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Star Ocean 4

May 15, 2009

There were some really fantastic things about Star Ocean 4: A New Hope like how beautiful and detailed the character designs were and how awesome looking the the maps were and at times it was really fun to play and that’s one of the main problems with Star Ocean 4 because it was only fun to play some of the time and not all the time. My friend put it best when he said the problem is that developers spend so much time making a game look good, they don’t have time to make it fun and that’s how it turned out with Star Ocean 4 for me. There’s a moment in any RPG or any good game really where it hits you and you’re like Oh now I’m all in on this one hundred percent let’s go, but that moment never came in Star Ocean 4. I kept playing it hoping for that moment to come and it never did. It might have almost come once, but then it was ruined by some ridiculous thing half way through the game that made me not care about it for a long time, and then once I started caring again the game was almost over. Another thing that I didn’t like was the fact that when you arrived at the last place where your supposed to go back and get some grinding in or some good weapons or some secret stuff you couldn’t even do that easily because you had to change discs. I did not find it fun to do some stuff on one disc then have to changes discs to make material out of the stuff I collected on the other disc. It gives me a headache just explaining it. So I said forget this I don’t care about doing all this extra stuff I don’t care about the arena. I don’t care to collect some thing to make my weapon better. I just wanted to finish the game at that point. The problem is I cared that I didn’t care because it didn’t have to be that way. Normally you have less and less movies and sound on the end of the game so that you can put all the maps and stuff on the last discs, but Star Ocean decided that it would be better to fill up every disc with 40 minute movies and private actions. Am I watching a movie or playing a game? There must have been 10 hours worth of movies in the whole game. It all goes back to the problem my friend pointed out. Too much glitter and not enough gold. In the end it went down like this: OK let’s concentrate on making the sickest looking character designs ever. (Check) Let’s make some awesome looking maps. (Check) Let’s have a lot of different looking worlds to go to. (Check) Let’s make the cut scenes minimal because this is a standard RPG with a good guy battling evil to preserve his people. (Fail) Let’s make some spots where the player wants to go back and get some extra stuff without him feeling like he’s putting the main story on hold. (Fail) Let’s make this all blazing hot action and move the story along at a good pace where the player feels like he’s totally into this. (Fail) When we get to the last part let’s make it something the player wants to go back and do some extra stuff to make his weapons and armor better because he’s all into the fact that he wants to beat the bad guys. (Fail) The worst part is it didn’t have to be that way. It’s never that way with a Tales game and it wasn’t that way with Infinite Undiscovery and after playing that game I was excited for Star Ocean. I was like if this is how Star Ocean is going to be I can’t wait cause it’s going to be way better than this! Well, I guess it’s kind of my fault when I got all excited about it. Star Ocean has a spotty history with me anyway with 3 not being that great, 1 being totally awesome, and 2 being just OK and here we are at 4 and it’s kind of OK maybe Ho Hum and I’m left wishing it had been super awesome. So is Star Ocean four The Last Hope? I hope not! I hope 5 is going to be a lot more like 1 and a lot better than 4. But, maybe it’s just me Maybe my hopes were too high, but I know what I like and I like to have fun when I play a game. I know Tri-Ace can make fun games since Radiata Stories was one of the best games I ever played. There’s a new RPG coming out by them via Sega too. So will it be any good. I don’t know I guess I’ll have to wait and see if they knock back on the bling and add some excitement instead.

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