14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2004
I finally finished till the end of time last night (62hours!!) and I have to say I was incredibly impressed! I would give it 4.5 stars, but Amazon don't allow that. This is a great game, but no game is perfect!
To begin, I loved the story. The plot is slow to show it's true outcomings, and there are so many twists and turns. I wont spoil anything by revealing details, but for me it was a little different to most rpg fare and all the better for it. This kind of game experience needs story more than most, and in this area I was hugely impressed. The characters are all decent enough. A fairly common bunch of Japanese inspired personalities, but they all remain likeable!
The graphics in the game are good, but these days, the old PS2 is showing its age. It's definately up there with PS2 Final Fantasy's though, especially during the highly impressive CGI scenes. The musical score, however, is fantastic! I was really impressed with how well the tempo of the music matched on screen action (apart from one boss battle that actually had a rap song playing in the background! RPG + RAP = Wrong!!).
One of the highlights of the game, and this is a huge plus considering how much time you will spend doing it, are the battles. Battles play out in real time; you take control of one character and are free to attack as you would be in a beat-em up. You can also set up different moves to each button as you learn new skills and swap character at any time should you need a healer etc... This is a much more fun and imersive method than standard turn based fare and means low level characters CAN beat high level enemies if you are good enough, of which I approve greatly! Battles also feature a bar to the side of the screen wich slowly fills up as you score hits, and shoots up when you strike with a combo. Once it is full, you get rewards such as experience multipliers, wich makes leveling up much less of a torture. The battle gauge only breaks if the lead player gets knocked over, so this makes level up battles incredibly tense and tactical!
The previous Star Ocean game, 'Second Story' on PS1, was hugely overlooked upon release in Europe, hence its huge collectability (and high price! - it's worth every penny though!). I only hope more gamers take a chance on the third in the series. It truly is a great example of the genre. I can't recommend it highly enough to everyone who likes a good story and has the patience to invest time into a game, not just RPG nuts like my sad old self!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2005
This game is the God of RPG's. It outstrips the beauty of Final Fantasy games such as FFVII and FFX and sets a whole new benchmark for RPG's.The battle system is a compilation of Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy. Its simple and easy to use, plus its helpful when you need to get away and heal yourself. The storyline is fantastic with an ending you never would have thought of. So in-depth and many turnarounds of the story that you'll want to play it over and over again. A must have for all RPG fans!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Star ocean: Till the end of time is the first game in the Star Ocean series I have played, and I love it. The plot for this game is very complex and gripping. You take control of Fayt, a teenage boy, who is caught up in a war of two nations. You do join with other characters later in the game. The battle system is in real time, meaning it is more hack and slash then most RPGs, the battle system is very simular to Kingdom Hearts. You use magic called Symbology, and you learn other abilities as your level increases. The graphics are very good too. If you are a fan of RPG games, but want a change from the turn based battle style, then this is the game for you.
Graphics - 10/10
Game Play - 10/10
Story - 10/10
Sound - 9/10
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 22 November 2004
There are a few points that the other reviews don't cover which I felt needed to be said. While this is a great game and absolutely massive (100+ hours, minimum, to cover everything)the character graphics and voice acting can leave something to be desired. Especially, for those of us spoilt by the beautiful Final Fantasy (FF) games. The battle system is hugely enjoyable, closer to Kingdom Hearts than FF and the story line is passable if not wholly imaginative.
Overall, a good solid RPG that doesn't break boundaries but fits nicely into the between ground of gamers just looking for fun and those who enjoy more depth, appealling to both. Well worth buying but be prepared to skip some of those annoying voices!!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2005
my only two disapointments with this game is that there are irritatingly few planets, for most of the time you're stuck on elicor II, and secondly there is alot you can't do until you complete the game such as the inventor issac, you need the ai programme that you get form sphere and that's towards the end of the game, now i've got through the negative points, i can say why the game makes up for the disapointments by having a cracking storyline, and a briliant battle system my favourite of all is the item invention system and the bonus dungeons, but also the new parts of dungeons you can unlock with the disintegration ring so all in all it's a 7/10
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2004
SO3 is far above most other cliche ridden RPG's, and also provides many unique features that make it highly recommended. There is the fantastic real time battles that have great depth and many moves for your characters to learn. This is very refreshing when most RPG's are content to put dull turn based combat as the fighting mode of choice.
