Star Ocean Til the End of Time
Star Ocean till the end of time is an RPG using real time combat for the Playstation 2 made by tri-ace in 2003. The game did fairly well and eventually had a re-release in 2004 with updated content such as new characters to use. This game is the third game in the series, but don’t worry, the story is completely separate so those who didn’t play the first two games wont be left in the dark. Does this game stand the test of time or should you look else where for your RPG fix?
You play as Fayt Leingod, son of a scientist. While on a ship you find your self under attack by the Vendeens, at that point your thrown off into an adventure and you just happen to be one of the chosen to save your universe. If you can’t tell already Star Oceans story starts out pretty standard and stays as about as exciting as any sci-fi RPGs story is through out most of the game. A big surprise is thrown in later in the game that makes the story seem exciting and while for a few cut scenes it maybe interesting and have you wondering what’s going to happen next, but after awhile the big twist’s shock factor just sort of wears off and it goes back to feeling like a standard RPG story again unfortunately.
Tri-ace is known well for their real time battles in RPGs, and Star Ocean is no different. It features a interesting battle system with lots of customizable options and the addition of being able to play as any of your team mates is a nice edition although some of the characters feel unbalanced. You can assign moves to the O and X button for long range and short range attacks, and you can perform different attacks from just tapping or holding down the buttons. In the end though at times combat just feels clunky and it can be difficult to aim exactly where you want a move to land. For its time it may have been pretty good but now it feels way too clunky.
You can assign pre-set strategies to other characters such as “Attack with all your Might” or “Focus on healing” Which works some times, but often id find my self having to manually do heals because despite people being on low health the healer decides to not heal anyone. For the most part the A.I. is pretty decent for all of these…when it works. More then often you will find a ally who just goes completely brain dead and stands in one place or decides to just constantly jump in multiple directions. This can make for some annoying moments when your fighting a boss and your healer is jumping towards a corner over and over again and the other characters is just sitting there staring at nothing while your getting pounded.
The Graphics in Star Ocean matches the setting a lot, and along with the generic anime look comes strange hair colors as well. Some parts of the characters just look awkward. During cutscenes you can see inside the mouth and where the gums on the inside end and characters fingers look about 2 inches too long.This only really stands out during the cutscenes. For a 2003 game it looks pretty decent but looks like more time could have went into fine tuning the character models. The music in Star Ocean is forgettable and also it seems like the developers weren’t really sure what they wanted so you get a wide array of music. From music you would have sworn was ripped from one of Sonics 3D games to rap to opera, they just didn’t stick to 1 kind of sound to stay consistent throughout the game. The sound effects are decent but nothing special, lots of them are reused and the voice acting is pretty good minus the fact that the game has many long awkward pauses.
Star Ocean till the end of time overall is a decent game. While the big plot twist is one of the most interesting ones ever in a video game, overall the package doesn’t even out. Clunky combat accompanied by buggy AI cause lots of frustration and the overall story feels stale. You could do a lot worse then Star Ocean if your looking to pick up a RPG. For only 20$ new on Amazon, this game will give you a lot of time for your money, considering the main quest takes about 50 hours and there is tons of end game content that will probably push you to past 100 hours, even if it may not be the best 100 hours you spent.