Star Ocean RPG goodness

Finally finished my run-through with Star Ocean: The Second Story for the PS1 and had a lot of fun with it’s funky mix of medieval fantasy and high technology. I’ve never gotten the chance to play this until now in the past week and it’s pretty good stuff, although the real-time combat engine has a few rough edges that can make it more of an exercise in frustration than gameplay as characters can get juggled, stuck on top of other characters, and occasionally run around like headless chickens. But it’s manageable and packs in a lot of action in somewhat the same way that Grandia and, to a lesser extent, Namco’s Tales series do. It shouldn’t be too surprising considering that the original Star Ocean for the SNES (which never made it over here) was designed by a group that had broken away from the original Tales team.

The story isn’t bad and the characters do alright by themselves in the game, although it is layered in a lot of JRPG melodrama which some players out there might not like. There are multiple endings depending on the mix of characters in your group and who you may encounter in the game, leading to multiple playthroughs. At least it served up an ending for me which was pretty good and didn’t go the Valkyrie Profile route of hiding the best within a bizarre gameplay ritual that few aside from the initiated high priests within Tri-Ace can hope to discover on their own. Very fun, old-school, RPG which won’t demand a hundred plus hours of your time…unless you really want to find all of those endings.

So what’s next? I might take a break before moving on to the next RPG on my backlog. I really should finish Valkyrie Profile Silmeria before the DS version comes out, but I’ve also got Persona 3 and FES waiting in the wings. Decisions, decisions…

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