Thursday, August 11, 2016

Intruder!

There have been rumblings that the new Star Ocean game was not of the highest quality. It was rumoured to be short, not an issue for me because I have more than enough other things to play, and it was rumoured to be so JRPG that it is almost a cliche. This is also true, but again, it does not bother me because I came to this party with that expectation. If there was too much western RPG in my linear JRPG I would be disappointed.

Those complaints were not entirely accurate for me, but there is a problem, and it is a big one: combat is a god damn mess. Switching between your character and three AI companions is the norm for Star Ocean games but I do not remember them ever being quite as useless as there are now. They just do not do a very good job of keeping themselves alive. When controlling one on your own normal attacks are mapped to two different buttons with block on the third. Not bad, but both light and heavy attack buttons result in two moves per press and it is not possible to interrupt the animation of these moves with the block button.

Enemies of course don't have this problem and punish you handily for daring to attack.

As long as the game doesn't get too hard this will not keep me from playing. I have a sickness. You see, I like to see numbers get bigger. There are plenty of numbers in Star Ocean. Numbers on combat skills and numbers on out of combat specialties and numbers on equipment. Not so many that I am overwhelmed (see any Disgaea game for that) but enough that I need to be constantly paying attention to what I dump points into.

It's good, it's bad, it is every JRPG that has come out in the past several years, just at a higher resolution. It also has the singularly worst costume I have ever seen:


What the hell is that. She belongs in those Vita games that Chance plays, not something I play.

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