»

chaos' Star Ocean Till the End of Time Tv,game Review

Star Ocean Till the End of Time

Star Ocean Till the End of Time tv,game Review

Story & Playability

Ok, let's start what's probably may be my first ever review of a game. And what better way to do so than to check out Star Ocean: Till the end of time? Let's get started on how the story gets underway. You step into the role of Fayt Leingod, a young 19-year old man who's spending his vacation with his family and childhood friend Sophia Esteed on planet Hyda IV; everything went normal and as Fayt and Sophia were on the battle simulator, a large tremor was heard and suddenly, a mysterious military force has begun its attack on Hyda IV. During the part of the evacuation, they run into Fayt's parents and promised that they would meet at the evacuation center. However, as Fayt and Sophia managed to get there somehow, they find themselves separated from the family, and that's just the beginning of the problems. In the role of Fayt, you must fight your way throughout the game and you must find a way to rescue Fayt's parents and that's just the tip of the iceberg, as you discover many facts and meet many friends. I'd tell you who they are, but I'd be a spoiler, so play the game and find out.
The plot thus far is not convoluted and it has enough twists, turns and moments to keep you hooked so that you want to know what else is going on; also, there is some good character development as you progress through the game and some of the characters can appeal to you. Star Ocean was originally an Enix game, as few may probably don't know about this fact, but being a good sci-fi RPG like Xenosaga: Episode 1, you can expect a gripping story as you find out many secrets, plus one that has to do with Fayt himself. I think the story and the many subplots you see are worth playing it through from beginning to end and it should satisfy you in case you're being impatient that Xenosaga: Episode 2 doesn't come knocking yet, but it's all good.

Rating: 9

Graphics

As usual with Square games (Only now they're Square-Enix), the visuals shine through which highlights a large environment in each world and dungeon you enter. Rivers and waterfalls run ever cleanly, there are some good views when you go up mountains or walking down the road. You can also clearly see the monsters prowling about, just like in Chrono Trigger and Xenosaga, so it's up to you whether to engage in battles or not. The towns and places you visit also seem very true to type, from high-tech ships and grand cities, to medieval towns and large dungeons with pretty good details in it, like the sun shinning in the sky, shades of black when you're in dark places and how torches and lights can illuminate them.
The character designs are not bad at all, though for obvious reasons, you can compare them to Xenosaga, due to the similar designs on all the characters. However, they are just as much well detailed as it's a main staple with Square-Enix games. As you can see, all the characters look how they should be, without exagerations or something ordinary and the graphics are good eye candy. The one complaint I got is that sometimes when the characters speak, the lip synchronization leaves a bit wanting and sometimes in the dungeons, the camera gets in the way when you go by certain spots which might bother you. Fortunately, it's more than compensated as you can move the camera around with the L1 and R1 buttons and there are reasonable transparencies in case you place your character behind a pilar, a block, or some other object.
Oops, I almost forgot about the battles! Just like in many RPGs in PS2, all the battles take place in the actual environment you travel around; when you are on an open field, you fight against monsters on a large, well contained battlefield, but depending on where you are, you might encounter obstacles, such as rocks, trees, bushes and marshes. Also, each battlefield comes in differently depending on where you are, so expect different environments and settings when you fight in caves, dungeons and temples. They are not the same as when you fight out in the open and you can even expect a few hazards, such as rock slides. I could sound a bit exagerated, but the graphics do come clean and the cinematics are second to none, just the way Square does with its games as you watch in awe how they're well done, like in the title intro and many privotal moments throughout the game with pretty good lighting effects, stunning visuals and detailed backgrounds. They can really blow you away, so need I say more?

Rating: 9

Sound

The soundtrack and scores in the game is quite diverse, something that few gamers actually expect. Each music fits the atmosphere very well and it's good for your ears only. The first exploration music that you hear when you start exploring in the game can really appeal to the mood and the moment when you're passing through a forest looking for a way to get to the nearest village or you're coming through a mountain pass. Also, there are at least 3 or 4 music tracks for exploring the outside world when you travel from town to town, so you won't get bored when hearing it. Also, the BGM serves quiet well to set a particular mood with each city you visit or when you explore the many dungeons in the game; it can really make you feel at ease, it relaxes you, gives you a moment of gripping tension when something serious hits the fan and even gives you some good goosebumps when you're going through a dungeon filled with enemies lurking by that can attack you at any moment!
The voice-overs sound good, though there are a few voices you could probably live without; there are also some moments where you can barely hear some of the characters' voices because the music is too loud as if they're speaking in whispers and there's the lip synchronization problem. Though they are well spoken, the character's mouth sometimes doesn't move as accurate when they talk and it makes you feel that Square-Enix should've made the final fix on this problem, but don't let it get to you too much. You also have the option to listen the voices completely without subtitles, or just read the subtitles, so take your pic on whether you want to hear the characters speak and read the subtitle dialouges or not. As I mentioned, there might be a few voice that you may not like or do not fit with some of the characters, but most of them fit very well with who they are. Just to give you an example, let me tell you what I think of Nel Zelpher's voice. Her voice gives you an impression that not only is she a very pretty woman (Well, you can think the same once you see her. ;)), she is also self-reliant, secure and always knows what to say in many situations as well. Characters speak and act true to type like they should and the few gripes I've mentioned shouldn't put you off of hearing them as you can also see their feelings as well.
The Sound FX also have some diversity in them as you get to hear slashes from swords and lances, poudings from fists, the magic being used and even the death cries when you defeat human enemies as well. You can also hear your characters speak when the execute special attacks, heal your allies and when they're beaten. Heck, they even got some winning quotes or their own when you win battles, whether they were easy or you managed to beat a tough boss or monster. From many distances and places, you can hear water running, drops falling to the cold floor, each footstep you take and moving objects clearly. I don't think you wanna turn down the volume when hearing all of this, but when you hear the voices and the music is too loud for you to hear down, don't turn it up either. Still, it has memorable tracks that you'll remember for a long time and even get you to buy the OST CD.