The graphics are stunning and are much like FFX except they focus less on realism than on an anime style. There is support for widescreen and progressive scan which make the graphics very sharp and impressive looking.
Uniquely there is also a high level of challenge in the game, which is sadly lacking from most other RPG's that can be completed in your sleep. There are 4 modes of difficulty, as well as extra dungeons, and some very hard boss fights. Fans of the series will be pleased to see the return of the immensely strong angel Gabriel Celesta, as well as many other appearances from the previous game as well as Valkyrie profile.
Battle trophies are a large part of the game and you can collect up to 300 of them. Getting certain percentages of them open up bonuses such as alternate costumes and higher modes of difficulty. Many Japanese gamers have spent upward of 400 hours getting everything from the game. The translation is far better than the awful job done on SO2, and the voice acting is solid and can be switched off if you prefer.
Music perfectly sets the mood of the game, and there are some great tracks especially for the end battle. Add in the ability to create hundreds of item, customisation, many secrets, private actions, great characters and memorable boss fights and it's clear that this stands above any RPG released this year.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2006
I'm not really sure what I was expecting when I bought a copy of Star Ocean - Square and Enix have both had proud heritages with regards to RPGs and being a fan of Final Fantasy games I felt it was worth experimenting for the little money it cost... I certainly wasn't expecting what I got.
The setting is a peculiar one; probably best described as a mix of an episode of Star Trek and a fantasy novel. Like most Japanese RPGs the translations can be a litte grating at times, not through bad grammar but in unrealistic semantics, however as a whole it is well presented and easily on a par if not better than the significantly more famous and successful FF. The voice acting is generally excellent, let down almost as spectacularly by the terrible casting of Cliff Fittir - thankfully this seems to be an unfortunate fluke bar one or two others. The good thing about it is that there's so much of it, you are actually surprised by the small segments that aren't voiced over. It really does add to the atmosphere immensely as does the literally vast content - considering that it took two DVD disks to fit it on goes to show it's sheer scale. Continuing my comparisons with FF, I'd say the storyline wasn't as epic as the many versions but perhaps is more satisfying as a result; I shalln't say less far-fetched but it's more in touch with real-life in how people interact with one another. In FF games they set out the good and the bad guys and a Love story which is fine but tiring time and time again, and whilst SO isn't MUCH better, it's enough to be a breath of fresh air.
The gameplay itself is entertaining too - far more fast paced than your usual RPG, the battle system being the best example. Gone are the infuriating random battles in favour of a more digestable method whereby many enemies can be avoided if you wish to merely travel somewhere quickly. When you do enter a battle also it isn't a case of two sides opposite each other in a turn based manner but a part action, part tactical system ala Phantasy Star Online. At first it's a little daunting but when you get to grips with it (which doesn't take long) it makes things a lot more interesting. The graphics range from good to spectacular, impressing most in the fact that there're literally hundreds of well constructed characters and thousands of locations with incredible detail, and with only a few FMV sequences when required.
As you can tell I'm impressed - if there weren't so many copies about then I believe that this would become a cult hit that would be selling for high prices on eBay in the future, having said that it means more people should be able to enjoy it. It's never going to get the time it deserves in the face of FF but to anyone who can look beyond will be rewarded with a massive, and most importantly, fun adventure.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2008
I have to say that as a big FF fan I was a little wary of this game, however I am glad I decided to try it. It is an incredibly fun game to play with a really good story behind it. I love how it has managed to combine sci fi with the traditional fantasy elements of people driving around by horse and carriage, fighting with a sword and of course, dragons (what's fantasy without dragons right? :-P )
I do have one slight criticism. The music is great, but very often when there is a cut scene where the characters speak the music quite often drowns them out, and there is no option to either turn down the music or turn up the voices. This can get quite frustrating especially since some of the voice acting is great. I especially like Cliff's "that hot chick over there" in a sly stallone kind of way when he and Fayt are in the dungeons at Airyglyph.
