Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 219 - Star Ocean: The Last Hope HD

I really, really like Star Ocean: The Last Hope. I think a lot of other people would too if they just give it a try, though your tolerance for "very" anime-style storytelling and characters needs to be pretty high. Most of the complaints about the game are that certain characters are cringey or bad or whatever, but none of it is any different from a typical anime. If sci-fi anime with a great battle system sounds good to you, Star Ocean 4 is worth a look. Read more and watch gameplay (where I kick post game dungeon boss Gabriel Celeste's butt!) right here.

I'll admit that even I get tired of constant anime storytelling BS nonsense in games, but that isn't a problem exclusive to Star Ocean 4. Tales of Vesperia and Berseria both are just crammed full of obnoxious intrusive cutscenes and anime-ness that really drags the further you get into the game. You'd think that you would be more invested and interested the further you get into a JRPG, but I've been experiencing the opposite for the last few years. I enjoy the combat and exploring the world but I'm tired of the characters and just want the game to end by the last third of the story. JRPGs need to fix this shit.

Good thing the combat in Star Ocean 4 is freaking great, then. It's a real-time action combat sort of set up where you chain together special moves to create combos with hundreds of hits and tens of thousands of HP worth of damage. It's incredibly satisfying to play. Each character has their own role and specialties to contribute and managing everything is a lot of fun. I love it. I also love the bonus board system where you get extra XP or money or other bonuses based on how you fight. You can manipulate things so you end up with ridiculous XP totals in order to level up faster, which is vital in the end and post game. 

Speaking of the post game, that's where this video takes place. I've already beaten the story and gone through the post game dungeons in this save file and my characters are fairly high level. Not actually high enough level to make the post game easy, though ... Anyway, I spend most of the video fighting Gabriel Celeste, who is the second hardest boss in the game after the boss of the other post game dungeon. I'm kind of surprised I actually managed to win on my first try, to be honest. It had been a couple years since I played Star Ocean 4 so I had to re-learn everything on the fly.

One last thing I want to add is that I actually think the Xbox 360 version of Star Ocean 4 is better than the PS3 or HD Remaster version on PS4. The order you earn skills is different - and better - on Xbox 360 and they changed the way crafting works on the other versions so it isn't as easy to get overpowered for the endgame as it was on Xbox 360. They're all good, and I've played and beaten them all, but I still prefer the Xbox 360 version.