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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
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on 21 December 2005
I have been searching in vain for a long time to find an RPG that is anywhere near as good as Final Fantasy 7. I tried every other Final Fantasy unto no avail and ventured outside of square RPGs. I must admit the one that came closest till now was Shadow Hearts: Covenant but this was still nowhere near FF7.
Star Ocean on the other hand is something that RPG fans dreams are made of. The battles are exciting as you actually have to get involved instead of selecting different attacks. The Story has an amazing depth although you do spend an awful lot of time on Elicoor.
This game is an one the greatest RPGs on PS2, if you haven't already added this to your basket the I recommend you do so.
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on 8 January 2005
Not my favrioute game of all time, but still well worth buying, the graphics are exellent, storyline average for an RPG, but still the music on this game is fantastic, although I still prefer final fantasy, XII out in march, this is still worth it, the battle systam is different from most rpg's, but that's not nesseserily a bad thing, so in conclusinon buy it.
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on 22 December 2005
I don't agree with the above reviews at all. Having played "shadow hearts covenants" for over 40hrs and loved it I bought this in the hope that it would offer much of the same from the reviews I read. However, although the graphics are good the fighting is all over the place! I was finding it extremely difficult only 2hrs into the game and died fighting a mediocre boss. I just found the enemies so difficult with even the lowest taking nearly 800 hit points to defeat. You're running around with this sword and when your in the middle or surrounded by enemies it's extremely difficult to manouvre and fight at the same time. Also you can only purchase a certain amount of healing berries so you quickly run out with no where to buy more except for the ones you can find in the odd chest here and there.
Having played all of the Final Fantasy series and being an avid role playing enthusiast this game lost it's appeal very early on. I would say this is much more of an action game where you run round winning battles but you have very little control of the other players and in battles they are controlled by the computer who quickly uses up their magic points leading to them being killed off unless you can get away from the battle and heal them.
Not what I wanted at all!
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on 12 November 2015
I actually pre-ordered a copy of Star Ocean Till the End of Time prior to it's release over 10 years ago. At the time I didn't know much about RPGs or anything about the game really - other than it looked a bit like Final Fantasy VII.

Over 10 years later and I still sit down to play this masterpiece - I could be playing on the Playstation 4, but I still dust off my PS2 just for this game, and I think that says almost everything you should need to know. At the time, Star Ocean 3 was ground-breaking with fast paced real-time battles that haven't really been equalled since, despite almost every franchise removing their old turn-based systems. The one thing I've never heard anyone comment on is how the Trophy system from the PS3 and 4 actually started with this game - that creates a special save for trophies that carry between games. It was almost laughable when I fired up my PS4 for the 1st time to see that it took a screenshot every time you unlock a trophy - something Star Ocean 3 did (albeit with a small thumbnail) 10 years ago.

The game is set in a Science Fiction universe that resembles an anime version of Star Trek. Fayt, a young guy on holiday with his family is unexpectedly thrown into the middle of a galactic conflict when the planet is attacked. After escaping in a ship, he is forced to land on an undeveloped world. The plot goes on to cross several different planets with varying levels of technology - from medieval worlds, to space stations. There are a diverse set of playable characters that you pick up during the story, each with unique combat styles.

Battles take place in real time and are both challenging and rewarding. Some levelling up in certain areas will be needed in order to progress smoothly. It is worth mentioning two things as some of the complaints about the game seem to come from people who haven't realised some of the key features -

1) It is possible to heal with magic outside of battles through the menu. I often hear how people run out of healing items, but you can heal yourself using magic rather than just items.
2) In combat, skills are powered up by cancelling them with other skills, for example using Fayt's "Blade of Fury" that has 3 hits and then using another skill after the 2nd hit. A few cancels can quickly double your damage output - making those enemies a lot easier!

10 years after it's release and Star Ocean 3 is still my favourite game of all time.... possibly till the end of time. Some features may seem a little dated by now, but the graphics are still clean and the gameplay is smooth and fast. The storyline is also enjoyable and holds up well. If I could ask for anything it would probably be for an HD port with the original Japanese voices, but I think the chances of that might be slim.

I honestly can't recommend this game enough to fans of JRPGs. If you haven't played it by now, it's never too late! I know I'll be playing this again soon in time for Star Ocean 5 next year.
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on 12 October 2004
I don't usually write reviews but I felt with my level of disappointment after 60 minutes of slow, slow gameplay becoming too much to cope with, I thought it best if I exorcise the game by writing about it here...
The controls/views are really awkward and the amount of time it takes for a short conversation is unbearable. It seems aimed at the under 13 year old market and all a bit twee and inadventurous for my liking but hey... what do I know!!! I AM looking forward to whenever FF12 is out on the PS2 but this for me really doesn't compare. Final Fantasy immediately immerses you in a world and a story. Star Ocean leaves you running around aimlessly in a hotel meeting with an incredibly dippy circus troop...
Not for me, I'm afraid
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on 12 April 2013
Star Ocean Till The End Of Time is the black sheep of the Star Ocean series, does this make it a bad game? Not necessarily.

