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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Role-Playing Game

 

Publisher

Square-Enix

 

Developer

Tri-Ace

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

August 2004

 

 

- Real-time battles

- Great special effects

- Interesting characters and storyline

- Neat extras

 

 

- Graphics are a bit outdated

- Music overpowers the voice acting

- The first quarter of the game is a bit slow.

 

 

Review: Final Fantasy X-2 (PS2)

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Star Ocean: Till the End of Time

Score: 8.9 / 10

 

For those who are fans of role-playing games and want to expand their borders beyond the Final Fantasy series should definitely take a look at this game! Itís a sci-fi RPG with an entertaining story and interesting character development. The game is from Square Enix and was developed by Tri-Ace. What makes Star Ocean so different from your typical RPG is the real-time battles?

 

star ocean review          star ocean review

The story starts off with our hero Fate Linegod, a 19 year old boy from Earth, who takes a journey with his family and friend Sofia for a much needed vacation. It doesnít take very long for the planet to fall under attack by unknown alien troops. There a lot of twists and turns dealing with mysterious motivations, and itís not until these are dealt with that the real story begins.

 

Battling is the meat of Star Ocean, especially because it can be really intense, fun and challenging. Every character has a short and long-range weak and heavy attack, which is performed by pushing the circle or x button. Special skills are unique to each character and can be set to the circle or x button. You can also set skills to be long or short ranged. The catch about this is that you can only set 4 attack skills at one time.

 

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During battles, players have control over one of the party members while two others are controlled by A.I. To prevent the A.I. from doing something stupid or rash, the player can set a fight method per character. For example, you can set a character to be offensive or defensive. The battles are in real time but performing such things as spells or using items will require you to use a menu just like a traditional RPG. This works out really well for the game because it feels like an action game but it maintains the feel of a 

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traditional RPG as well.  To be very honest, when you first start off, combat does seem a bit slow and the moves are very limited. Patience really is a virtue here, especially because you need to use your special techniques a lot in order to gain new ones. When you do gain higher-level skills, the patience really pays off. They arenít just really damaging, the eye candy is amazing.

 

Leveling up in Star Ocean is done through obtaining battle points, which can be used for upgrading health, magic points, strength and defense. One thing in particular that I really liked about this game is the Bonus bar. During battles, the bonus gauge starts to fill up after each successful hit on your opponent. Once the bar fills up the player can earn things such as extra money or experience after the fight is over. If the player gets hit too many times in a battle, then the gauge will break. Knowing this could happen will adds to the excitement of battles.

 

Another interesting aspect that Star Ocean has to offer is the battle trophies. These are earned once certain conditions are met in combat like performing a certain amount of hits in a combo or finishing a boss fight under a minute. When you have obtained a certain percentage of battle trophies, the player is granted access to such things as a multiplayer battle mode and alternative costumes for each character.

 

star ocean review          star ocean review

Graphically, Star Ocean is a bit outdated, but that doesnít mean itís a slacker. The character models do look simple but still, they are impressive. They will definitely appeal to fans of anime with their huge eyes, hairstyles and facial structures. Backgrounds are very detailed and beautiful but what really takes the cake here is the special effects from the crazy moves that the player can pull off. They look very impressive and make the moves look a lot more stylish than they really are.

 

The music for Star Ocean is great and fits in perfectly with the different moods encountered throughout the game, but during cutscenes I find that the music seems to overpower the voice acting. (Speaking of voice acting, fans of anime will probably recognize a few voices actors from some of their favorite anime series.)

 

If youíre a big fan of RPGs or just want to try something new, I would highly suggest giving Star Ocean: Till the End of Time a shot. Hardcore RPG fanatics might want to try this before a buy solely because the real-time battles may not be as appealing to them.

 

- JíTonello

(November 24, 2004)

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