All in all a fun game to play with plenty to keep you occupied and an inventive battle system that is pretty fun though can take some getting used to when you're used to a turn based system. Definitely worth a try.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2007
This was my first introduction into the star ocean rpg's (previously I had only played through the FF series). Graphically the sequences were spectacular and in game graphics were ok for itself as well.
In game theres an awful lot you can do and explore, the only minor issue I have with this is that you can spend a lot of time running through the same place (especially if you get lost), which can get frustrating.
Overall good game which I would reccommend to all rpg game players.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2010
I came across this gem in a second hand store and ran home to give it a whir, that was about 4 months ago, i have now completed the game twice and the optional extra dungeons. I'll try to disect it bit by bit to be more helpful to you intersted browsers.
The graphics when i first played it weren't actually a let-down, this game isn't new and yes the latest games and consoles will crush it graphically, however, if you end up adoring this game then you will probably find them more endearing than anything else, especially as the model-like quality of the characters was actually intended. The in-game illustrations and the status screen and such will be appreciated by manga/anime and i expect, general art fans for their originality, honestly, a sadist in an obi and sarong? Colour me in love!
The voice again is of a good quality, there are many cutscenes, though not many major ones (you'll understand this if you buy it) but i would say that 94% of them are voice acted, i find the male voices pleasant and fitting, although two of the voice actors annoy me greatly, one being generic love interest Sophia and the other is Maria, then again i wasn't exactly fond of these two.
Characterisation in this game is a fairly large thing. You get to see different behaviour depending on who talks to who and the main character Fayt and his old enemy Albel definatley experience character growth. You will also encounter points in the storyline where you must respond to questions and your answers will raise your affection points with other characters giving you a possible nineteen endings, solo and paired endings are possible, and for all you yaoi fangirls and boys out there i assure you that some of them contain interesting lines...
The storyline in my opinion shot any Final Fantasy out of the sky, i know, heresy and Kuja or Sephiroth will torture me in SquareHell. There where so many twist and turns which were completely unexpected, the game doesn't follow the generic 'do this to get here to complete the game,' oh no, you will be sent to do seemingly random, but fun tasks to, in one case, prevent the Queen from becoming offended. You will also get an optional dungeon once the game is completed which will give you the most powerful weapons and such, aside from that, there is another optional dungeon accesible at around 15hrs where you must find the item needed to unlock VS MODE, see what i mean about the storyline? Do what you want when you want.
The gameplay is no turn-based battle, but neither is it random button mashing. The battles are real-time and in a full field, as in it isn't a side-scroller view as in Tales of Symphonia, you can run anywhere on the battle field. You can switch between your characters at anytime and assign skills and magic to hotkey buttons. There is also the battle bonus gauge which fills up with your combos and can give extras at the end of a battle, such as 'Earn 3X EXP.' You can also level only 1 or 2 person(s) up even if you have 3 characters which helps if you want some level...leveling. You must also choose who you want on your team as there are 11 playables and only 8 slots - who to choose? On the characters i must also note that the annoying generic love interest, Sophia, disappears after the fist 45mins and doesn't return for the majority of the game, leaving you with the rest of the female cast who are amazingly well done compared to other games, especially the voice acting of them. Aside from Sophia and Farleen (not a playable) the females don't have wince worthy high pitched voices, well, Peppita does, but she's only 14 (and disturbingly powerful).
The extras here are also worth a 5* because you don't get given them, no, you work for them and if you want them then no EARTH MODE (easy mode) for you. This game has four modes, EARTH, GALAXY, UNIVERSE and 4D (only unlockable if you complete UNIVERSE and get sufficient battle trophies.) That's another, battle trophies, to get them you must meet requirements when beating a boss, i think that they are 'Beat in under 1 minute' and 'Sustain no damage,' so there are two trophies available per boss. Getting them allows you to listen to the musical score (which is amazing) and do other things such as enable characters to wear extra outfits that you find in the game.
All in all, i love this game so much that i would actually buy one of my friends the game instead of lending it, lest any damage befall it. It is also one of the only reasons why my PS2 will be accompanying me to university, along with other very good games, such as FFVII and Persona 3/4. I hope that this was helpful, if completely biased, (that should be a help in itself!)If you do get this game then i really hope that you enjoy the 90-120+ hours of gaming heaven.