The storyline is like a roller coaster, sometimes you're enjoying it, other times it gets really boring. I enjoyed the first part of the game, then it got quite boring but then it started to get quite interesting. The main issue with this game's story comes from the infamous plot twist which ruins the players investment into the story however the plot twist is executed well enough and though it can be confusing at first, it is all explained by a certain npc but they only explain it once and after that the game expects you to realize this which can lead players to believe that there are many plot holes by the ending but there really isn't the game just doesn't explain itself well that is all.

So all in all the plot is likeable should you appreciate the plot twist. The private action endings are probably the best in the series and aren't cut short like most of the private action endings in Star Ocean The Second Story. The private actions themselves though could have been better and there isn't much interaction between each playable character. Most private actions tend to involve boring conversations with npc's though there are some good ones. Personally I enjoyed the story for the most part but it's definitely not for everyone, I find that besides Star Ocean The Last Hope it is the most sci fi themed game of them all, though it still spends quite a long time in an under developed planet which can be a drag. In the end, the story of the game all comes down to the plot twist.

The game play on the other hand is plain and simply horrible, I tried my best to enjoy the game play since the story was good (at least for me) but most of the time i gave up because of the frustrating battle system, it is broken so expect a terrible score for game play. Let us begin the bad parts.

First of all lets talk about the controls, Tri Ace thought it would be a good idea to swap the special arts buttons, so instead on using the L2 and R2 buttons, you have to use X and O, this wouldn't be so bad if they hadn't have made the X and O buttons do three things at once. Both buttons do two different special attacks depending on the range, they also do a regular attack too which costs no health to use (oh don't worry I'll get to that later). The worst part about this is how you execute each move, to use a normal attack you have to tap X or O, X is a fast attack, O is a power attack. Normal attacks bounce off enemies if they have 100% fury (I'll get to that soon too) Power attacks are slower but break through 100% fury shields and you don't get counter attacked so it's important to know when to normal attack and when to power attack. To use a special attack you have to hold down the X or O button depending on whether you want a fast attack or a power attack, you can assign two special attacks to each button (i'm not joking) and depending on the range depends on the special move you pull off.

Now this is just terrible design right here, you do not ever EVER assign 3 different actions to a single button, especially if they don't register well. there are many times where I tap the button and end up using a special and vice versa, most of the time I have to mash the button hard to make sure I get a special and even then it can mess up. I consider this to be broken game design because it doesn't work the way the player wants it to, and if it doesn't work then I classify it as broken and I usually never reward less than a 3.0 unless it is broken.

To make things worse you have cancel bonuses, for mashing the button in the middle of the move cancelling, you can get a damage bonus and a bonus to the bonus line. This is often critical to winning a battle so you have to constantly mash the button hard and even then it doesn't work very well so cancel bonuses are essentially luck, the entire purpose of cancel bonuses is that you are risking your fury to perform them leaving you open to be hit, so if you get a chance where the enemy is left open for an attack, you wont be able to hit them with full power unless you manage to mash the mutton quickly enough mid move to get the full effect, making game play infuriating.

Now for the Main Features of the battle system, this can get quite confusing but here goes, each character has a fury meter which is essentially their shield, their fury gauge fills up when you're stood still doing nothing. With 100% fury you automatically block fast attacks (which most enemies tend to not use making all this information pointless but i need to explain it to you so you understand) and counter them with an anti attack barrier in which you can choose to either stun the enemy or deal damage to them. There is a bonus line which allows you to get bonuses to your XP/fol (currency)/parameter recovery etc based on your performance in battle (*kill enemy in 30 seconds or less* etc) for a chance to obtain these bonuses you have to fill up the bonus line.... by doing cancel bonuses. Now do you see why i hate the controls so much? The game literally rewards you for button mashing, and i mean hardcore button mashing because you need to be hardcore at button mashing to play this game, put it this way, make sure you have a controller with stiff buttons otherwise your fingertips will hurt.

