More Reviews
REVIEWS NBA LIVE 15 Review
Yes, NBA Live was horrible last year. But this year's entry is a vast improvement. Just give it a try.

Dungeon of the Endless Review
A roguelike that’s equal parts charming and challenging with a turn-based twist.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Resident Evil Revelations 2 Preview
Capcom returns to the episodic format that entertained us in the first game of the sub series published on Nintendo 3DS and followed with a console release. What will Claire and company uncover this time?
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Release date: 11/04/14

Assassin's Creed Rogue
Release date: 11/11/14

Far Cry 4
Release date: 11/18/14

Dragon Age: Inquisition
Release date: 11/18/14


LATEST FEATURES Xbox Downloads October 2014 - Updating Each Week
Microsoft's Xbox One console continues an Xbox Live revolution started over a decade ago. Here's hoping Summer of Arcade makes it to the platform next year.

PlayStation Download October 2014 - Updating Each Week
Sony's PSN platform had new games each week along with free offerings for PlayStation Plus subscribers. Take a look at the weekly additions for October.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP LinksOcarina This is another article from Blistered Thumbs I wrote, back from the dead after being buried in the way-back machine. I posted this back in April of 2013, and many of the issues present seem to be prevalent right now in some cases, namely the decrees of sexism and misogony. Considering current...

Star Ocean The Last Hope: International Review

Ben_Card By:
Ben_Card
03/23/10
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE RPG 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Square Enix 
DEVELOPER Square Enix 
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes

What do these ratings mean?

An ocean of good and bad.


For many PS3 owners, the drought of good JRPGs has been almost enough to switch sides in the console war. With only a handful of titles out there, of which many are terrible, it’s almost enough to lose hope in the genre completely. Fortunately, Star Ocean: The Last Hope International Edition has arrived to fill the void.

click to enlargeFor anyone who’s played and enjoyed previous entries in the series, you may stop reading now and just go buy it. It’s everything you loved about the earlier games with vastly improved combat, better graphics, and a story that’s, well, pretty much the same as all the others. You play as a young star-faring hero on a quest to save the galaxy filled with peril, self-discovery, and stock characters.

The overall story in any SO game is usually bland and filled with the same set pieces that you’d find in nearly every JRPG. But what has always set it apart is its fast-paced frenetic combat, and TLH is no exception. The battle system in TLH is deep, intuitive, and fun, as it better be considering how much fucking time you’ll spend fighting.

Most RPGs like Persona or Final Fantasy will let you grind out a few levels if you so need or desire, letting you spend as much time in combat as wanted or needed. TLO, on the other hand, doesn’t give the player that option and instead has you in combat with every alternate step. Honestly, if the combat system wasn’t so fun, I would’ve dropped this one in the first hour. The controls are nice and responsive and feel, I don’t know, more right on PS3. (A JRPG on 360 still feels out of place to me.)

The cast is, in combat, well-rounded and you’re given the option to control whomever you want, which is a nice touch. Out of combat, however, they’re insipid stock characters (all with stupid names): a robot, a spunky girl you’ve know since childhood, an elf, a supercilious tough guy that might as well have “stay outta my way” in neon lights over his head, and a cat girl. There’s also this little girl that joins you early on who looks like a Pomeranian wearing antique doll’s clothing and ends most of her sentences with "‘kay?" No. No, you obnoxious little tart, it is not okay. Now get the fuck out of here before we all get lumped into Megan’s Law.

click to enlargeTLH International Edition is a port of the 360 version with little changed or added. Changes include Japanese audio, alternate character pictures for menus and battle, and despite the box boasting that “the galaxy never looked so good”, the game can only played in up to 720p rather than 1080p/I. Not a big deal, but why lie about it?

As cool as a Japanese voice cast might be to all you pocky-scarfing, cosplaying otaku out there, it’s not that great. After a few hours of some of the worst English voice acting, I tried the Japanese voice cast to let my ears rest. While it is a much better than the English version, the subtitles are so small and neutrally colored that I couldn’t read them half the time and had to switch back.

The one big advantage of playing this over the 360 version is that the PS3 version is on one disc rather than three. On the original version, towards the end of the game, you’d have to get up to switch back and forth between discs - a hassle which is not found here.

It’s difficult for me to say whether this or the original is better. Sure, you don’t have to switch discs later on and the controls feel more natural on the PS3, but the lack of improvement or additional content leaves a lot to be desired. But if you don’t have a 360 and need a JRPG fix, you can do a hell of a lot worse than Star Ocean: The Last Hope International. While it’s not without its flaws, none of them are deal-breakers and it does enough right for you to suffer through the crappy parts.
B Revolution report card
  • Best action combat in a JRPG. Ever.
  • Seriously, the combat is fantastic.
  • Multiple voice tracks…
  • ...not that you can read subtitles.
  • So-so story.
  • Young girl Lymle.
  • Downgraded resolution
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.


More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Star Ocean The Last Hope: International


More On GameRevolution