played a Sakura Wars game (specifically, the first one), I can say there actually isn’t any dating in there, unless you want to make a deeply disturbing and weak case for the chapter where you take the little kid to the carnival. It’s just… walk around your base talking to everyone and trying to cheer them up, as it translates into direct bonuses in combat.

    So basically, I’m saying that Sakura Wars is exactly as much of a dating sim as, say, a Bioware game… wait no. There’s no paramour achievement to be had in Sakura Wars, so it’s less so.

  10. I’ve played the first three Star Ocean games, and each time grew frustrated with the stubbornly boring nature of the series and gave up? Who knows why I keep going back, as if I expect them to be different each time?

    I think the worst aspect of the games, beyond the insufferable setting and plot, and the totally broken craft, skill, and combat systems, is that tri-Ace seems to absolutely delight in offering choices – that they then end up making for the player anyway.

    Want this person in your party? Too bad! You already picked someone else, five hours ago! (Star Ocean 1) Or maybe, you didn’t go into a cave that was completely out of your way twenty hours ago, and now they’re gone for good! (Star Ocean 2)

    Want to unlock that shop with all the cool final weapons? Too bad! You should’ve given that couple directions those four times they showed up, hidden away somewhere! Better hope they were the right directions! Too late now anyway! (Star Ocean 3)

    Occasionally, I get a craving to play a decent, classic-style JRPG, so I start playing Star Ocean again. Then, a few hours in, I groan to myself, turn the game off, and remind myself to emphasize the “decent” next time.

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