Now my main gripe about battles is the parameters, using special moves costs you health (HP) so you're hit points works essentially like magic points except that there are also magic points (MP) which you spend to use symbology (magic). the worst part about this is that if you run out of either HP or MP you die, so essentially the best tanks in the game are nel and peppita or anyone who has balanced HP/MP because later on in the game by the end of disk 1 enemies with deal MP damage to you which can KO you very quickly which leads to some really nasty difficulty spikes that you won't be ready for.

Now I see what they were trying to do, they were trying to find another cost for special moves instead of using mp all the time like in the first two games but the whole idea is just ridiculous and has you manage both health and magic points to keep yourself alive, meaning you have to have lots of mixed syrups or anything that recovers both hp/mp in your inventory to stay alive, you will often find yourself lacking necessary items and needing to return to town often to restock on supplies which is a bad coincidence since the final dungeon, or the dungeon just before the final dungeon should I say is long and confusing, it's one of the worst dungeons in rpg history and is almost as infamous as the plot twist itself.

The field sections have you having to explore the entire area to fill the map, you are rewarded with bonuses, usually money or items for doing so. Dungeons are the same, there are quite a few puzzles which can be quite a bore but some of them are both interesting and frustrating at the same time such as the hauler mine cart mini game.

And finally the item creation is quite possibly the worst part of this game, unlike previous games in the series, item creation is compulsory if you don't want to struggle later on in the game, basically you have to find a workshop and put in facilities for invention which is basically the new item creation. The way it works is that instead of putting a base resource in a pot for a lucky dip like in the previous games, you have to spend fol to develop ideas for a new blueprint for an item which you can distribute throughout stores, it's sort of like a mini game, you have to distribute high rated items to get the highest score but you may also have to distribute bad items because they are useful in battle.

Once you have invented an item you keep one of the item that you invented so it's kind of like it was in the previous games though instead of using materials to create items, you use money. There is also synthesis which allows you to combine almost any item with weapons/equipment/accessories which is probably the only fun part of item creation as you get to customize your equipment the way to want to sort of like the customization in Final Fantasy X, you have 4 factor slots which you can put bonuses in like lower mp cost or bonus damage to humanoids.

The worst part of item creation is the fail rate, for each attempt to create an item you must spend a set amount of fol depending on the quality of the item, now if yoy want to get decent equipment then you have to spend 5000 fol each attempt and the fail rate is so high that you will end up spending over 100k fol in total to invent a single item, later on in then game it costs even more fol per attempt which makes matters worse. The worst part about it is that it's simply boring to watch your characters fail over and over and it's frustrating since you never get the item you want, and the only way to find out how to get the specific item you need to use a guide. I won't go into any more depth into this since this review is long enough but it is extremely irritating.

If you managed to survive this long then this game may still appeal to you yet, the music is fantastic as always since it's composed by Motoi Sakuraba and the moment you hear the music in the first dungeon, you know that this game is going to have an awesome soundtrack. It may take time to appreciate it but it grows on you like the story does, there are also some very unusual songs in the game, the final boss theme for example is both epic and unique with it's jazz solo in the middle. There's also a boss theme that sounds like some sort of fitness tape which is quite awkward but it's likeable and pumps you up for battle. There are also some great sci fi sounding tracks in the mix too.

The graphics aren't the best but they're good, the models could use a bit of work though, Peppita looks like smashed her head into a bar and it left an awkward shape in her face breaking her nose off in the process, she seriously needs a face lift....badly. Everyone seems to have really chubby cheeks for some reason but the art style is generally appealing.

The main game is of a decent length and it doesn't end too shortly, there are 3 bonus dungeons though i haven't tried them because of the horrific game play. There is 2 player battle mode which is broken due to the battle system but it's there. There are also multiple difficulties to try if you want to have an even bigger nightmare playing this game. All in all i hope i haven't given the game too much of a bad impression, I'd say no more than £10.00 any lower is worth it.
And on a final note.... save yourself the trouble, play on earth difficulty.

Plot/story: 8.0/6.5 (all depends on the plot twist really)
Graphics: 7.5
Presentation: 7.5
Music: 9.2
Game play: 2.0
Lifespan: 8.9
Replay Value: 8.3

Overall score: 7.4 (or 6.8 if you didn't like the plot twist)


Buy this game cheap for less than £10.00, you'll get your moneys worth.
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on 23 July 2004
Going by the first game that I owned on import for the PS1, this will be another great adventure in the early FF mould! I am looking forward to it's release.
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on 10 October 2016
The game is an absolute classic
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on 17 November 2015
Great Game to play, Fast Dispatch and Delivery (wasnt hoping to get it this fast, day AFTER order was placed ), definatly will bring back nostalgia, overall very happy 8 / 10, definatly will have my business in the future, Much Thanks!
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