Rating: 8

Fun

The gameplay is as you can expect in RPGs: precise. Only in Star Ocean, you'll take control of the battle in a way you might not expect, especialy if you've gotten used to fighting in Final Fantasy a lot. Most of the time you take control of the group leader when you're engaged in battles and you can do many things when you access the battle menu to decide which action you can take. You can use symbiology or magic to heal or attack enemies, use many items, set up your tactics with the character you're using and even escape. When you think the going gets tough, you can switch use of the characters on the fly by using the L1 and R1 buttons so that you can move them around and do the things you want them to do. This adds a strategy factor and you can make adjustments on your battle tactics and formations before you engage in future battles and so you'll be able to earn many victories with your party and prevent terrible defeats. This is a new element to take account for, either for Star Ocean veterans or general RPG players alike. Fortunately, the learning curve lets you adjust yourself to the battle controls and pretty soon, your enemies will fear your prowess.
There are puzzles that have some originality placed in them and there are also a few challenges for you to complete in order to advance further in dungeons. For example, you must create shades of shadows with which you can use in order to enter a certain door by manipulating the lights, you must pass a certain enemy with only 1 character in order to get to the other side and you must find and use switches to activate something that can open your path. This is a bit going on ahead, but when you get your hands on items called disintegration hammers, you can activate a mini menu by pressing the square button and when you see a crack on a wall highlighted in a green frame, you can press the X button to crack it open with the hammer and you'll find a secret passage or room filled with treasure, giving you an incentive to explore the dungeons further in order to get new stuff.
There is lots of stuff you can do in ST:TTEOT. In a certain point of the game, you'll be appointed as an inventor and you can create new items, weapons and armor, as well as improve the equipment you have at the present. It takes time, resources and money, but once you get used to it, you'll be able to create many things that will be useful for you in the future. Also, once you sign a pattent on the items you have in possesion or the ones you've invented recently, it'll be reviewed and soon enough, it will be available in stores on all the cities you've visited so that you can buy them and use them, thus increasing your ranking as an inventor. It's probably a bit tough, but the rewards you get are worth the effort so if you're tired of fighting a lot, give this one a try.
Battle trophies are also available. What are Battle trophies? These are accomplishments you earn when you complete certain condictions after a battle, like fininshing a skirmish with no damage in general, beating a boss under 1 minute, running a certan distance. fighting many battles and more. There are many conditions for you to complete and you'll get special rewards for the game once you gain a certain percentage of Battle trophies. This is a big incentive for replay value when you begin a new game so that not only will you take a different approach in battles and interaction with the characters, which unlocks many endings, you may also get some battle trophies you might have missed out in the first time. Even more, Star Ocean is one of the VERY few RPGs which allows you to choose a difficulty setting, so if you think RPGs have gotten too easy for you, this one is your right pick for a challenge. There is a dictionary available in the camp menu so you can do a little research about the characters, terms, planets, objects, et all, so have fun reading.
All in all, Star Ocean: Till the end of Time provides a very good time and quality playing time as you can probably reach 80-90+ playing time with all the things you can do when you play it from the first time. It has a good story, beautiful soundtracks, clean, crips graphics and character designs and an interesting battle system that you want to take for a spin. If you're waiting for Xenosaga: Episode II to come around, this game will whet your appetite and you'll even get to keep it once you like it. If you do get Xenosaga, dare to compare, but if RPGs are your thing, choose both!

Rating: 9

Final Verdict

8.83 (very good)

Reviewed by chaos, Nov 25, 2004

Comments

  1. wings Nov 25, 2004

    man o man where did u get the strenght to type this :)

  2. Athrun Nov 27, 2004

    Nice review. I love Star Ocean, and I'm currently replaying it right now. :P

    The soundtrack isn't too great, IMO but it does suit the situation sometimes.

    One other bad thing about SO3 is the camera angling. It can be hard to see things sometimes. -___-

    but otherwise it's an awesome game! And this review says so itself!

  3. AceGunman Nov 28, 2004

    Actually, I don't really think Star Ocean deserves a 9/10 for it's story ^_^' It wasn't really that deep and hooking. But I can agree with you to a degree on the rest.

  4. imunown Jan 31, 2005

    blah. SO3 was aweful... all the music had electric guitars in it. the only original character was Albel, the camera angleing was bad, the battle system was barely tolerable, the story line was-- annoying. the Theme song was pathetic.

    and most unforfgivable of all, IT TOOK place 400 years after SO2!

    the only neato things about the game were the Enforcers and Albel... -___-;;

    i give SO3 4/10

  5. SnakeSnake Banned Member Feb 04, 2005

    Seems kinda harsh for words from imunown. Nevertheless, it's a good game and one worth your time. And the controls are not as hard as one says; it's just a matter of getting down to business and the learning curve is not complicated either, but that's just my opinion. =P

  6. sayana Dec 10, 2005

    Albel rules ^_^. But the whole game is very good, too. I liked it better then Final Fantasy IX and X...

  7. nainoi Oct 06, 2009

    It's a good anime.

  8. rukasu44 Dec 04, 2010

    I really like the game

page 1 of 1 8 total items

Only members can post replies, please register.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Read more.